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Archaeology find sheds new light on family pets
Date:7/12/2010

ulptor Joseph Gott created sentimental statues of dogs during the 19th century, and in 1824 the Society (later Royal Society) for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was founded.

Pet burials have also been found from the period, in stark contrast to the bones of earlier domestic animals simply thrown out with the rubbish.

The discovery of the Stafford Castle tortoise bone a few years ago, now reported in Post-Medieval Archaeology, adds to the archaeological evidence that by the late 19th century ordinary families were keeping animals as pets with which there was probably some bond of affection.

As Dr. Thomas reveals, "Unfortunately, this interest in keeping exotic pet animals resulted in the capture and translocation of millions of wild tortoises each year during the 20th century. The animals were crated in ships and kept in appalling conditions; countless tortoises died during this journey and those that survived fared little better, given away as fairground prizes and kept by people with little knowledge of their upkeep. It was not until an EEC regulation in 1988, that this trade in wild tortoises was prohibited".


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Contact: Ather Mirza
pressoffice@le.ac.uk
44-116-252-3335
University of Leicester
Source:Eurekalert

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