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. 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. Contact our policy team for more information. Historically, getting a wild species to keep as a pet, more commonly known as an exotic pet, was a small-scale operation. Read the following FAQs to learn more about the exotic pet trade. From 1980 to1990 there was an explosion in the popularity of reptiles as pets and in their trade in the West. Up to 66% of grey parrots illegally caught for the exotic pet trade die in transport. Wild animals are not pets; they belong in the wild. The effects of the exotic pet trade Rampant poaching for the exotic pet trade is devastating animal populations worldwide. When it gets to that stage, the once-loved pets often end up in cages where they are neglected or abused. Reptiles kept as pets constantly suffer from nutritional deficiencies and many d… 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. Domesticated pets are familiar to us. 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. Inside the Exotic Pet Trade. The stress of being violently removed from their homes causes some animals to die before they ever reach a private residence. 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. 7, 2010), http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2006/11/27/exoticpet_ani.html, - Farinato, Richard. 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. 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. Of course, the 'exotic' animals get lumped together as one entity in the second chart. The ecological impact of the exotic pet trade. There is also an extraordinary diversity of species caught in the exotic pet trade. This is a short documentary I did on the exotic pet trade in America. Exotic animals lash out. TRAFFIC, the leading wildlife trade organisation, now recognises social media as the “new epicentre” for the trade in exotic pets. 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. Parrots and other exotic birds can transfer potentially deadly pathogens such as psittacosis, salmonella, and even avian tuberculosis to humans. These cold blooded animals fascinate many people, which is why they can always be found in pet stores. Additionally, many states have restrictions on the ownership of exotic pets. 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. 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 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. 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. FAQs on non-traditional companion animals. Today, exotic pets are even bigger business and are a main driver of the trade of live animals. 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. For example, exotic turtles grew in popularity in the 1980s thanks to the popular television show, "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles." Additionally, as exotic animals grow, their needs for food and space increase -- sometimes astronomically. Of course the exotic animals get … The 20th-century is when exotic pets further grew in popularity, and millions started being traded across the globe. Copyright © 2020 Discovery Communications, LLC. (Sept. 8, 2010), http://www.hsus.org/wildlife/issues_facing_wildlife/wildlife_trade/. The fact is, no matter how well you care for your exotic pet, it is never going to compare to its natural habitat. Today, exotic pets are even bigger business and are a main driver of the trade of live animals. 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. 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." Just how does the exotic pet trade work, and what happens to these animals when the novelty wears off? (Born Free USA) The exotic animal pet trade has become extremely popular in today’s age. 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. 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. Everything from the smallest reptile to a full-grown tiger can be sold to anyone for the right price. A pet African grey parrot. Sept. 25, 2009. 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. Animal Intervention . To keep up with our work to end the exotic pet trade, sign up to receive our email updates. 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. Animal Planet GO - Watch Full Episodes and Live TV. "Exotic Pet Trade FAQ." Exotic Pet Statistics: Lion, Tiger, and Big Cat Attacks and Fatalities in the United States (1990–2014) Author: Melissa A Smith. 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. Because these pets are domesticated, with the right care and conditions, some are able to live with humans in captivity without suffering. Moreover, looking into the exotic pet trade statistics, we just understand the horrifying face of the mankind. Some animals are still taken from the wild to fill pet shops. (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. 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. 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. There's also an important environmental factor to consider. On top of the illnesses, pain and distress exotic pets experience, their trade can also threaten entire species. Hundreds of species of snakes, including boa constrictors, anacondas, and other large snakes are shipped into the U.S. every year. World Animal Protection is a U.S. registered charity EIN #04-2718182 The WWF estimates there are 5,000 tigers being kept in U.S. backyards … there are only around 3,000 left in the wild. 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. They have the same needs as in the wild, which must be met in captivity by law under the Animal Welfare Act. Tropical fish, and all the equipment needed to keep them, became affordable enough for many people in the US in the 1940s. Pets like house cats, dogs and horses are domesticated, that means they have been selectively bred for specific traits that appear over many generations. According to the ASPCA, these laws vary greatly from state to state and can range from total bans to simply requiring a permit. Up to 66% of grey parrots illegally caught for the exotic pet trade die in transport. "Wildlife Trade." Animals may become aggressive, grow very large, live for a long time or require a licence or paperwork to be legally kept or sold. Due to this, this species is now threatened. Capturing them from the wild, handling them, transporting t… Phone: 646-783-2200. People in China went a step further during the Song Dynasty (960-1279) and were the first to selectively breed fish for decoration. Examples of the devastating effect of the pet trade on wild … Except now, these animals are part of a much larger operation – a multibillion dollar global industry. The trade in exotic animals is a multi billion dollar a year industry. The trend that started in the Song Dynasty now had a foothold in modern American life. Millions of animals are forced into the exotic pet trade every year for the purpose of becoming someone's pet or entertaining th… The booming business in exotic pets is known as the exotic pet trade. The consequences of illegal pet trade are truly concerning for a variety of species. In the early 1990s the value of legal wildlife products imported globally was around 160 billion. 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. 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. Exotic Pets As with other parts of the world, exotic pets remain popular in the United States. In the UK around 47 million exotic pets are kept, mostly fish. 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. 3. (Sept. 7, 2010), http://www.bornfreeusa.org/a3b_exotic_pets.php, - Ebrahim, Margaret; Solomon, John. Even more staggering is the level of suffering wild animals kept as pets endure. (Sept. 8, 2010), http://www.aspca.org/fight-animal-cruelty/exotic-pet-faq.html, - Born Free USA. 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. Exotic pets often behave abnormally, which is a clear indication of their suffering. There are around 5 000 7 000 tigers kept as pets in the united states. Although exotic pet trading has nothing to do with humanity, environmental rights, or modernization; people pay attention to the fancy look of it. Globally, the pet trade exploits over 4,000 wild animal species. The exotic pet trade statistics claim that more than 1,000 online sites offering to sell exotic animals as pets. While some wild pets have been bred in captivity, many exotic animals are plucked directly from their native habitats. But some people have always wanted something a little more unusual – wild pets. Whilst the demand remains, supply will rush to meet it. Humane Society of the United States. Melissa cares for a variety of exotic animals and has completed a certificate in veterinary assisting and a bachelor's degree in biology. However, so far there is little information about what pathogens these imported animals might carry with them. Enter your email address to get updates with our latest news, appeals and campaigns worth sharing. Photo by CC0 Creative Commons. Nov. 27, 2006. 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. Caring for exotics can be challenging and expensive. 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. Poachers will often kill the protective mother first so that it's easier to capture the young. Many pet grey parrots willl rip out their own feathers due to boredom and stress. I have come across a video by Zinc on Facebook and this triggered me to write this article to share the video with you. - American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. 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. 17. The European Union and in particular Germany have a central role as a hub and destination for exotic pets from all over the world. Farm animals around the world are causing devastating damage to the environment by burping and farting out immense amounts of greenhouse gas. 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. The exotic pet trade undermines valuable conservation efforts in native habitat countries. Download our exotic pet infographics British Veterinary Zoological Society. The true scale and value are unknown, but what we have learned is staggering. Many animals are captured from their natural habitats and transported to different areas … A grey parrot being used a pet. Globally, the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna regulates the import and export of endangered species. There are several federal laws that prohibit the selling and interstate transfer of certain exotic animals in the U.S. (Sept. 7, 2010), http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/exotic_pets/facts/, - Humane Society of the United States. 535 Eighth Ave, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10018 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. Impulse buying risks people not doing their homework. Today, our appetite for unusual and exotic pets is still prevalent and not much has changed in the way these are sourced. 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. The illegal wildlife trade also fuels the exotic pet trade. 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. At least 70 ‘zoonotic’ pet-related infections and infestations are known. The World's #1 Nonfiction Media Company. 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. These birds used to be abundant but they are now increasingly rare. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). Animal Intervention was a show on the National Geographic channel that opportunistically added to anti-exotic pet hysteria. By 2009, this had more than doubled to over 323 billion. "Should Wild Animals Be Kept As Pets?" People’s obsession with exotic animals started early. Although baby animals might be cute and easy to maintain, they usually grow into dangerous adults with unmanageable needs. This has had a lasting impact as reptiles are some of the most sought-after exotic pets today. Our desire to share our homes and lives with these animals could ultimately see their extinction become a terrible reality. But it wasn’t until open water sailing became possible in the 15th century that people began to trade animals across oceans. Wild animals were captured from their local area using basic traps or by killing the adults in the family group and taking the offspring. For example, pet turtles caused around 280,000 cases of Over the last 30 years, 1.3 million African grey parrots have been removed from their natural habitat for the international pet trade. Exotic pets are essentially animals that are non-native to a region and/or nondomesticated. For example, just the illegal wildlife business including both dead and live animals is estimated to be between $10 - 20 billion a year. 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. 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. However, despite these laws and humanitarian efforts, the exotic pet trade is still a booming business. Your interest and support is invaluable to us! The exotic pet trade is an enormous global enterprise (Bush et al. The trade in live animals and animal products is considered one of the major drivers of zoonotic disease emergence. Or sign up to our mailing list by completing the form to the left. Rare species of reptiles and amphibians especially are in the focus of collectors. "Exotic Pet Trade Booming in U.S." Associated Press. The trade in exotic animals is a multi-billion-dollar industry. Even more staggering is the level of suffering wild animals kept as pets endure. Today, exotic pets are even bigger business and are a main driver of the trade of live animals. Capturing them from the wild, handling them, transporting them, breeding them and life in captivity all cause intense physical and psychological pain. Discovery News. Photo by CC0 Creative Commons. 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. 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. 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. exotic pet trade The keeping of wild animals as pets is a growing concern. 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. Many of the most popular wild pets traded are classified as vulnerable to or threatened with extinction. 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. These include the Captive Wildlife Safety Act, the Wild Bird Conservation Act and the Endangered Species Act. Here is a graphic from the network's website that lists the numbers of individual large exotic pet-inflicted injuries and fatalities. "A Life Sentence: The Sad and Dangerous Realities of Exotic Animals in Private Hands." The exotic pet industry is a pernicious force incompatible with good ecological, animal welfare and public health practices. 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. Owning an exotic pet comes with some real health implications, too. 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. Updates with our latest news, appeals and campaigns worth sharing affordable enough for many people, which is they! People began to trade animals across oceans way these are sourced and transfer! The popular television show, `` Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles. the “ new epicenter ” for the Prevention Cruelty. Every year sold to anyone for the trade of live animals the ASPCA these. Pets experience, their trade can also threaten entire species of in the exotic trade! Million African grey parrots willl rip out their own feathers due to boredom and stress top of the States! 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