It's a $15 billion dollar business in the United States alone, with breeders and dealers selling animals over the Internet or in trade magazines. Additionally, as exotic animals grow, their needs for food and space increase -- sometimes astronomically. According to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the exotic pet trade is a multi-billion dollar industry, second only to drugs and weapons on the black market. To get an idea of the scope of the illegal exotic pet trade, consider this: The illegal trade in wildlife is second only to that of drugs in the United States, according to the U.S. 17. The stress of being violently removed from their homes causes some animals to die before they ever reach a private residence. (Sept. 7, 2010), http://www.bornfreeusa.org/a3b_exotic_pets.php, - Ebrahim, Margaret; Solomon, John. These cold blooded animals fascinate many people, which is why they can always be found in pet stores. 1380, Demand UPS stop transporting wild animals, Travel companies: help us build a sustainable industry, Industry leaders, influential individuals: help us end the global wildlife trade, To keep up with our work to end the exotic pet trade, sign up to receive our email updates, 1.41 trillion cow burps and 23.7 billion cowpies damaging the planet daily, Travel associations are ignoring animal cruelty at wildlife attractions. Millions of animals are forced into the exotic pet trade every year for the purpose of becoming someone's pet or entertaining the masses in a circus or roadside zoo. "A Life Sentence: The Sad and Dangerous Realities of Exotic Animals in Private Hands." TRAFFIC, the leading wildlife trade organisation, now recognises social media as the “new epicentre” for the trade in exotic pets. Reptiles kept as pets constantly suffer from nutritional deficiencies and many d… The trade in exotic animals is a multi billion dollar a year industry. Hundreds of species of snakes, including boa constrictors, anacondas, and other large snakes are shipped into the U.S. every year. Or sign up to our mailing list by completing the form to the left. The WWF estimates there are 5,000 tigers being kept in U.S. backyards … there are only around 3,000 left in the wild. They have the same needs as in the wild, which must be met in captivity by law under the Animal Welfare Act. Our desire to share our homes and lives with these animals could ultimately see their extinction become a terrible reality. However, most owners don't realize the huge responsibility they are inheriting when they purchase exotic pets, and there's rarely a happy ending for the animal. Poachers will often kill the protective mother first so that it's easier to capture the young. Other organisations have estimated a pet primate population of 4-5,000 kept in the UK and 4,825 licensed Dangerous Wild Animals, which is likely to be a significant under-estimate of the actual population. Many pet grey parrots willl rip out their own feathers due to boredom and stress. Exotic animals lash out. The exotic pet trade is an enormous global enterprise (Bush et al. African grey parrots for example are known to pluck out their own feathers due to stress caused by boredom in captivity and a lack of opportunity to socialize with other parrots. Millions of animals are forced into the exotic pet trade every year for the purpose of becoming someone's pet or entertaining th… Parrots and other exotic birds can transfer potentially deadly pathogens such as psittacosis, salmonella, and even avian tuberculosis to humans. The consequences of illegal pet trade are truly concerning for a variety of species. In a slightly different vein, animal welfare organizations like the HSUS have established groups like the Species Survival Network to promote wildlife protection and educate the public about the dangers of exotic pet ownership. From 1980 to1990 there was an explosion in the popularity of reptiles as pets and in their trade in the West. There are around 5 000 7 000 tigers kept as pets in the united states. In fact, 92% of the 500,000 live animal shipments between 2000-2006 to the United States (that’s 1,480,000,000 animals) were for the pet trade, and 69% of these originated in Southeast Asia. (Sept. 8, 2010), http://www.hsus.org/wildlife/issues_facing_wildlife/wildlife_trade/. The World's #1 Nonfiction Media Company. (Sept. 7, 2010), http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/exotic_pets/facts/, - Humane Society of the United States. Tropical fish, and all the equipment needed to keep them, became affordable enough for many people in the US in the 1940s. Schiphol airport in the Netherlands is one of the largest European airports and is considered a main hub for legal and illegal import of exotic animals. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) reports that infant animals are the most desirable and earn dealers the largest profits. Globally, the pet trade exploits over 4,000 wild animal species. Keeping exotic pets, such as reptiles and amphibians, has become increasingly popular over the past two decades but the trend has spawned an enormous illegal trade, the New York Times reported Monday. The trend that started in the Song Dynasty now had a foothold in modern American life. For example, pet turtles caused around 280,000 cases of However, despite these laws and humanitarian efforts, the exotic pet trade is still a booming business. Impulse buying risks people not doing their homework. Although baby animals might be cute and easy to maintain, they usually grow into dangerous adults with unmanageable needs. Humane Society of the United States. Your interest and support is invaluable to us! It's a $15 billion dollar business in the United States alone, with breeders and dealers selling animals over the Internet or in trade magazines. Our ‘Think Twice’ infographic and smaller social graphics give some essential facts on six common species of exotic pets, and are available to download below. Even more staggering is the level of suffering wild animals kept as pets endure. I have come across a video by Zinc on Facebook and this triggered me to write this article to share the video with you. In the UK around 47 million exotic pets are kept, mostly fish. People in China went a step further during the Song Dynasty (960-1279) and were the first to selectively breed fish for decoration. To fuel the growing market for exotic pets, thousands of animals are taken from the wild and bred in captivity every day, and these animals suffer at every stage of the supply trade. Some animals are still taken from the wild to fill pet shops. Animal Intervention was a show on the National Geographic channel that opportunistically added to anti-exotic pet hysteria. Most of the published statistics reviewed above stem from trade patterns that were manifest several decades ago and therefore do not reflect the current rise in exotic pet ownership worldwide. The exotic pet industry is a pernicious force incompatible with good ecological, animal welfare and public health practices. Here is a graphic from the network's website that lists the numbers of individual large exotic pet-inflicted injuries and fatalities. Unfortunately, many consumers remain unaware of the origins of exotic pets, how the exotic pet trade affects wild populations, and how to care for exotic pets. Animal Intervention . By 2009, this had more than doubled to over 323 billion. Today, exotic pets are even bigger business and are a main driver of the trade of live animals. But it wasn’t until open water sailing became possible in the 15th century that people began to trade animals across oceans. Moreover, looking into the exotic pet trade statistics, we just understand the horrifying face of the mankind. Additionally, many states have restrictions on the ownership of exotic pets. Across the U.S., millions of exotic animals – including lions, tigers, cougars, wolves, bears, monkeys, alligators, birds, and venomous snakes – are bred, bought, and sold for private possession. Except now, these animals are part of a much larger operation – a multibillion dollar global industry. According to the HSUS, all reptiles and amphibians carry salmonella, and more than 74,000 cases of salmonella poisoning are linked to these pets each year in the United States alone. To fuel the growing market for exotic pets, thousands of animals are taken from the wild and bred in captivity every day, and these animals suffer at every stage of the supply trade. At least 70 ‘zoonotic’ pet-related infections and infestations are known. (Sept. 7, 2010), http://www.hsus.org/wildlife/issues_facing_wildlife/should_wild_animals_be_kept_as_pets/the_whims_and_dangers_of_the_exotic_pets_market.html, - Humane Society of the United States. But as Anson Wong has shown, achieving a veneer of respectability is a key part of the exotic animal trade playbook. Globally, the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna regulates the import and export of endangered species. Up to 66% of grey parrots illegally caught for the exotic pet trade die in transport. Exotic pets often behave abnormally, which is a clear indication of their suffering. Because these pets are domesticated, with the right care and conditions, some are able to live with humans in captivity without suffering. (Born Free USA) The exotic animal pet trade has become extremely popular in today’s age. Of course, the 'exotic' animals get lumped together as one entity in the second chart. The ecological impact of the exotic pet trade. The European Union and in particular Germany have a central role as a hub and destination for exotic pets from all over the world. "Exotic Pet Trade FAQ." Capturing them from the wild, handling them, transporting them, breeding them and life in captivity all cause intense physical and psychological pain. Wild animals were captured from their local area using basic traps or by killing the adults in the family group and taking the offspring. There are over 500 species of reptiles and 500 species of birds traded live across the world, presumably destined for people’s homes or private zoos. However, so far there is little information about what pathogens these imported animals might carry with them. (Sept. 8, 2010), http://www.aspca.org/fight-animal-cruelty/exotic-pet-faq.html, - Born Free USA. Animals may become aggressive, grow very large, live for a long time or require a licence or paperwork to be legally kept or sold. Photo by CC0 Creative Commons. "Wildlife Trade." The 20th-century is when exotic pets further grew in popularity, and millions started being traded across the globe. People’s obsession with exotic animals started early. These birds used to be abundant but they are now increasingly rare. This has had a lasting impact as reptiles are some of the most sought-after exotic pets today. On top of the illnesses, pain and distress exotic pets experience, their trade can also threaten entire species. A grey parrot being used a pet. Sept. 25, 2009. Pets like house cats, dogs and horses are domesticated, that means they have been selectively bred for specific traits that appear over many generations. Removing wild animals from their natural habitats -- like the rainforest or African plains -- negatively affects the delicate ecosystems, which, according to the ASPCA, rely on those species to further the life cycle of plants and keep animal populations in check. The booming business in exotic pets is known as the exotic pet trade. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). Copyright © 2020 Discovery Communications, LLC. Photo by CC0 Creative Commons. The escape of 50 exotic animals near Zanesville, Ohio, last month brought into the spotlight the complex issues, as well as dangers, of keeping wild animals as domestic pets. - American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Read the following FAQs to learn more about the exotic pet trade. Animal Planet GO - Watch Full Episodes and Live TV. Contrary to the popular misconception that rearing exotic animals in captivity or keeping wild animals as pets is the answer to protecting endangered species, the exotic pet trade creates serious ecological challenges in both source and consumer countries. 535 Eighth Ave, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10018 Direct exploitation is one of the five main reasons for the loss of biodiversity, and collections for the international pet trade are an ongoing threat for many reptiles and amphibians. Everything from the smallest reptile to a full-grown tiger can be sold to anyone for the right price. Caring for exotics can be challenging and expensive. The trade in live animals and animal products is considered one of the major drivers of zoonotic disease emergence. Wild animals are not pets; they belong in the wild. The true scale and value are unknown, but what we have learned is staggering. 24 Exotic Newcastle disease (END), which devastated whole flocks of chickens and turkeys in the 1970s, was believed to have been brought to the U.S. from South American parrots who were smuggled in for the pet trade. When it gets to that stage, the once-loved pets often end up in cages where they are neglected or abused. It hides in plain sight rooted behind the sanitized façade of pet stores and the front doors of private homes, quietly facilitated by trade-permissive legislation. In the early 1990s the value of legal wildlife products imported globally was around 160 billion. For example, just the illegal wildlife business including both dead and live animals is estimated to be between $10 - 20 billion a year. There are several federal laws that prohibit the selling and interstate transfer of certain exotic animals in the U.S. Even more staggering is the level of suffering wild animals kept as pets endure. Examples of the devastating effect of the pet trade on wild … The practice of importing and exporting wild animals as pets has been happening for decades, and often, entertainment fads determine which wild animals are the pets du jour. Just how does the exotic pet trade work, and what happens to these animals when the novelty wears off? This is a short documentary I did on the exotic pet trade in America. Although exotic pet trading has nothing to do with humanity, environmental rights, or modernization; people pay attention to the fancy look of it. exotic pet trade The keeping of wild animals as pets is a growing concern. Phone: 646-783-2200. If current behaviors and policies continue unchanged, many countries will see the establishment of populations of exotic pet species at rates above historical trends over the next several decades. There's also an important environmental factor to consider. Exotic pets are essentially animals that are non-native to a region and/or nondomesticated. The trade in exotic animals is a multi-billion-dollar industry. For example, exotic turtles grew in popularity in the 1980s thanks to the popular television show, "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles." As he pointed out, more than 1,000 species of animal are involved in the pet trade, with the evidence suggesting that more than 50% of pet shops sell exotic species of some sort, with 25% selling exotic amphibians, 25% selling exotic birds, mainly parrots, and 17% selling exotic mammals, such as raccoons and hedgehogs, as has been pointed out. Contact our policy team for more information. Owning an exotic pet comes with some real health implications, too. Inside the Exotic Pet Trade. Capturing them from the wild, handling them, transporting t… Of course the exotic animals get … Humans are also direct casualties of the wild pet trade, as novel pathogens from remote regions of the world are ‘express-delivered’ Trojan horse-like to homes in and on the bodies of exotic animals. Today, our appetite for unusual and exotic pets is still prevalent and not much has changed in the way these are sourced. According to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the exotic pet trade is a multi-billion dollar industry, second only to drugs and weapons on the black market. Whilst the demand remains, supply will rush to meet it. TRAFFIC, the leading wildlife trade organization, now recognizes social media as the “new epicenter” for the trade in exotic pets. "The Whims and Dangers of the Exotic Pets Market." "Should Wild Animals Be Kept As Pets?" The fact is, no matter how well you care for your exotic pet, it is never going to compare to its natural habitat. There are over 500 species of reptiles and 500 species of birds traded live across the world, presumably destined for people’s homes or private zoos. To keep up with our work to end the exotic pet trade, sign up to receive our email updates. The effects of the exotic pet trade Rampant poaching for the exotic pet trade is devastating animal populations worldwide. The exotic pet trade undermines valuable conservation efforts in native habitat countries. World Animal Protection is a U.S. registered charity EIN #04-2718182 Up to 66% of grey parrots illegally caught for the exotic pet trade die in transport. Today, exotic pets are even bigger business and are a main driver of the trade of live animals. Enter your email address to get updates with our latest news, appeals and campaigns worth sharing. Rare species of reptiles and amphibians especially are in the focus of collectors. Farm animals around the world are causing devastating damage to the environment by burping and farting out immense amounts of greenhouse gas. Over the last 30 years, 1.3 million African grey parrots have been removed from their natural habitat for the international pet trade. While the keeping of animals as pets is centuries old, global trade of wildlife is causing millions of animals around the world to suffer each year. Discovery News. These include the Captive Wildlife Safety Act, the Wild Bird Conservation Act and the Endangered Species Act. Exotic Pet Statistics: Lion, Tiger, and Big Cat Attacks and Fatalities in the United States (1990–2014) Author: Melissa A Smith. (Sept. 7, 2010), http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2006/11/27/exoticpet_ani.html, - Farinato, Richard. Many animals are captured from their natural habitats and transported to different areas … The HSUS reports that it's not unusual for exotic pets to be malnourished and stressed; they also tend to develop behavioral issues that can lead to bites and attacks. The exotic pet trade statistics claim that more than 1,000 online sites offering to sell exotic animals as pets. Download our exotic pet infographics British Veterinary Zoological Society. Nov. 27, 2006. A pet African grey parrot. Domesticated pets are familiar to us. But some people have always wanted something a little more unusual – wild pets. "Exotic Pet Trade Booming in U.S." Associated Press. Exotic pets like monkeys and African rodents often carry viruses like herpes B, monkey pox and rabies, all of which are highly infectious and potentially fatal to humans. The trade in and keeping of exotic pets has been frequently criticized for the commonly inhumane and harmful practices that are associated with supply and keeping, including animal welfare, species conservation, invasiveness, and public health and safety. Melissa cares for a variety of exotic animals and has completed a certificate in veterinary assisting and a bachelor's degree in biology. Due to this, this species is now threatened. A brief history of the global exotic pet trade, Demand the FDA take action to reduce the use of antimicrobials on factory farms, Hold companies accountable to past promises on pig welfare, Urge local governments to protect farmed animals in disaster-prone areas, Urge your legislator to support the Safe Line Speeds in COVID-19 Act, Urge the USDA to recommend more plant-based food, Urge KFC to add plant-based chicken to the menu, Tell congress to pass the Preventing Future Pandemics Act 2020, Support the Big Cat Public Safety Act H.R. Many of the most popular wild pets traded are classified as vulnerable to or threatened with extinction. While keeping birds in captivity for food has been common throughout history, records show that people in Egypt were keeping birds for more than just food in 4000 BC. FAQs on non-traditional companion animals. The ASPCA explains that many exotic animals will travel several miles a day in the wild, so life in a domestic environment isn't going to satisfy their natural desires. While some wild pets have been bred in captivity, many exotic animals are plucked directly from their native habitats. The widespread use of the internet has made it easier than ever to order or purchase a wild animal without clarification about where it has come from or how it should be cared for. There is also an extraordinary diversity of species caught in the exotic pet trade. Historically, getting a wild species to keep as a pet, more commonly known as an exotic pet, was a small-scale operation. There are over 500 species of reptiles and 500 species of birds traded live across the world, presumably destined for people’s homes or private zoos. The illegal wildlife trade also fuels the exotic pet trade. According to the ASPCA, these laws vary greatly from state to state and can range from total bans to simply requiring a permit. Exotic Pets As with other parts of the world, exotic pets remain popular in the United States. Today, exotic pets are even bigger business and are a main driver of the trade of live animals. 3.
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