28th July 2023

The future dates for a monthly reptile handling event carried out by the mobile zoo ‘North West Reptile Club’ at Brockholes Nature Reserve have been recently cancelled!

Freedom for Animals was alerted to the recurring event at a reserve managed by the Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside, by a concerned supporter who was rightfully taken aback that a wildlife trust, which should be focussed on protecting natural habitats and the wildlife that resides in them, was holding an event that used exotic animals in such an exploitative manner.

As a result of this news, we wrote a letter to the Lancashire Wildlife Trust to share our concerns regarding the event, and to ask them to reconsider the allowance of mobile zoos and live animal events on their land. There are many ways to entertain and educate visitors without using live animals as props and subjecting them to stressful conditions, and we wanted to shine a light on these alternatives so that animals may be better protected in future.

We know that the reptile trade poses risk of harm to the animals held captive by it, and that they should be living wild and free in their natural habitats. So, it was important to raise these important issues with the Wildlife Trust, and discuss why the hosting of businesses who use animals for profit should never be accepted by a nature reserve who is supposed to work towards conserving nature and wildlife.

The reptile trade is extremely damaging to natural ecosystems worldwide, with many animals originally stolen from the wild used for breeding and trading in reptile hobbyist circles across the UK and beyond. This makes the trade big business, with large scale market events run by the International Herpetologicial Society (IHS) attracting hundreds of hobbyists; all of whom are invited to poke and prod and trade and sell vulnerable animals to strangers with the most cash.

These animals suffer serious stress, fear and ill health as a result of regular handling, inadequate accommodation and invariably noisy environments. You can read more about the issues surrounding the exotic pet trade here.

Thankfully, from this day forward, the Wildlife Trust will no longer be hosting North West Reptile Club at their site, and has ceased their association by replacing the event with other activities moving forward. We welcome this news, and hope to see Lancashire Wildlife Trust, and other similar organisations, maintaining their own stated values by never again hosting animal exploitation, and finally committing to protecting animals in the wild by not engaging with businesses that keep animals captive.

We could not have achieved this win without your support - so thank you for all you do for animals. Until all are free!

Want to help us do more for animals in need? We have entered to win a grant from My Giving Circle which could see us win a share of £30,000! But to win we need your help.

We need votes! Voting is completely free, unless you choose to donate to add more votes! The top ten UK and Irish charities will win a share of this amazing amount of money.

Please vote for us today at mygivingcircle.org/freedom-for-animals