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.