EVERY crocodile owner in the UK will have to take out insurance under government plans to tackle 12 foot long killing machines with jaws of steel.
Home secretary Alan Johnson said that while Britain was a nation of animal lovers, it was probably time to do something about the thousands of massive crocodiles currently sitting in the middle of people's living rooms.
He added: "While we do not want to stop people from buying and owning crocodiles, I suppose we do all have a right not to be chased down the street by what is essentially a dinosaur and devoured in front of our local community."
The government now wants to amend the 1991 Dangerous Crocodilian Act which banned only a limited number of breeds including the West African Dwarf Crocodile, the Orinoco Crocodile and the Broad Snouted Caiman.
An RSCPA spokesman said: "A lot of horrid, working class men with tatoos buy crocodiles as status symbols, while many are used for illegal crocodile fighting. You should see that, by the way. It's completely mental."
But owners and breeders have urged the government not to discriminate, insisting many sub species can make excellent family pets, such as the Staffordshire Bull Crocodile.
Wayne Hayes, from Doncaster who owns an eight foot long Spectacled Caiman named 'Chico', said: "He doesn't need a muzzle. He's perfectly safe as long as I am holding onto him with this thin nylon rope."
The RSCPA spokesman added: "Many people buy baby crocodiles because they look cute, but within six months most of those people have had their face chewed off.
"In these circumstances I would say that a baby crocodile is just for Christmas.
"Best to simply flush it down the bog and forget about it."