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4 Ridiculous Reasons People Give for Keeping Exotic Animals as PetsIt’s shockingly east to obtain a wild animal as a pet these days. Depending on what state you live in and what kind of animal you’re looking for, they can be easily purchased online, in stores, or through auctions and private breeders.

Despite the myriad of animal and human welfare issues that keeping an exotic animal as a pet poses, there is very little regulation in place in the U.S. that prohibits people from continuing this bizarre hobby.

After the incident involving an exotic pet menagerie in Zanesville, Ohio, lead to the death of 49 exotic animals, the debate over exotic pet ownership has escalated. There are concerned conservationists and animal activists on one side of the debate who believe that wild animals deserve to be left in the wild (as they should be). On the other, are exotic pet enthusiasts who believe that if they’re capable of providing for the animal in their care, they should legally be able to keep them as pets.

4 Ridiculous Reasons People Give for Keeping Exotic Animals as PetsREXANO (Responsible Exotic Animal Ownership), for example, is a group pushing for the right to own exotic animals. They state on their website, “animals are personal property and we oppose legislation that restricts the private ownership or use of animals.” They then go on to state that bans on exotic animal ownership force owners, “to choose between giving up their beloved non-human family member or keep the animal illegally.”

How one moment a wild animal is considered “personal property” and a “loved family member” the next, is beyond our comprehension, but this points to the great disconnect between feigning care and doing what’s best for animals that are ketp as exotic pets.

While we understand that many exotic pet enthusiasts are capable of keeping the animal in their care alive, the real question is whether or not those animals are thriving.

Those pushing for the right to own exotic animals, like REXANO, argue that animal welfare activists promote propaganda, sensationalize a small number of incidents and present a false representation of what life is like for wild animals in captivity. They would also like the public to believe that exotic pet owners have adequate knowledge of the animals behavior, medical and dietary needs, and the finances to keep these animals enriched and stimulated. Sadly, responsible owners are the minority (although it can be argued that by nature of keeping these animals captive, they can’t be considered “responsible”), and even though we wish some of the incidents weren’t true, we’ve seen time and time again what tragedies can happen when wild animals are kept as pets.

So why do people continue to keep wild animals as pets? Here are a few poor excuses given to justify this choice:

1. To Benefit Wild Populations

REXANO believes that captive breeding of exotic pets should be allowed to ensure future wild populations, but makes no mention of the laws or regulations surrounding release of exotic pets or the process by which owners can look into the possibility of reintroduction, regardless of the species.

Source: www.onegreenplanet.org

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