Think Positive: Why Europe Needs 'Positive Lists' to Regulate the Sale and Keeping of Exotic Animals as Pets
There are more than 200 million pets in Europe, including mammals, birds, reptiles, fish and amphibians. However, many species, especially exotic animals, are unsuited to a life in captivity. This may result in severe animal welfare problems, and can also be detrimental to biodiversity, have a negative impact on public health, and present a danger to the health of other animals. Therefore, the impacts of keeping exotic pets can have high costs across many sectors. Rescue centres are increasingly confronted on a daily basis with the problems that stem from this trade. Owners may no longer want their pet because it was an unsuitable match from an impulsive and poorly-informed purchase. There are several ways to regulate the keeping and sale of exotic pets, but a Positive List (a list of allowed species) is the most effective, concise, transparent, enforceable and economically feasible way.