Fur flies as Dalton zoo boss hits out over exotic pet shop
Last updated at 14:17, Tuesday, 26 June 2012
ZOO boss David Gill has accused pet store owners of promoting a cruel and irresponsible trade by selling exotic animals.
South Lakes Wild Animal Park is set to launch a campaign to discourage people from purchasing exotic pets after Vicky Frederick, the owner of the new Pixie Pets store in Barrow, revealed she plans to sell unusual animals including raccoons, skunks, hedgehogs and squirrels.
“We will be putting up a poster display around the zoo to encourage people not to support that pet shop and to write to the council to have that pet shop blocked from selling exotic animals,” Mr Gill said.
“There are huge concerns that it’s been promoted as some sort of exciting thing to do when, to be honest with you, it’s a nightmare waiting to happen.”
Mr Gill, who has run the zoo since 1994, said exotic animals were too dangerous and unpredictable to be kept as pets.
“Raccoons are not domesticated in any way, shape or form,” he said. “We’ve rescued them from people who had them as pets and regretted it because they become too violent and dangerous. Basically, we want to say to this pet shop, ‘please stop it now because you’re creating a massive problem for animals in the future’.”
But Ms Frederick defended herself against what she described as Mr Gill’s “hypocritical” and “childish” attack, saying she operates entirely within the law and under strict regulatory guidelines.
She said she does not sell any exotic animals as she is yet to secure the relevant licence but when she does, she will do everything to ensure the pets only go to good homes.
“If I do get permission to sell them, all the mammals will be microchipped in my name and they’ll be contracts signed that if there is ever a reason they can no longer care for it, then the animal will come back to me,” she said.
“Initially, there will be a thorough check where they have to prove to me that they have a sufficient enclosure. Then a contract must be signed before they can even touch the animal saying that it will be spayed. So how can the zoo comment on the animals that I keep and sell, when all of my animals are not dangerous, all domesticated and are securely locked away He’s got limas, which are dangerous, just running around?”
First published at 13:17, Tuesday, 26 June 2012
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
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Interesting that David is against exotic animals as pets and reminds us how dangerous they can be and yet his facebook page boasts pictures of his toddler cuddling a tiger! Not to mention the lemurs in his house. Pot, kettle
Give it time, soon most of the animals sold in this shop will end up being abandoned and either euthanised or taken in by the zoo.Terrible idea.
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