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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 April, 2005, 13:43 GMT 14:43 UK
Campaigners try to stop bird show
Blue budgerigar   BBC
Organisers say the Festival of Birds is run correctly and within the law
An organisation campaigning against the trade in wild animals for pets is calling on the Bath and West Showground not to let a bird show go ahead.

A spokeswoman for the Animal Protection Agency (APA) claimed some birds sold in previous years were in "shocking condition".

On Tuesday, a Bath and West spokeswoman would only say it had received no notification the event is cancelled.

Organisers say the members-only show will go ahead as planned on 24 April.

Elaine Toland, director of the APA, claimed the bird market would be illegal under the Pet Animals' Act 1951 and that the Bath and West showground would risk prosecution by allowing illegal trading on its land.

Mendip District Council said the latest legal opinion it had received was that the Festival of Birds could be held, as long as it was a legitimate members-only event.

Security guards

"If this is the case then the act doesn't apply," a spokesman said.

Fred Smith, from the show organisers, the Severn Counties Foreign and British Bird Society, said: "Everyone attending the show will be a bona-fide member of the club and security guards will check membership details before letting anyone in.

"We're all genuine breeders and exhibitors. But like any other organisation there will always be the odd rotten apple who will let the society down."

He said birds would be in clean cages with food and water and a vet would be on hand.

Environmental health officers from Mendip District Council will be present on the day.

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