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  RSPCA demand more protection for wild pets
Updated 30 January 2002, 07.20
Louis the alligator
Louis the alligator

Dangerous wild animals kept as pets are not being protected properly by the law, warns the RSPCA.

Many of them are suffering in the wrong types of cages because their owners don't have licences to own them.

This means the RSPCA can't inspect conditions animals are kept in. But now they want changes to the 1976 Dangerous Wild Animals law.

Click here to see what changes the RSPCA want

Snakes in the house

A lynx in the wild

RSPCA inspectors have recently found lynx - types of wild cats - kept in sheds and dangerous snakes in the same house as a newborn baby.

And Louis the five-foot long Mississippi alligator was discovered living in a pond liner in a very cramped bedroom.

Inspector Ian Briggs said: "Alligators like Louis can grow up to 12 feet in length. Clearly, a flat is a totally unsuitable environment for an animal such as this."

But because Louis' owner had no licence for him, the RSPCA could not keep an eye on his living conditions.

The animal charity hopes the suggestions they're making to the government will improve the conditions in which animals are kept and public safety.

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