Thursday, 26 November 2015

New report shows shocking extent of UK exotic pet trade

Two animal welfare organisations are calling for a Government review of the exotic pet trade, as a worrying new report reveals the huge scale of unsuitable and potentially dangerous animals widely available to buy online.

The One Click Away report1, compiled by Blue Cross pet charity and the Born Free Foundation, found that at any one moment across a sample of just six websites, there were around 25,000 adverts2 offering more than 120 types of exotic animals for sale online. Animals for sale included reptiles, exotic birds and primates, many of which are particularly vulnerable to welfare problems when kept as pets. With little or no regulation of online sales, the charities are concerned for the health and welfare of the animals available to inexperienced owners, as well as the safety of the public and want to see laws surrounding the sales of exotic pets brought up to date.

Very few adverts offered advice on the animals’ history or how to care for them, potentially leaving new owners unaware of health or behaviour problems and sellers are not required to state whether an animal could be harmful.

Steve Goody, Blue Cross Deputy Chief Executive, said: “This report shows the shocking scale of the exotic pet trade and the urgent need for action. For the inexperienced, it can be difficult to care for many of these animals in a domestic environment and as a result the animals’ welfare often suffers.

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