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Charity Born Free reveals crocodiles, a lynx and monkeys are kept as pets in Lincolnshire while calling for a change in the law





Crocodiles, a lynx and honey bears are among the exotic animals which are being kept legally as pets in Lincolnshire.

Research undertaken by the Born Free Charity has found that there are more than 30 of these creatures in South Holland, South Kesteven and East Lindsey – and it is calling on the Government to change the law.

The charity, which looks at conservation along with animal welfare and trying to stop the wildlife trade, has also discovered that there are 2,700 dangerous wild animals kept privately under licences permitted by the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976.

A lynx is another animal being kept legally as a pet PHOTO: Jo-Anne McArthur, Born Free
A lynx is another animal being kept legally as a pet PHOTO: Jo-Anne McArthur, Born Free

Born Free is concerned that nearly 3,000 animals – including 200 wild cats, 250 primates and 400 venomous snakes – are being kept as pets in this country which it feels presents a very real risk to public safety.

The charity is now calling for a review of the Dangerous Wild Animals Act to improve regulation and ensure there are far greater restrictions on the trade and keeping of wild animals as pets.

It feels the legislation should look at the welfare of the individual animal and whether owners have qualifications; whether the trade compromises conservation, environmental concerns and risk to public safety.

Servals are being kept in Lincolnshire as 'pets' PHOTO: SH Kim from Pixabay
Servals are being kept in Lincolnshire as 'pets' PHOTO: SH Kim from Pixabay

The charity is calling on the public to write to their MP to demand changes.

Dr Mark Jones, Born Free’s Head of Policy said, “It is unbelievable that, in this day and age, so many dangerous animals, including big cats, large primates, crocodiles and venomous snakes, continue to be legally kept in people’s homes in the UK. Increasing demand for and trade in all kinds of wild animals as exotic pets puts owners and the wider public at risk of injury or disease.

“It also results in serious animal suffering, and the demand increases the pressure on many wild populations which are often already under threat. The UK likes to claim to be at the forefront of efforts to protect nature and improve the welfare of animals, yet our legislation governing the keeping of and trade in exotic pets is woefully outdated. The Dangerous Wild Animals Act should be overhauled as a matter of urgency, in order to phase out the private keeping of those species that clearly don’t belong in people’s homes.”

Ring tailed Lemurs are being kept within Lincolnshire PHOTO: Mike Dooley
Ring tailed Lemurs are being kept within Lincolnshire PHOTO: Mike Dooley

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Exotic animals kept in Lincolnshire are:

South Holland

- Savannah Cat: 1

- Spider Monkey: 2

South Kesteven

- Capuchin Monkey: 6

- Spider Monkey: 5

- Mississippi Alligator: 1

- Ring-Tailed Lemur: 2

- Brown Lemur: 1

- Cotton Top Tamarin: 2

- Kinkajou (also known as a Honey Bear): 3

- Eurasian Lynx: 1

- Bobcat: 1

- Jungle Cat: 2

- Asian Leopard Cat: 1

- Serval: 1

- Wolfdog: 2

- Dwarf Caiman: 1

-Savannah Cat: 3


East Lindsey

- Ostrich: 6

- Cougar: 2

- Bobcat: 1

- Lynx: 1

North Kesteven

- Dwarf African Crocodile: 2

There are none listed in Rutland – but the county is reported to be home to a panther.

Do you think there should be a change in the law? Post a comment below.



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