Exotic Pet Keeping sign now

Firstly, thank you for your interest in this petition. Currently, the RSPCA state Exotic animals such as snakes, lizards and terrapins often carry disease, are difficult to look after and are rarely provided with adequate facilities. Such animals are unsuitable as companion animals.

It is thought that the RSPCA and possibly some other Animal Organisations are attempting to completely BAN and STOP the keeping of all or some exotic pets. We believe that this is unfair. Reptiles, Amphibians and other exotic pets can make great companions for people that look after the pet correctly and provide it with everything it needs. You may now be questioning whether owners do this or not. The fact is, ANY pet requires specialist and unique care. For example, the Dog requires care that is unique to itself, and if not looked after properly will not thrive, just like exotic pets, but are the RSPCA trying to ban the keeping of dogs? And every other pet for that matter? It is not a matter of reptiles being more difficult to look after, because that is incorrect. So how can an organisation suggest that people should not be allowed to keep exotic animals, just because of a few people who do not look after them properly? Thousands of dogs and cats are neglected, abused and abandoned each year. People do not look after them properly, and buy them on a whim. Does this mean we can be saying goodbye to our beloved cats & dogs in the near future also?

For many households, the traditional pet is quite impractical. A reptile or amphibian does not require a daily walk. In often cases, it needs to be fed a lot less regularly than a hamster or gerbil. And what about owners that are at work all day? A dog needs human interaction pretty much all the time. It can not be left for 5, 6 or 7 hours at a time. A snake, lizard or frog can, because it does not require as much mental stimulation, and attention from its owner.

In terms of safety, domesticated reptiles have been demonstrated to be the second safest animal to keep, with only fish in first place. Reptiles that have been bred in captivity cope well with a domesticated life, and if handled from a young age, and socialised well, will tolerate handling readily. This is the same with any pet. Mammal or not.

As for disease, all animals can be carriers and transmitters of disease, but the chance of contracting such a disease is far less than a LOT of other pet species, and it has been proven time and time again, that mammalian pets pose a greater risk in terms of disease.

This petition is not meant to be judged on whether you like reptiles or not. The fact is, domesticated reptiles can make great pets. They are the only pet suitable for some people, and they are clean, safe pets. Exotics are not more difficult to keep than many other pets. They may certainly be different, but they are NOT more difficult to keep. With the range of great products available nowadays, exotic pet keeping is made easy. Exotic pets, including reptiles & amphibians should remain as they are and NEVER be banned from the pet trade. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE sign and help the reptile owners of the past, today and the future. To conclude:

The recent REPORT ON THE WELFARE OF NON-DOMESTICATED ANIMALS KEPT FOR COMPANIONSHIP produced by THE COMPANION ANIMAL WELFARE COUNCIL (12 June 2003) supports the view of the pro-reptile keeping organisations, stating .it may be easier to keep some non-domesticated species to high welfare standards than some that are domesticated. Thus, meeting all the requirements - space, dietary, social, thermal, and so on - of a small, hardy, reptile may be more readily achievable for many people than adequately fulfilling all the needs of some breeds of dog.

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Mitchell McintoshBy:
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RSPCA/Animal Organisations


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