A ROW has broken out after an animal rights group claimed the illegal trade of reptiles would take place at a Kidderminster show on Sunday.

Organisers have insisted the event, at Wyre Forest Glades Leisure Centre, does not break any laws and will go ahead as planned.

The West Midland Reptile Expo is set to feature stalls by breeders and “hobbyists”, according to the event’s website.

Wyre Forest District Council wrote to the organisers, telling them breeders were not permitted to sell animals there, after the Animal Protection Agency alerted the authority.

Elaine Toland, director of the agency, claimed the show would include commercial breeders selling reptiles, which would be prohibited.

A spokeswoman for West Midland Reptile Society, which has organised the event, said there had been a “misunderstanding”, as links to the breeders had been posted on the society’s website. “They are not going to be selling any animals at the expo,” she said.

“They know they can’t sell animals there and if they are found selling them they will be removed immediately.”

Ms Toland claimed the reptile society had “attempted to convince the council that the event would not involve commercial selling”.

The reptiles society’s spokeswoman said the event had a strict set of rules and regulations, though, adding: “If we don’t stick to the rules, then we don’t hold the show.”

The society’s website says it was “formed by a few enthusiastic reptile keepers who wanted to meet people with similar interests and promote the correct care and husbandry of reptiles kept in captivity”.

Ms Toland explained she wanted to prevent the sale of reptiles at the event, as some markets had seen animals subjected to poor conditions.

“Reptile markets are, typically, attended by dozens of animal traffickers, who carry out a lucrative trade in stressed and suffering animals,” she said.