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walesonline.co.uk 15 Sep, 2021 02:45 am

Overhaul exotic pet laws to protect wildlife and humans, say campaigners

Overhaul exotic pet laws to protect wildlife and humans, say campaigners
Current approach piecemeal and leaves lawmakers playing catch-up, say critics

p Show me The UK’s “piecemeal” laws governing the keeping of exotic pets need a radical overhaul, campaigners say, following research revealing the wild animal trade is driving devastating biodiversity loss.Will Travers OBE, co-founder and executive president of the Born Free Foundation, said: “Current legislation relating to the trade in and keeping of exotic pets is reactionary and unable to keep up with or predict where demand will be focused in the future." The craze for exotic pets brings a heightened risk of new zoonotic diseases jumping to humans, and with it the threat of a pandemic on the same scale as Covid-19 – which is thought to have originated in bats.Chris Sherwood, chief executive of the RSPCA, said: “(Exotic pets) have the same complex needs as their wild brothers and sisters, but it can be extremely difficult to fulfil those requirements in a domestic environment and that leads to suffering.

” As well as the introduction of a “positive” list of exotic pets for the public to choose from, the Born Free Foundation and the RSPCA want the new Animal Welfare Bill to close a loophole that would allow primates to be traded between licence-holders.They are also calling for a full consultation on the future approach to the trade in and keeping of exotic pets.

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