From Jungle to Jumble : Conclusions and recommendations
Based on filmed evidence, backed up by testimonials, we recommend that Solihull MBC commence prosecutions against the traders, organisers, the venue managers and the Council itself for violations of the Pet Animals Act.
Solihull MBC acted against overwhelming independent expert advice and in breach of its legal obligations by facilitating the event. IPC Media claimed that it 'takes every necessary step to ensure the welfare of the birds at the show', but predictably, the ignorant standards of animal husbandry at the event as well as the breaches of law did not reflect this.
The Council should have been familiar with the true nature of the event having overseen many others in previous years. Their failure to prevent this bird market sets a poor standard for law enforcement and animal welfare.
Solihull MBC failed in its duty to protect public health - threats were demonstrably significant given the positive psittacosis test result of the Senegal parrot purchased by Birds First. In the absence of a survey of visitors who attended last year's event, there is no way of knowing how many people may have become sick as a result of their attendance. It is clear from the footage that visitors did not appreciate the seriousness of the threat to which they were exposed through their direct and indirect contact with the birds.
Finally, the Pet Animals Act 1951 was amended in 1983 to disallow the carrying on of a business of selling pets in a public place. Each sale of an animal in contravention of this Act potentially incurs a fine and a maximum term of three month's imprisonment. Further, we believe that the spirit of the amendment was to disallow the sale of animals in a makeshift environment, which causes suffering on the level that we encountered.
The requirements of the Pet Animals Act and the conditions attached to the licence were not met. Therefore, even if one hypothetically accepted that the licence could have been lawfully issued, then the firm conclusion can still be drawn that the event manifested abundant and diverse illegalities.
This concludes From Jungle to Jumble. For the latest updates on this and other Animal Aid campaigns see the pet trade index.