Campaigners call for a ban on wild animal market selling live reptiles in Doncaster

Campaigners are calling for a stop to be put to a wild animal market selling live reptiles which is due to return to Doncaster later this year.

Friday, 25th June 2021, 10:14 am

A poll, carried out by by World Animal Protection (WAP) ahead of the Reptile Show at Doncaster Racecourse, showed only 15 per cent of people believed the event should go


A WAP spokesman said: “The show, where thousands of animals are trapped for hours in cramped, stressful conditions that cause immense suffering, will return to Doncaster for

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Snakes for sale at a previous event. Picture by World Animal Protection
Snakes for sale at a previous event. Picture by World Animal Protection

the first time since the global pandemic began. WAP is demanding Doncaster Racecourse stop the event going ahead.”

An investigation by WAP, assessed the welfare conditions of 427 Ball python snakes sold at the event and found every single animal was kept in conditions that did not meet even

the minimum welfare recommendations for the species.

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Research, and minimum care guidance state that snakes need space to fully stretch their bodies to avoid stress and pain. However snakes were found crammed into tiny display

cases, plastic storage boxes and even Tupperware and takeaway boxes.

Peter Kemple Hardy, Wildlife Campaign Manager, said: “It beggars belief that whilst we are still coping with lockdown restrictions that were imposed following a global pandemic

that originated in the wildlife trade, a market selling wild animals is preparing to reopen its doors here in the UK.

“Reptiles are complex creatures that feel fear and pain. They are wild animals and belong in the wild – not stuffed into plastic boxes to be flogged from market stalls. Doncaster

reptile show is an outdated event that has no place in our society. This is an animal welfare emergency and we’re calling on Doncaster racecourse to stop hosting these cruel

reptile shows.”

The market is organised by the International Herpetological Society and hosts more than 100 exotic pet breeders selling a wide range of captive bred reptiles.

Exotic pets are wild species that do not have a history of domestication. A single event is visited by as many as 5,000 visitors.

Over 75,000 people have already signed a petition calling on Doncaster racecourse to stop Doncaster reptile show and now World Animal Protection supporters are emailing

racecourse bosses to keep the pressure up.

We have contacted the International Herpetological Society for a response to the World Animal Protection.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.