to whom it may concern We are writing as a group of people concerned about the care, housing and welfare of the African pygmy hedgehogs that are currently housed at Bruno's pet shop. Located in Great Billing. And the dis-satisfaction of the trading standard licensing departments judgment that there is no cause for concern over these animals. Our main concern and priority is rectifying the matter of animal numbers to a given enclosure. Although we fully appreciate that the standards that need to be met for the licensing department may be short of what we as animal keepers would subject, or indeed class as acceptable, the fact still remains that even in shops the law must be obeyed, and that the official licensing department has a duty to uphold the law. The law is this case being that of the Animal Welfare Act 2006. With attention to chapter 45 section 9 (promotion of welfare) subsection 2 c,d and e. This being the protection of the animal against. c its ability to show its normal patterns of behavior. - it is simply impossible to house any species of hedgehog in an enclosure that would allow it to show its normal behavior and patterns without the addition of a running wheel each night. This is due to the fact that hedgehogs in nature run a distance of between 1 and up to 6 miles in an evening dependant of species. The aph would fall toward the middle upper end of this scale taking into account the species used in the initial breeding that resulted in the aph we know today. Experience with keeping hedgehogs would also support this fact as it is noted by many people who have neglected to provide a running wheel to allow this natural behavior to happen that there hedgehogs have showed signs of "zoo madness" which i am sure you are aware is a condition caused by stress and in particular being kept in unsuitable housing with stimulation . It would be physically impossible to give 18 hedgehogs 18 separate wheels in a 4ft x 1.5ft enclosure. Without doing so this would not allow for natural behavior to be displayed as per the law, any less that 18 would result in fighting between the animals for the wheels causing new concerns and no wheels would not allow the animals to show natural behavior. So we fail to see how there can be no cause for concern over this point . d - its need to be housed with or apart from other animals "this includes its own kind AND (e) its need to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease. It is Not something keepers have made up or embellished to make things sound worse that they are. Every known scientific knowledge on Hedgehogs no matter which species all agree that hedgehogs must be kept apart and are to be considered a solitary species. In this matter it is no less important than saying all Siamese fighting fish should be housed singularly, the result will always be the same in the end, highly damaged or dead animals. Male hedgehogs are very territorial and although may tolerate each other on a very short term basis the likelyhood for damage to them suffering any injury is high and a real risk every day that the animal is housed with its own kind. Although females are better natured these are still to be classed as a solitary species and the same damage can and does arise . Keeping hedgehogs that are as high as 18 in one enclosure is in no way protecting it from pain, suffering, injury or disease . This can only be interpereted in one way, and that is in contradiction to the welfare act. And thus is in breach of the law, which the council and licensing department has a duty to the public to uphold. Further to to the points made here there are other points which are both immoral and put the animals health at risk, including the information given out at the shop when asking questions ect. We would like to see the council uphold the law in this case, and intervene in this matte, or offer a reasonable explanation as to why they think that brunos pet shop are exempt under the law from keeping there animals in a satisfactory manner. May we also bring your attention to the change in law that state it is now an offence for someone to see or know something against the law is happening concerning the welfare act, and not report it or act on the information received .
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Fiona Campbell, United Kingdom4 years ago Comments: I think it is disgusting that anyone should be allowed to get away with this, in this day and age, allowing animals to be mistreated in this way. A solitary animal who requires exercise should be housed as such in a petshop as much as when it is purchased. And no animal should be subjected to this type of enforced cruelty in a petshop.
Claire Ellis, United Kingdom4 years ago Comments: -
Tayer Witchell, United Kingdom4 years ago Comments: -
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