Exotic pets have very unique requirements and needs. Here, we offer advice on the factors that you should consider before bringing an exotic pet into your home, and the laws surrounding to keeping them.
It is important that you do extensive research into how to support and sustain your particular exotic pet. The reason for this is that not only will this mean you are aware of your specific exotic pets needs, it will also mean that you can avoid panicking if a medical emergency arises as it is vital to be aware of a veterinarian who can, and is willing to treat your exotic pet.
Likewise, it is important that you research the potential health risks for you and your family although most health risks are easily preventable through good hygiene. It is nonetheless still extremely imperative that you are aware of the potential for your new pet to carry dangerous bacteria. An example, of this is evident by the fact that reptiles commonly carry Salmonella bacteria which can cause gastrointestinal issues.
Furthermore, a universal need of all exotic pets is that the right habitat is provided for them. The reason that this is vital to consider before bringing an exotic pet into your home is because it is essential that you consider how big your pet is likely to grow. This means that it is crucial that you consider whether you have the space to accommodate the exotic pet you are considering.
As this could result in a dangerous environment for both you and your pet emerging as it can mean that flexes and cords are not suitably covered in order to avoid fires or electrocution.
Similarly, it is important that you are able to provide the exotic pet you are considering an environment that stimulates normal behaviour. This can be provided by creating a range of temperatures both hot and cold as well as surroundings that are similar to their natural environment, such as bushes and a bathing area etc.
It is also important to consider whether the exotic pet you want to being into your home requires ultraviolet lighting. The reason this is so vital is because many exotic pets are not domesticated in the same way that cats and dogs are, which can mean that strange noises and surroundings have the potential to cause significant levels of stress.
Additionally, it is also worth bearing in mind the immediate costs of both time and money when bringing an exotic pet into your home. It is imperative that you consider the costs of purchasing the necessary equipment to provide a natural environment. This is because it can potentially require significant levels of investment, examples of this include thermostats and feeding tubes. The costs for some exotic pets can be even greater as it may be necessary to use large amounts of electricity to sustain an environment similar to their natural one. An example, being the high level of electricity required in order to sustain temperatures required for some exotic pets.
Likewise, along with immediate costs an exotic pet will also demand significant time and costs in the long term. This is because in order stop potentially dangerous spreading from your pet it will mean that the pet itself and its environment will need to be meticulously clean. The investment is also demonstrated by these pets’ diets as you may be required to care and feed captive grasshoppers or even cockroaches in order to feed it properly. Similarly, an exotic pet will often require a long term commitment as some species such as reptiles can live up to 20 years. It is also worth bearing in mind that veterinary costs will likely be high because of the specialist knowledge and equipment required.
Finally, It is important to decide whether you want a pet you can handle and interact with as many exotic pets will be to easily stressed or to dangerous to handle. Therefore, it is vital that you do your research on this before bringing such a pet into your home, because even if you do get a pet that you rarely handle there will still be times where it will necessary and so should prepare a plan in order to do so safely.
The laws surrounding exotic pets
It is extremely important that before even considering bringing an exotic pet into your home that you are aware of the rules and regulations surrounding the ownership of such pets. What is commonly understood as constituting an exotic pet is an animal which is not native or indigenous to the owner’s locale.
The Dangerous Wild animals Act which was introduced in 1976. The act itself applies to animals that are considered potentially dangerous. This means that the acts jurisdiction applies to many animals that would commonly be considered exotic. This is evident by the fact the act applies to many different kinds and species of reptiles such as crocodiles and snakes and lizards. The act also applies to many different kinds and species of primates such as large cats like Jaguar and Leopard as well as many different kinds of monkeys. However, it must be stressed this is only a small selection of the animals and specifies covered by the act.
The consequences of an exotic animal coming under the jurisdiction of this act are you cannot own the animal legally without first obtaining a license from your local authority. The licenses themselves last a maximum of two years ending on December 31st. Along with this a annual inspection takes place up by a vet or animal welfare office to see if the standards needed for a license to be renewed are still being upheld. It is important that you do this because otherwise it can result in the animal being seized by the local authority and a fine of £2000 pounds. In order for a license to be issued by a local authority the following key requirements must be adhered to.
These requirements include that ownership of the pet is not contrary to public safety and that the owner is a suitable person to hold a license. In addition, to this it is required that the animal is held securely and that health and safety laws are adhered to. Furthermore, it is also important to bear in mind if you are considering applying for a license to keep an exotic pet that it is an illegal offence to release it, or to allow it to escape into the UK’s countryside under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. The penalties that can be incurred as a result of violating this can be a fine of up to £20,000 and up to six months imprisonment.
Finally, as well as these specific laws it is also important to bear in mind that the same level of standards outlined in the 2006 Animal Welfare Act must be upheld. This means is that owners of exotic pets have a duty of care animal. The act states that it is owners legal responsibility to ensure that their animal is given a suitable diet and is protected from an environment that would result in pain and injury being afflicted to it.
(Article source: Jordan Creed)