- Exotic animals in South Africa are the wildlife of another country. They are not pets.
- Exotic pets do not adjust well to a captive environment. They require special care, housing, diet, and maintenance that the average person cannot adequately provide.
- The exotic pet trade is a lucrative industry renowned for its extreme cruelty and ruthless exploitation of animals kept in the retail or breeding environment.
- The unregulated trade in exotic animals poses a threat to animals in the wild, as they are often wild-caught to supplement the gene pool. Many species, such as the African Grey, have become endangered in the wild predominantly due to being captured on a massive scale for the exotic pet trade.
- You may be breaking the law by keeping certain exotic species as pets. The National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act No. 10 of 2004 lists certain exotic species as invasive animals, and it is illegal to keep them as pets.
- There is no way to determine whether an exotic animal bought as a pet has been captive bred or has been wild caught.
- Breeders of exotic species often say that breeding these species in captivity protects the species in the wild. This is not true. Private breeders mostly collect rare specimens, breed and then trade them for profit. This has nothing to do with conservation.
- Exotic animals are not domesticated animals: “domestication is an evolutionary process that results in animals such as our companion dogs and cats who undergo substantial behavioural, anatomical, physiological and genetic changes during the process” (Anthony Beckoff)
- Captive bred is not the same as domesticated. Captive bred animals still have the same instincts and needs as those in the wild.
- Exotic reptiles are often carriers of Zoonotic diseases that can be transferred from the animal to the human.
- Reptiles in captivity can never be released into the wild in their original country, because they may carry diseases that could be harmful to the wild reptiles.
- As long as the human demand for exotic pets continues, so will the trade.
- Thousands of exotic animals end up in rescue every year, mostly because they become “unmanageable”, “grow too big” or are “too expensive to keep”.
How you can help:
- Do not support pet shops that sell exotic animals.
- Do not buy exotic animals. They are not pets. They belong in the wild.
- Contact us for support or to organise an awareness protest in your area.
- Be an advocate for animals. Advise your friends and family about the real cruelty of the exotic pet trade.