Exotic pets expose owners to danger

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The Independent Online
Gone are the days when a pets in the average British home were limited to dogs, cats, and budgies, with the more adventurous perhaps seeking out terrapins. Now shops across the country are stocking a whole range of exotica from scorpions to crocodiles.

But owning unusual pets can lead to unusual problems. And the RSPCA yesterday launched a campaign to make potential owners aware of what they are taking on.

A survey has shown that some pet shops are failing to provide customers with information about the risks involved.

In one case a Birmingham woman discovered that the "relatively harmless" scorpion she had bought was, in fact, highly poisonous. The young mother had also been told wrongly by the pet shop she did not need a Dangerous Wild Animals licence to keep it.