Miranda Krestovnikoff looks behind the scenes at Heathrow where officers have intercepted animals being smuggled in illegally. She also speaks to Traffic, the wildlife monitoring organisation about the impact on the ecosystems when species are taken out of the wild and also asks what happens when exotic pets are released into the UK countryside.
But those involved in the pet trade in the UK say it’s come a long way over the last 20 years. Miranda’s invited to Exotic Pets UK which breeds some animals but also imports wild-caught species. They say they make the customers aware of where each species is sourced so they can make an informed decision but say if more people bred these animals in the UK there’d be less need to import. But Chris Newman from the Federation of British herpetologists and REPTA says the trade in species helps protect their habitat and a ban could actually threaten them.