50 crocodiles seized at Heathrow airport

image copyrightHome Office
image captionThe crocodiles were intended for a farm in Cambridgeshire, where they were to be bred for meat

Fifty crocodiles have been seized at Heathrow airport after their transport conditions breached regulations.

The year-old reptiles, which arrived on a flight from Malaysia, had fought each other during the journey due to their cramped circumstances.

Each of the five transportation boxes used had room for four crocodiles - but 10 foot-long animals were in each one.

A Border Force spokesman said "little attention" had been paid to the crocodiles' welfare.

One crocodile has since died.

The animals had been destined for a farm in Cambridgeshire - where they were to be bred for meat - but are now being cared for by officials from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

The remaining 49 crocodiles will be re-homed, a Home Office statement said.

image copyrightHome Office
image captionFifty crocodiles were transported from Malaysia but one has since died

Grant Miller, head of the national Border Force CITES team at Heathrow, said: "It is just not acceptable for reptiles to be transported in this way."

He added: "We will seize anything that contravenes CITES regulations, so this should serve as a warning to those thinking about transporting wildlife in such conditions."

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