The pet trade

Each year, millions of birds and reptiles are stolen from the wild, whilst dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, fish and other animals are mass-produced to supply the pet industry.

Most are sold in pet shops but a glance through the ads in your local paper will invariably reveal a long list of breeders selling animals. Animals are even for sale on the internet. Wild-caught birds and reptiles imported from abroad are often sold at illegal pet markets across the UK.

While millions of animals are being bred or captured to supply the pet trade, shelters and sanctuaries are overflowing with unwanted animals. Every year, thousands have to be killed because they cannot be rehomed. If you have the time, space and commitment necessary to look after a companion animal, always adopt from a sanctuary rather than buying one.

The problem of unwanted pets is not only caused by commercial enterprises. Individual owners, perhaps thinking it is natural, allow their cats, dogs and other animals to produce offspring. There are already too many animals in need of good homes without adding to the problem. Please always spay and neuter your companion animals to prevent pregnancies.

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