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Born Free USA Blog

Born Free USA Blog

Keep Wildlife Wild — Day Three

Published 06/03/09
By Nicole G. Paquette, Esq., Senior Vice President and General Counsel

Today for Keep Wildlife in the Wild Week we focus on exotic animals in the pet trade. You would be surprised to learn what people keep as “pets”: lions, tigers, bears, monkeys, alligators, as well as a whole host of other exotic animals.

What happened to adopting a dog or a cat from your local shelter? Millions of these animals are euthanized in shelters all across the country while people breed and sell exotic animals for the pet trade.

Monkeys are marketed as surrogate children; diapered and dressed up in human clothing, and often defanged and declawed. These animals live unnatural lives. One disturbing spectacle, known as a “Primate Picnic,” brings together primate owners from across the country to display their monkeys dressed up and paraded around in strollers and harnesses — many in a distressed state. For an animal that is supposed to live in the wild with others of his/her own kind, what kind of life is this for the monkey?

Together we can end the exotic pet trade! Today’s alert has lots of action items to help put a stop to this industry. For starters, check out your state law on the issue; if your state does not prohibit the keeping of exotic animals, as 22 states do not, then write a letter to your state legislators urging them to take action to end this cruel practice.

We are currently working on legislation in Oregon to end this trade. The bill has passed out of the Senate and is awaiting confirmation in the House. We will not stop till every state has passed a law to end the keeping of these animals as “pets.”

This is an issue that can be won!!

Hope day three of Keep Wildlife in the Wild Week is a good one for you all.

Nicole

P.S. If you are on Facebook — don’t forget to find out what your Animal Protection Totem is — maybe it is a monkey?

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