Law on exotic pets ‘must be changed to save species’
LAWS on the keeping of exotic pets need a radical overhaul to stop animals being driven towards extinction in the wild, a report warns.
The Born Free Foundation and RSPCA want the public to choose pets from a list of permitted animals, rather than dangerous or threatened species being banned on a case-by-case basis.
The report found 1.8million reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates in UK homes. On top of that, 1.3million indoor birds are kept as pets, and 100million ornamental fish. In 2020, 6,119 incidents involving exotic animals were reported to the RSPCA.
Reptile species traded as pets were five times likelier to face extinction in the wild than those that were not. RSPCA chief Chris Sherwood said: ‘There needs to be better regulation of the keeping and trade in exotic pets, and we are proposing the Government gives consideration to a “positive list” system’