Kempton Park reptile breeders event canceled after pressure from animal welfare groups
A ‘breeder’s meeting’ for reptile owners due to take place in Kempton Park this summer has been canceled after animal welfare groups raised concerns. The event, organized by the Federation of British Herpetologists (FBH), was scheduled for Sunday August 14 but has now been scrapped by the Jockey Club, owners of the racecourse.
According to the FBH, the event would have allowed amateur breeders to “sell the surplus reptiles and amphibians that they have raised as part of their hobby”. Because the event was for hobbyists and commercial businesses attempting to sell live pets would have been denied participation, they say it would have been within the law.
However, the Animal Welfare Agency and two other animal rights groups argued that the large-scale sale of animals would take place and contacted Spelthorne Borough Council about the event. The groups say “conditions at reptile markets are invariably poor, with animals generally confined to small plastic take-out bins, severely compromising animal welfare.” They added that “scientists have described the treatment of reptiles in markets as amounting to animal abuse.”
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A Kempton Park spokesperson told SurreyLive its policy is not to comment on privately booked events. However, Spelthorne Town Council confirmed they contacted the racecourse about the event after being made aware of it.
A council spokesperson said: “In line with our animal welfare duties, we wanted to ensure that animal welfare would be given due consideration at the event and that the event would be run in accordance. legislation. After discussions with Kempton Park (The Jockey Club) they have decided not to host the event on their site.”
In a statement provided to SurreyLive, FBH said it makes every effort to ensure that there is no animal suffering of any kind at its events, and that inspectors and veterinarians local authorities in previous meetings confirmed that they had no welfare concerns. He urged the Jockey Club to reconsider its decision to cancel the event.
“The cancellation of the proposed event at Kempton was not due to welfare concerns but rather in response to the threat of adverse media campaigns against the Jockey Club by animal rights groups,” the statement read. . “[This] is an example of how a vocal minority can influence legal, well-run, high-welfare events…Owners should have the right to enjoy their hobby without being persecuted by advocacy groups animal rights.