World Animal Protection, a global animal welfare organization has called on the Fair Expo Center in Miami, FL to cut its ties with reptile expo company, Repticon.
These events promote the buying, selling, and trade of exotic animals, who should not be kept as pets. These animals also pose a threat to human health with the latest CDC-reported outbreak of Salmonella linked back to a bearded dragon.
World Animal Protection, a global animal welfare non-profit organization fired off a letter to the Fair Expo Center in Miami, FL asking the venue to end its relationship with a national reptile expo company, to help prevent the next disease outbreak.
In an open letter, World Animal Protection calls on Sira Camilo, Director, Fair Expo Center to no longer host Repticon – the latest of which is due to take place this weekend, May 15-16th. World Animal Protection has also reached out to local health officials in the area to help put an end to the hosting of these events.
Florida spends more than $10 million annually on invasive species management
Ben Williamson, Programs Director, World Animal Protection, US says: “It is inconceivable that after the World Health Organization recently confirmed that Covid-19 likely originated in wild animals that Fair Expo Center would consider playing host to a live wild animal market.
“Reptiles are known vectors of zoonotic diseases and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention holds them responsible for salmonellosis outbreaks every year which hospitalize people. Households with children under five are specifically warned against keeping reptiles, yet worryingly, there are no age restrictions at these events. At a time when we’re observing the CDC’s continued advice over Covid-19, it seems crazy not to follow its guidance on avoiding contact with reptiles.
“No amount of hand sanitizer or social distancing is going to make reptile expos completely safe for humans and animals. It’s time the Fair Expo Center cuts its ties with this risky business once and for all.”