Displaying items by tag: Exotic pets

 

“Exotic animals may seem fun and like extravagant, novel gifts, but there are tremendous risks involved.” - Born Free USA’s CEO

Washington, D.C., November 28, 2016 -- With the holiday shopping and gift-giving season upon us, Born Free USA, a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, wants to remind everyone about the serious dangers of giving a live animal as a pet. In particular, the purchase of exotic animals as gifts is a concerning phenomenon. As revealed in last month’s report from Born Free USA, Downloading Cruelty: An Investigation into the Online Sales of Exotic Pets in the U.S., there is a widespread online trade of exotic animals as “pets," including monkeys, lions, tigers, cheetahs, wolves, kangaroos, foxes, snakes, sloths, and more. All of these animals can be available with just one click online, making them far too easy to bring home this holiday season. 

According to Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, “Exotic animals may seem like fun, extravagant, and novel gifts, but the reality is that they have tremendously complex needs that require extensive care and commitment. While it is incredibly easy to buy a snake, sugar glider, or fox online, that does not mean that it will be easy to have that animal in your home. Despite claims made by exotic animal breeders, not one of these animals is “tame.” Purchasing an exotic animal as a holiday present perpetuates the abusive circumstances of breeding and captivity, and puts people at risk by exposing them to a wild animal who belongs IN the wild.”

As demonstrated in the Downloading Cruelty report, the enormous popularity of internet shopping has significant repercussions for the trade in exotic animals as pets, because animals who were never offered at a pet store are now visible and available from breeders around the country. The ease of acquiring them over the internet parallels the continuously-growing demand. Since the buyer cannot see the animal beyond a photo, and the shipping and payment options make the purchase simple and fast, the buyer is unlikely to have taken into account or understand the long-term care implications.

Roberts added, “An exotic animal is one of the most dangerous gifts you could give someone. There have been hundreds of attacks on humans that demonstrate the severe threat they pose, and they can also transmit serious and potentially deadly diseases to humans, including salmonella and hepatitis. Protect both animals and your loved ones, and don’t give the present of a monkey, a snake, a turtle, or any other living creature this holiday season. “

Born Free USA is a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic "pets," trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to America the message of "compassionate conservation": the vision of the U.K.-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film Born Free, along with their son, Will Travers. Born Free's mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally. More at www.bornfreeusa.org, www.twitter.com/bornfreeusa, and www.facebook.com/bornfreeusa.

For the complete report and more, go to www.bornfreeusa.org/DownloadingCruelty.

 

“Online ads have made the dangerous and cruel exotic pet trade easier than ever before. People are purchasing ‘pet’ monkeys, tigers, wolves, snakes, and more with one quick click.” – Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA

Washington, D.C., October 27, 2016 -- Born Free USA, a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, released a new report today exposing the rampant online trade of exotic animals as “pets" such as monkeys, lions, tigers, cheetahs, wolves, kangaroos, foxes, snakes, sloths, and more. Downloading Cruelty: An Investigation into the Online Sales of Exotic Pets in the U.S. analyzes the shocking numbers of these animals for sale online, and looks at how easy it is to purchase potentially dangerous species.

While the majority of the approximately 80 million pet-owning households in the U.S. have a dog or cat, an estimated 15,000 primates (chimpanzees, capuchins, lemurs, marmosets, and more), 10,000-20,000 big cats (tigers, lions, cheetahs, and others), 13.3 million small mammals (kinkajous, sugar gliders, and others), and 9.3 million reptiles (including snakes and turtles) are owned in homes across the nation as “pets.” 

According to Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, “It is shockingly easy to purchase exotic animals online, and the proliferation of online sales has facilitated the delivery of exotic animals to untrained people who are ill-prepared for the responsibility of caring for them. Our report uncovers the sheer volume of animals sold online. The patchwork of exotic animal laws allows breeders, sellers, and owners to perpetuate a trade with very minimal oversight. Despite claims made by exotic animal breeders, not one of these animals is ‘tame’ and their needs cannot be met in captivity. There have been hundreds of attacks on humans that demonstrate the severe danger they pose, and they can also transmit serious and potentially deadly diseases to humans, including salmonella and hepatitis.”

Despite these risks, neither federal nor most state laws adequately prevent the widespread sale of exotic animals by breeders and owners, nor do they set forth requirements for species-specific information that must be shared in the transaction. Sellers are not required to disclose crucial health or behavior information, and buyers are not required to demonstrate an understanding of how to care for the animal. The fundamental lack of oversight and enforcement, coupled with ease of availability due to the internet, has created a scenario in which millions of dangerous animals are being bred, shipped, and purchased around the U.S. The public is largely unaware of the dangers this trade poses, and millions of animals are suffering and dying in the process.

The report reviewed nearly 2,000 online classified ads during a three-month period (March-June 2016) across four different websites (exoticanimalsforsale.net, hoobly.com, usfreeads.com, and petzlover.com). Report highlights include:

  • The volume of advertised animals is shocking. At least 3,706 individual exotic animals were listed for sale over three months.
  • The exotic pet trade is taking place across the nation and crisscrosses state lines. The locations of the ads showed sellers in 49 states and Washington, D.C.
  • The breakdown of species for sale revealed a thriving trade in highly diverse species: 603 primates, 335 exotic cats, 439 canids, 263 snakes, and many others.
  • Exotic pet breeders churn out baby animals for profit. Juvenile animals (under one year of age) were the most popular, with 2,039 (55% of total animals) listed for sale.
  • Advice on animal care and welfare is almost entirely lacking. Most ads did not provide any history of the animal, give information on the animal’s health or behavior, or offer any instructions for care.
  • The welfare of most animals advertised was not a priority. Some individuals for sale were kept in isolation or were reported as being injured. Ads also offered animals as “swaps” or “quick sales.”
  • Safety was overlooked by the sellers. Despite all of these animals being unsuitable for a home, and most posing a potential danger to humans, only nine ads out of the nearly 2,000 ads warned that the animal could pose any sort of risk to the buyer.

For the complete report, go to www.bornfreeusa.org/DownloadingCruelty.

Born Free USA Program Associate Kate Dylewsky, lead author of the report, added, “Online ads have made this horrific pet trade easier than ever. The astonishing volume of animals advertised, along with the uninformative content provided, demonstrates how these sales are an unregulated free-for-all that negatively impacts the animals’ welfare and the safety of the public. The findings of the Downloading Cruelty report reaffirm Born Free USA’s commitment to ending the abusive, dangerous, and sometimes deadly ownership of exotic animals. This must stop.”

Born Free USA is a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic "pets," trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to America the message of "compassionate conservation": the vision of the U.K.-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film Born Free, along with their son, Will Travers. Born Free's mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally. More at www.bornfreeusa.org, www.twitter.com/bornfreeusa, and www.facebook.com/bornfreeusa.

NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is calling on Governor John Kasich and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to immediately issue an emergency order restricting the sale and possession of exotic animals following the horrific incident today in which dozens of animals were killed after escaping from a Zanesville, Ohio, property. Ohio is currently one of only eight states that do not regulate private ownership of exotic animals.

“We urge Gov. Kasich to issue an emergency order to ensure the safety of Ohio residents, as well as the health and well-being of exotic animals kept as pets,” said Nancy Perry, senior vice president of ASPCA Government Relations. “This tragic incident may well have been avoided had the previous emergency order issued by former Gov. Ted Strickland not been permitted to expire in April.”

Perry added, “While the animals pay the ultimate price, local governments and taxpayers are left to bear the enormous fiscal burden when dangerous wild animals are set loose or escape, or when they are seized due to neglect.”

The exotic pet trade is a multi-billion dollar industry that contributes to the suffering of millions of animals, often threatening public health and safety, disrupting ecosystems and driving species to endangerment and extinction. Each year across the nation, countless numbers of exotic animals are purchased as pets at retail stores and from private breeders and dealers at auctions or over the Internet. Since the vast majority of people who keep exotic animals cannot meet their needs, the animals often become the victims of abuse and neglect—they are caged, chained, tranquilized or even beaten into submission.

For more information about the exotic pet trade, please visit www.aspca.org.

Media Contact: Rebecca Goldrick, 646-291-4582, RebeccaG@ aspca.org

About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first humane organization established in the Americas and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animal welfare. One million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501 [c] [3] not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. The ASPCA, which is headquartered in New York City, offers a wide range of programs, including a mobile clinic outreach initiative, its own humane law enforcement team, and a groundbreaking veterinary forensics team and mobile animal CSI unit. For more information, please visit www.aspca.org.

###

 

56 exotic animals ran wild in Ohio yesterday after their owner let them escape from his property before taking his own life. All but a few were shot and killed by police. 

Terry Thompson's personal menagerie included tigers, lions, bears, wolves, leopards, and monkeys. And despite numerous previous complaints and visits from police, his operation was totally legal: Ohio has no regulations on the sale and ownership of exotic animals.

Liz Dumler is a Change.org member and student at Ohio University who worked for a ban on exotic animals in Ohio last year. When she heard about this disaster, she knew that Ohio's lack of regulation had threatened public safety and animal welfare for too long. So she started a petition on Change.org asking Ohio Governor John Kasich to immediately issue an executive order banning exotic animals. Click here to add your name to her petition now.

In the last six years, local authorities visited Thompson's farm nearly 30 times in response to complaints about escaped animals, animal cruelty, and more. Police knew the rare animals were at a huge risk, but there was nothing they could do.

After Liz and other animal advocates fought for a ban, then-Governor Strickland outlawed exotic pets in January. But when the new governor, John Kasich, took office, he purposefully let the ban expire, saying it would "hurt small businesses." 

Ohio is one of fewer than 10 states that have no regulations about private ownership of exotic animals. After yesterday's disaster, it should be clear to Governor Kasich that Ohio needs to take exotic animals out of unsafe private collections, for the safety of the animals and the public. And when Ohio moves to protect these animals, other states will soon follow.

Please sign Liz's petition asking Ohio Governor Kasich to immediately take action to ban private ownership of exotic animals in his state:

http://www.change.org/petitions/gov-john-kasich-ban-the-sale-ownership-and-harboring-of-wild-and-exotic-animals-in-ohio

Thanks for being a change-maker,

- Michael and the Change.org team

Exotic Animal Incidents Online Database  Highlights National Epidemic - -  Resource for the Media

Washington D.C., October 19, 2011 - - Born Free USA, a leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation - - and a force in working to keep wildlife in the wild - - says the incident in Ohio yesterday is devastating for the animals and the public.  This morning police are still trying to chase down dozens of frightened and confused wild animals including bears, wolves and tigers, who have escaped from a “private preserve” in Zanesville, Ohio.

According to Will Travers, Born Free USA’s CEO who is in the U.S. this week from the U.K. on a speaking tour, said this morning, “Born Free fears for everyone’s safety in Ohio and wants this horrific situation to serve as a brutal reminder that wildlife belong in the wild and that no one should ever put the animals or the public at risk by trying to confine them in a zoo, circus, backyard, or home where serious injury or death, can occur at any time.  Laws have to be created and enforced to stop these potential situations at the source.  No one should be allowed ever to ‘own’ a wild animal. Period.”

Born Free USA, a leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, tracks such incidents through its online database designed as a resource for the media, lawmakers, activists and the public, to help shed light on the magnitude of the issue. 

The database lists more than 1,598 attacks and incidents reported that have occurred since 1990, searchable by state, species, and key word, and includes a map graphic marking each location -- a shocking visual to illustrate how geographically widespread the problem is.

Every year, captive exotic animals -- kept in zoos, circuses, or as private “pets” -- are involved in incidents that result in human injury or death.   Keeping any wild animal in captivity is inherently cruel, as it deprives them of the ability to freely engage in instinctual behaviors in their natural environment.

Born Free USA is a nationally recognized leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic “pets,” trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade.  Born Free USA brings to America the message of “compassionate conservation” -- the vision of the U.K.-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, along with their son Will Travers, now CEO of both organizations. Born Free’s mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally.  More at: www.bornfreeusa.org; twitter http://twitter.com/bornfreeusa; Facebook http://www.facebook.com/BornFreeUSA.

 # # #