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Bird market on the run
Posted 4 September 2004
After 25 years at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, the Cage & Aviary Birds annual bird market has flown the coop!
This year's event is now scheduled to take place at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire on December 4 & 5. The change of venue follows Animal Aid's submission of evidence to Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council (the local authority which has always granted a licence) documenting numerous violations of animal welfare, trading standards and hygiene regulations at last year's event.
Although Solihull MBC is shirking its responsibility to prosecute the organisers and venue for these breaches, it does seem more than a coincidence that the event should suddenly change location after 25 years!
This year's event
Warwick District Council, the body responsible for licensing this year's proposed fair, is also desperately trying to wash its hands of it.
The council has stated that it cannot issue a licence under the terms of the Pet Animals Act, 1951 - a complete vindication of our argument. Yet it does not plan to take any action to prevent the fair because - it claims - responsibility rests with the venue owners alone. This is simply untrue. Warwick District Council is the local authority and has every power to prevent such events - as many other councils have done in similar circumstances. The council can inform Stoneleigh Park that this bird market is illegal and can also advise them to ban it. If that advice is ignored, the council then has the power to take out an injunction against the venue to prohibit the fair.
Animal Aid will not let Warwick District Council turn a blind eye to animal suffering and will continue to hold it accountable. We are also urging the Royal Agricultural Society, which owns Stoneleigh Park, to uphold the law and refuse to host the event. You can help. Please write polite letters of protest to the following:
Janie Barrett, Chief Executive, Warwick District Council, Riverside House, Milverton Hill, Royal Leamington Spa CV32 5HZ
- Mike Calvert, Chief Executive, Royal Agricultural Society of England, Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire CV8 2LZ