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'PET TECS BUST BUNNIES' - Focus exposed
Posted 1 June 2002
The following coverage of our Focus campaign appeared in the City section of the Sun newspaper on Tuesday 18th June 2002.
Undercover investigators from Britain's biggest animal rights group have busted Petworld, the instore branch of DIY store Focus Wickes.
Animal Aid claims it has been misled by Focus and is stepping up its campaign urging City investors to boycott the firm's £1billion stock market flotation.
Focus gave a public commitment on February 1 to stop selling exotic birds and animals like rabbits and guinea pigs, says Animal Aid. But, even though the bird trade has stopped, the activist investigators say many Petworlds are re-stocking mammals.
Animal Aid director Andrew Tyler said that, unlike conventional pet shops, Focus encourage impulse buys of animals, which were often later abandoned or neglected. He added:
"We were delighted at persuading Focus to stop selling birds and mammals and are preturbed by evidence indicating they have reneged on their promise and are, in effect, misleading the public."
Focus has slashed the amount it is looking to raise in its flotation next month. Shares will be between 230-290p each, less than expected.
Bookies Financial Spreads quoted a price of 245-250p on the grey market - trading before the official share issue - with IG Index coming in at 260-270p and Cantor Index 250-257p.