Major new Restrictions on Exotic Pet Keeping in the Netherlands Raise Hopes that UK will Follow
BRIGHTON, England, February 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --
A new Dutch regulation came into force yesterday (1 February 2015) that limits the type of animals that can be kept as pets. Animals not included on the new 'Positive List' cannot be legally kept or may only be kept with a special permit. The Animal Protection Agency (APA), which campaigns against the trade in wild animals as pets, has greatly welcomed this new legislation and hopes that the UK (DEFRA and the devolved administrations) will also adopt this proven, practical and pragmatic approach.
First to be listed are mammals, although reptiles and birds will follow. The UK pet trade offers a diverse range of exotic mammals, including meerkats, sugar gliders, sloths, skunks, kinkajous, fennec foxes and several primate species, which can be purchased without the need for a licence. According to leading animal welfare scientists, exotic species are essentially wild animals that do not adapt to captivity and are therefore not suitable pets. Unfortunately, although they have complex care needs and require specialised and expensive husbandry and veterinary care, traders often wrongly promote exotic mammals as 'easy pets'. Exotic pets can also pose health and safety risks to their keepers and, if escaped or released, can damage the environment.
A positive list for mammals has been in force in Belgium since 2001, where it has been highly effective -- illegal trade has reduced and fewer animals go to rescue shelters. Many other European countries are now considering positive lists. The Animal Protection Agency has, for some years, been pressing for the adoption of positive lists in the UK, Europe and elsewhere.
The University of Wageningen developed the scientific method used to build the positive list, in which animal behavioural needs are a key feature. The positive list favours domesticated species such as: dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, brown rats, house mice, horses, donkeys, pigs, cattle and sheep. Stichting AAP (AAP Foundation), a leading rescue facility in Almere in The Netherlands that specialises in primates and other exotic mammals, has been campaigning for a positive list for 22 years. The Foundation sat on the expert panel that gathered available scientific and practical information about the animals. The State Secretary for Economic Affairs made the final decision as to whether to place an animal on the positive list.
Says David van Gennep, Executive Director of Stichting AAP : "We're very happy with this list. AAP is faced on a daily basis with owners who want to get rid of their exotic pet, because the animal was an ill-conceived, impulsive purchase. Raccoons, skunks or even kinkajous: You wouldn't believe the range of animals that get brought in here. The situation is so serious that the demand for housing facilities is considerably higher than the capacity of our rescue centers. We expect the Positive List to improve the welfare situation of the animals."
Says Elaine Toland, Director of the Animal Protection Agency: "One only has to compare the natural life of a meerkat, which has evolved to live in large social groups, hunt for a variety of foods and reside in intricate underground burrows to see that these mammals, and many other exotic species, do not belong in the pet trade. Simples! The Dutch positive list shines more light at the end of the tunnel for anyone dealing with the fallout of the exotic pet trade, which has long been out of control."
The Dutch positive list permits owners of prohibited species to keep their animals until they die but trading or breeding from their animals is not allowed. Anyone who acquires a prohibited species risks prosecution and having their animal confiscated.
- See the appendix below for a full list of permitted animals.
- For further information please contact Elaine Toland on +44(0)1273-674253, or out of hours on +44(0)7986-535024.
- We have an ISDN line for broadcast-quality radio interviews.
APPENDIX: COMPLETE LIST OF ALLOWED ANIMALS
Table 1 Positive list, animal species that can be held without application of species-specific regulations for keeping animals.
Scientific name English name
Canis lupus familiaris Domestic dog Felis catus Domestic cat Atelerix albiventris African pygmy hedgehog Capra aegragus Wild goat Capra caucasica Western tur Capra cylindricornis Eastern tur Capra falconeri Markhor Capra ibex Alpine ibex Capra nubiana Nubian ibex Capra pyrenaica Iberian wild goat Capra sibirica Siberian ibex Capra walie Walia ibex Gerbillus amoenus Pleasant gerbil Gerbillus aquilus Swarthy gerbil Gerbillus cheesmani Cheesman's gerbil Gerbillus garamantis Algerian gerbil Gerbillus gerbillus Lesser Egyptian gerbil Gerbillus nanus Dwarf gerbil Gerbillus perpallidus Pale gerbil Gerbillus pyramidum Greater Egyptian gerbil Lemniscomys barbarus Barbary striped grass mouse Lemniscomys bellieri Bellier's striped grass mouse Lemniscomys griselda Griselda's striped grass mouse Lemniscomys hoogstraali Hoogstraal's striped grass mouse Lemniscomys linulus Senegal one-striped grass mouse Lemniscomys macculus Buffoon striped grass mouse Lemniscomys mittendorfi Mittendorf's striped grass mouse Lemniscomys rosalia Single-striped grass mouse Lemniscomys roseveari Rosevear's striped grass mouse Lemniscomys striatus Typical striped grass mouse Lemniscomys zebra Heuglin's striped grass mouse Macropus (Macropus) giganteus Eastern grey kangaroo Macropus (Notamacropus) parma Parma wallaby Macropus (Osphranter) robustus Common walaroo Macropus (Notamacropus) rufogriseus Red-necked wallaby Oryctolagus cuniculus (domestic form) Domestic rabbit Rattus norvegicus Brown rat Mus Musculus domesticus House mouse Cavia porcellus Guinea pig Mesocricetus auratus Golden hamster Meriones (Pallasiomys) unguiculatus Mongolian gerbil Neovison vison American mink Equus caballus (excluding Przewalskii) Horse Equus asinus asinus Donkey Sus scrofa (domestic form) Domestic pig Capra hircus (domestic form) Goat Bos taurus (domestic form) Cattle Bubalus bubalis (domestic form) Water buffalo Dama dama Fallow deer Cervus elaphus Red deer Ovis aries Sheep
Table 2: animal species that can be held with application of species-specific regulations for keeping animals.
Scientific name English name
Callosciurus adamsi Ear-spot squirrel Callosciurus albescens Kloss's squirrel Callosciurus baluensis Kinabalu squirrel Callosciurus caniceps Grey-bellied squirrel Callosciurus finlaysonii Finlayson's squirrel Callosciurus inornatus Inornate squirrel Callosciurus melanogaster Mentawi squirrel Callosciurus nigrovittatus Black-striped squirrel Callosciurus notatus Plaintain squirrel Callosciurus orestes Borneo black-banded squirrel Callosciurus phayrei Phayre's squirrel Callosciurus prevostii Prevost's squirrel Callosciurus pygerythrus Hoary-bellied squirrel Callosciurus quinquestriatus Anderson's squirrel Equus burchelli Plains zebra Equus ferus przewalskii Przewalski's horse Equus grevyi Grevy's zebra Equus hemionus Asiatic wild ass Equus hemionus khur Indian wild ass Equus kiang Kiang Equus zebra Mountain zebra Hystrix (Acanthion) brachyura Malayan porcupine Hystrix (Hystrix) africaeaustralis Cape porcupine Hystrix (Hystrix) cristata Crested porcupine Hystrix (Thecurus) crassispinis Thick-spined porcupine Hystrix (Hystrix) indica Indian-crested porcupine Hystrix (Acanthion) javanica Sunda porcupine Hystrix (Thecurus) pumila Phillipine porcupine Hystrix (Thecurus) sumatrae Sumatran porcupine Macropus (Notamacropus) agilis Agile wallaby Macropus (Osphranter) rufus Red kangaroo Sciurus (Otosciurus) aberti Albert's squirrel Sciurus (Tenes) anomalus Causasian squirrel Sciurus (Guerlinguetus) granatensis Red-tailed squirrel Sciurus (Urosciurus) igniventris Northern Amazon red squirrel Sciurus (Sciurus) lis Japanese squirrel Sciurus (Sciurus) variegatoides Variegated squirrel Sciurus (Sciurus) vulgaris Eurasian red squirrel Sus ahoenobarbus Palawan bearded pig Sus barbatus Bearded pig Sus bucculentus Indo-Chinese warty pig Sus cebifrons Visayan warty pig Sus celebensis Sulawesi warty pig Sus oliveri Oliver's warty pig Sus philippensis Philippene warty pig Sus salvanius Pygmy hog Sus scrofa Wild boar Sus verrucosus Javan warty pig
Animal Protection Agency
Brighton Media Centre
15-17 Middle Street
SOURCE The Animal Protection Agency (APA)
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