FunNature & AnimalWhy can't some animals be kept as pets?

Why can't some animals be kept as pets?

From the traditional dogs, cats, hamsters… to all kinds of mammals, fish, birds, reptiles… they make up the more than 200 million pets that are estimated to exist in Europe.

Exotic animals have been (and are) a trend. And social networks are not very helpful: showing an unusual life is the highest digital social degree that someone can inspire. And for influencers, or those who aspire to be, everything goes for a click, with exceptions such as La Vecina Rubia (“to adopt responsibly is beautiful” ): better to show yourself with a wolf or a fox than with a common canine, like a dog, or with a majestic serval than with a simple cat,

Apart from showing the same intelligence as an amoeba, pardon the amoebas, they cause many of their followers, of similar intellect, to decide, impulsively and uninformed, to buy an equal copy.

Animal that, in turn, in a generally short period of time, in most cases will end up being abandoned , thus leading, once again, to the overflow of rescue centers and shelters or to the occupation of ecosystems that are not theirs. because of people’s irresponsibility.

Animals that are illegal to keep as pets

Currently, most countries work with “negative lists” , a list of animals that cannot be kept as pets. Therefore, any animal that does not appear on that list, even if it is wild or in danger of extinction, its possession and trade are in a legal vacuum.

Fortunately, countries like Belgium, Holland or Luxembourg already work with “positive lists”, which specifies a series of species that are allowed, while all others are prohibited.

It seems logical. Wouldn’t it be easier for everyone to make a shorter list of elements than an endless one that must also be constantly updated? It is precisely what the Foundation for Advice and Action in Defense of Animals (FAADA), the National Association for the Defense of Animals (ANDA) and AAP Primadomus promote through the “Coalition for the Positive Listing”.

In any case, with more or less prohibitions, the irresponsible person who wants to get hold of an exotic species does not need to put much effort. Species trafficking is the third most profitable illicit business , after drugs and weapons. So the best basis is to have a society educated in responsible ownership that understands the great problem of exotic pets:

  • It is animal abuse: the complex physical and behavioral needs of these animals are difficult to assume. In addition, in many cases you are contributing to their cruel capture in their habitats and a ruthless illegal trade.
  • Environmental impact : their capture is often related to the destruction of their original natural habitats. In destination countries, they can cause a negative impact on their biodiversity when many are “released” into the natural environment by their owners, as long as they are able to adapt and do not die from illness or an accident.
  • Safety and health for people and other animals: exotic animals can have a serious impact on the transmission of diseases to people and other animals, as well as a safety problem due to their predatory, poisonous or aggressive nature.

Legal pets

As previously mentioned, it could be said that any species that is not prohibited is allowed… So talking about “legal” pets would be endless and not very instructive, since what is intended with this article is responsible ownership of the reader .

So why don’t we talk more about what pets we should have? According to the Positive List made by the Belgian administrations, they are those that meet the following criteria:

  1. Easy to maintain, to which their physiological, ethological and ecological needs can be met.
  2. None capable of surviving in nature assuming ecological damage.
  3. Non-aggressive or dangerous animals by nature or that expose the health of people to any danger.
  4. With bibliographic information available on its management and breeding.
  5. Any species in which there are doubts or contradictions will not be included as permitted.

Finally, remember: do not have wild animals as pets or give a “Like” to publications where they are shown as pets or are used as an advertising claim.

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