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Media captionMobile zoo owner Scott Gavin uses serpents and a raccoon dog at parties

Mobile zoos that furnish exotic animals for children’s parties will require licences to operate in England, the government has said.

It comes as the RSPCA told the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme animals such as meerkats and raccoons were being handled and kept inappropriately.

Animals use currently range from serpents and tarantulas to – more controversially – skunks and monkeys.

Animal welfare group the Scottish SPCA said it was opposed to mobile zoos.

Image caption There are about 200 mobile zoos in the UK, calculates suggest

Estimates indicate there are about 200 mobile zoos in the UK. Some do hundreds of events a month.