Get The Facts:
In many states, people are allowed to keep primates in their homes and backyards without restrictions or with only minimal oversight.
- Millions of wild animals, including reptiles, large felines, nonhuman primates, and others, are kept in private possession in the U.S. The trade in exotic animals is a multi-billion-dollar-a-year industry.
When contacting public officials about legislation in your city, county, or state, in letters or calls, or at a public hearing, you may want to highlight these three reasons why they should institute and enforce a ban on possessing exotic animals as “pets”:
- Trafficking in rare and exotic wildlife is a global business, worth $10-20 billion annually. Birds are among the most popular animals sought after for the exotic pet trade.
- Captive exotic animals are abused and exploited in a variety of settings, including research and product testing, the entertainment industry, fur farms, and the exotic “pet” trade.
Exotic animals — lions, tigers, wolves, bears, reptiles, non-human primates — belong in their natural habitat and not in the hands of private individuals as “pets.” By their very nature, these animals are wild and potentially dangerous and, as such, do not adjust well to a captive environment.
Imagine being chained to a tree in a backyard for three months, with little food or water, and no hope for someone to find you ... or imagine weighing half the size of your normal body weight, suffering from severe malnutrition and anemia, calcium deficiency and numerous stress fractures ... or worse yet, being beaten repeatedly with a stick until your hide bleeds.
Exotic animals and wildlife (skunks, chimpanzees, poisonous snakes, raccoons, etc.) do not make good pets. They can be dangerous. It is illegal to buy or keep them in most states. Owning a young, exotic animal can be a passing fancy. As the animal matures, it can become aggressive and probably will be unhappy in captivity. Owners who find that they can no longer keep an exotic pet usually encounter great difficulty in placing their animals in a new home.