It’s not often I post things out of anger but I am completely incensed by what I have recently witnessed.
Just recently, Channel Five aired a documentary called The Great British Benefits Handout. In short, four families were given £26,000 in cash to improve their lives. Sounds like a fairly standard show these days but what does this have to do with Green Vegans?
One of these families, from Liverpool, wanted to start up some events business and seems to have more arrogance than business sense. After randomly pointing and buying a few things, Scott (pictured below with his family) decided he wanted to add exotic animals to his ill-thought plan. The footage below shows him just walking into a pet store and buying animals like you would groceries. I tried to contact Channel Five through Twitter asking if any proper checks or discussions were made over his knowledge of taking care of these creatures. They declined to answer.
(Please note: Pardon the poor footage, I only have my phone and laptop)
Following this scene, one Scott’s children leaves the lid of the cage to a lizard, Scott is then seeing picking up the lizard by the tail before dropping it and trying to stand on it, presumably to catch it. This shows that this total idiot has no idea how to care for these creatures. After speaking with some specially trained in handling exotic pets, he confirms:
That is a bad handling technique. It can cause spinal injury and immense stress!
What does Scott have to say on this? He argued through his business’ Twitter account that it doesn’t hurt them unless they thrashed about and hit something, and that they [lizards] don’t mind it. Interestingly, he has now deleted these conversations, maybe because showing his ignorance so publicly on his business account won’t do his credibility much good.
His only argument was to show the regulation act, which funnily enough, I am aware of, hence why I believe Scott needs investigating to ensure these animals will be cared for correctly. As storing them up in his spare bedroom is not the right way to care for these. I would also like him to be questioned over what happens when no one cares about him anymore once the series ends. When he runs out of money, what will happen to the animals? Judging from what I’ve seen, I imagine he’d just dump them like he would an old computer game he was bored of.
The footage also showed a petrified raccoon running around. Although not on the dangerous animals list, research shows that these animals can get pretty aggressive when they get older, even more so toward humans if they are comfortable around them. But hey, let the poor thing run around like a domestic dog when there’s children around. Maybe the raccoon will run into the lizard that was allowed to escape? Who knows, none of this screams responsible, does it?
Seeing as trying to discuss anything with this cretin on Twitter proved to be pointless, I contacted the RSPCA who responded with the following:
Licences are required for any animal which appears on a Schedule that is linked to the Act, these licences are granted from the local authority only when the authority is satisfied that it would not be contrary to public interest on the grounds of certain conditions that have to be complied with.
I do wonder if these had been granted, why wouldn’t he show his licence willingly to those concerned? If he was genuinely concerned for his animals, like others have been, he would happily prove that he has satisfied the regulation and criteria needed.
We monitor trends in exotic pet keeping and publicly oppose and raise awareness of any trend (such as the keeping of raccoon dogs as pets), where we believe that the animal’s needs cannot be adequately met in a household environment. We are working with a number of other organisations to raise awareness about the issue of exotic pets, their welfare and to produce guidance for the public about the specialist needs of these species and to try to dissuade people from taking on an exotic pet they are unable to care for adequately.
Basically, they don’t want to get involved. Edinburgh Zoo and Chester Zoo both referred me to speak to someone else. At the time of publishing, I am still in talks with Chester Zoo.
I fear that this situation is going to end up like a similar story back in 2013 when TV wildlife expert, Stephen Rowlands, was convicted of animal cruelty after he was found guilty of keeping over 70 animals in unspeakable conditions.
I don’t want that to happen, for the sake of the animals, I want Scott to go and train in animal handling and look after these animals properly and with love for the rest of their lives. I do believe that Channel Five had a duty of care here and should have intervened. If one of these families had expressed interest in spending their money on buying a woman from the sex trade, I imagine they would have intervened, the same value should have applied.
What do you think? Post your feelings on this in the comments below.