A VIRAL video showing exotic raccoon dogs being sold was filmed at Clitheroe Auction Mart, according to the RSPCA.

The footage of the animals caged up was widely circulated on social media last week.

The RSPCA has now investigated the video further and found that the footage was shot at Clitheroe Auction Mart, in Lancashire, at an animal market known as 'Fur n Feather'.

Despite it being legal to sell the animals, the RSPCA is concerned about the practice and said that it would not recommend people keeping the animals as pets as they are 'not suited for a domestic environment'.

A spokesman said: "We understand why people are upset to see this footage, and we are as well.

"Unfortunately it is currently legal to keep and sell raccoon dogs as pets in England and Wales without a license.

"An officer has looked into this and the raccoon dogs in this footage were being sold at Clitheroe Auction Mart - not Bolton Market as was reported - as part of an animal market known as 'Fur n Feather'.

"Raccoon dogs have recently been listed under Invasive Species Regulations so it should become illegal to sell them in a few years and we would welcome this move.

"The RSPCA is very concerned about the trend of keeping raccoon dogs as pets as we have in recent years dealt with a number of cases where the animals have either escaped, or been deliberately released to the wild.

“We urge people to think hard about taking on any exotic pet - they can be much more difficult to look after than people realise. We would not recommend they take on raccoon dogs at all - they are simply not suited to a domestic environment.

"For information and guidance on keeping and caring for exotic pets, as well as our concerns regarding their welfare, visit our exotic pet webpage at http://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/pets/other."

The video showed the animals being sold at the market for £60 and was shared more than 400 times.

The poster of the footage was urging people to contact the RSPCA and Bolton Council.

The video shows a number of the animals cramped into a small cage and appearing to be in some distress.

Raccoon dogs are native to Asia and can grow as long as 28 inches.

Earlier this year the RSPCA launched a campaign to try and make the sale of the animals illegal.

In May a lady in Lincolnshire called the RSPCA after she saw one of the animals in the garden.