Animal Aid

Bird dealers in a flap over cancellation of national exhibition

Posted 1 November 2004
Last year's event

A few excerpts from this week's issue of Cage & Aviary magazine demonstrate just how big a blow the cancellation of the National Exhibition has dealt to the bird trade in Britain.

From the editor's Opinion column:

"Make no mistake, this is our Dunkirk, and the way we react to it will determine the future of aviculture."

And from the letters page:

"The fancy needs to wake up right now and realise the imminent threat that these so-called animal rights people pose to all bird keepers. It is time to approach other interest groups, like anglers, and seek common ground, share advice, and plan strategy to defend our hobbies against the 'animal rights' menace."

Caged parrot

"We are at one of the worst periods in avicultural history."

"It's going to be very difficult to get the National back now because a precedent has been set. Which authority in its right mind would give a licence now that one has already been refused? The death knell of bird keeping is getting louder every week."

But we must not be complacent; the proposed Animal Welfare Bill threatens to make the National Exhibition, and all pet markets like it, completely legal.

If you haven't done so already, please urge DEFRA to keep pet markets illegal and instead use the new Animal Welfare Bill to implement far greater control of the pet trade. Write to Ben Bradshaw MP, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA, or email

For the complete history of the campaign against Britain's biggest bird market click here.

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