Animal Aid


Posted 15 December 2000

The following points were made in Clifford Warwick's objection to the World of Reptiles proposal.

  • In the Project Overview, Mr Kriel is referred to 'as a highly experienced Conservationist (and 'Biologist') from South Africa'. However, Mr Warwick, had not heard of Mr Kriel in any capacity, and neither had any of the 18 active scientists and conservationists he consulted as part of his research.

  • Claims were also made that animals would be purchased from 'recognised institutions' and would be 'captive-bred'. However, no dealerships verifiably meet the requirements set by Mr Kriel and such dealers are regarded by scientific authorities as being highly destructive to animals, the environment and the public. Captive-bred reptiles also endure highly stressful lives during both intensive production and later husbandry.

  • Educationally, the project would be counter-productive; would subject animals to inevitable unnecessary distress in the facility; there would be unfortunate associated encouragement of animal dealerships; and, overall, the impression being given would be that captive wildlife is 'acceptable'.

  • The proposal states that the facility would be valuable in terms of species conservation. Clifford Warwick was convinced, however, that no verifiable benefits to species conservation existed in the proposed venture. He believed that it was more likely that negative impacts on species conservation would result, as acquiring display reptiles from dealerships would undoubtedly impact deleteriously on wildlife, due to the complex, problematical issues of wildlife trafficking that are endemic to the pet dealer industry.

  • Clifford Warwick stated in his report that it would be impossible to guarantee a 'safe' public environment at World of Reptiles, and that micro-organisms such as Salmonella (which are probably found in more than 90% of reptiles) may viably persist on general environmental surfaces for several weeks, in tap water for up to three months, and in faecal material for 30 months.

  • The proposer seemed genuinely keen to promulgate greater public respect for reptiles. However, Clifford Warwick was convinced, on evaluation of the proposal, that the World of Reptiles project was not the safe, nor the feasible, nor the right way to progress.

Notes to Editors

  • For further information, contact Elaine Toland or Andrew Tyler on 01732 364 546.
  • We have an ISDN line for broadcast-quality interviews.
  • See also Clifford Warwick's commentary.

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