MAYOR Peter Davies says he was behind failed moves to pull the plug on a reptile show at the Doncaster Dome.
The International Herpetological Society went to the High Court to force bosses at the Doncaster Council-owned venue to allow it to go ahead with the event.
Days before the show organisers were told their planned event would be cancelled if they could not guarantee no animals would be sold.
Mr Davies today said the move to stop the event had been his idea – and was not down to pressure from animal rights campaigners.
He said: “I’m not greatly entertained by these sort of animals being kept as pets.
“They should be wild, and if they’re not wild they should be kept in reputable zoos.
“No-one leans on me and I am quite capable of making decisions based on common sense. This was one based on animal welfare.
“A lot of places have stopped this sort of thing but we are still entertaining it and I want to see an end to it.”
But the Doncaster show had the support of groups involved with keeping reptiles.
Chris Newman, the chairman of the Federation of British Herpetologists, said there had been campaigns running against such shows for several years.
He said he wanted the Government to bring in a licensing system to sort out any question marks over the suitability of such events.
He said: “Until about 1996 no-one raised any issues – then animal rights campaigners started asking if it was right that people buy and sell at these events.”
He said he did not see the Dome as any different to a pet show in its suitability as a place to buy and sell animals.
Show organiser for the IHS, Richard Brooke, said there were vets at the venue to make sure the animals’ welfare was protected during the event – which did go ahead at the weekend, attracting more than 2,500 visitors.