Owning Exotic Animals, Is It Ethical?

Topics: Wildlife, Natural environment, Nature Pages: 6 (2114 words) Published: January 27, 2011
Owning Exotic Animals, is it ethical?

Many people have pets in their homes such as dogs and cats. However, some people want something a bit more exotic and exciting. When a person thinks of exotic animals, what usually comes to mind? Many people think big cats such as tigers, leopards and bears, but there are more than just those particular animals. What are also included in the exotic groups are the reptiles, amphibians, birds, rodents, other large and small mammals. These animals are not the typical domestic pets such as dogs and cats. Many of these exotic animals are purchased over the internet such as large reptiles and even the big cats and are imported regularly for private collections. These exotic animals are taken from their natural habitat while they are still young. Exotic animals need to be left in the wild and the habitat is what should be protected for them to survive. They should not be in private collections.

Stronger laws need to be in place to regulate exotic animals going to private collections. Currently there are laws in place that do permit for people to own exotic animals and in each state these laws vary on what that person needs to do to acquire exotic animals easily. Currently anyone can go online or to a private breeder to purchase exotic animals without genuinely investigating if that particular exotic animal is legal in the state that person lives in. Tougher laws need to be in place for all federal and state laws and should come to the same agreement and not have any gray areas for these exotic animals to enter the country. These laws need to be changed and needs a better clarification and stricter guidelines for people wanting to obtain exotic animals for private collections. These laws need to place heavier fines and possible imprisonment for illegal animals imported into the country for private collections.

Keeping these types of exotic animals in captivity one really needs to ask themselves is it ethical? They are beautiful and it gives the owner something to talk about and makes that person believe they are important. Some of the collectors fail to do in-depth research on what is required to have these exotic animals living in or on their property. Some private collectors build facilities to prevent their exotic animals from escaping. These collectors make sure that all the proper security measures are in place to ensure that there is little to no escape from the housing area of these animals.

Although the owner may have built the best enclosure money could buy not all captive exotic animals remain captive. In fact some of these exotic animals escape. Sometimes these animals are even deliberately set lose because the owner cannot provide for it finically or that the exotic animal(s) became too large and dangerous to handle. Even though the facility has the correct measures to prevent escape, sometimes these exotic animals do escape into the non-native habitat and general public. When these animals do escape or are set loose these animals then become a big problem. The problem lies within these exotic animals doing damage to the habitat that they are not native to. The types of damage will have detrimental effects to the environment and to the native wildlife such as the native apex predators that naturally survive in those locations.

An American alligator a native species to the United States is attacking and trying to kill a Burmese python that is not a native species to the Florida Everglades. These non native species can cause devastation to the native wildlife and environment as pictured above.

(Photos courtesy of Flikr)

These exotic animals also pose a threat to the public. The animal also does damage to private property when they start hunting or trying to make a home that is occupied by people and domestic animals. When these exotic animals are found at large within the public, these animals are destroyed because the local...
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