You will have seen many TV programmes about meerkats, who clearly live in huge family groups – and a TV commercial featuring an animated meerkat has increased public interest in this appealing creature.

It was only a matter of time before a huge demand for the animals as pets should spring up, spurred on by publicity-seeking zoos that breed the animals too.

Captive Animals Protection Society (CAPS) investigators have visited pet shops and a private dealer selling the animals to record conditions in which the animals are kept. Invariably, these have been small cages that provide little space or enrichment.

Working with The Sun and The Daily Mail, the two largest daily papers in the UK, CAPS has revealed this trade to millions of people, discouraging them from buying meerkats as pets.

Visit their new campaign website