Stop Exotic Pet Industry

exotic animals are not pets

Target: Debbie Leahy, Manager of Captive Wildlife Protection for the Humane Society of the United States

Goal: Demand an end to the exotic pet trade and industry

In the world of exotic animal trade, many lives are constantly put at risk. This industry endangers animals, people, and the environment. Many of the exotic animals featured in this trade industry, such as big cats, bears, primates, and snakes, are torn away from their natural habitats and smuggled illegally into different countries. Owning an exotic pet is usually seen as the ultimate status symbol, particularly in the Middle East, as it allows rich people to further flaunt their wealth. In many cases, owners of exotic pets fail to acquire the resources and knowledge needed to properly care for these animals.

The animals involved in the exotic pet trade are often taken away from their mothers at a very young age. These animals are also threatened with a very high mortality rate. For example, a cheetah would usually have a life expectancy of ten to twelve years in the wild, but as pets, they barely make it to two years of age. This trade industry not only harms the animals, but also threatens the safety of people. The obvious danger to people is when the animals begin to act out due to emotional trauma and attack the people around them. In an animal attack case in 2009, a woman was severely mauled by her boss’ pet chimpanzee when it ripped off her hands and face. There are also less obvious dangers such as parasites, viruses, and bacteria that are carried by exotic animals. The exotic pets also wreak havoc on their surrounding environment, as non-native exotic animals that are accidentally released threaten the fragile ecosystems of their current environments.

The trade of exotic animals as pets generates unnecessary risks that negatively affects many parties. Sign this petition and demand an end to this appalling trade industry.


Dear Debbie Leahy,

I would like to thank you for understanding that exotic animals are not pets. Unfortunately, despite the dangers, the trade of exotic animals as pets continues to grow. This industry must be stopped in its tracks to prevent any further risks and threats to the animals, people, and the environment.

Many of these animals involved in the trade, such as cheetahs, are torn away from their mothers and their natural habitats at a very young age. Being taken away from their homes at such a young age often causes emotional trauma amongst these animals. As they become overwhelmed with their emotional trauma and the unfamiliarity of their new surroundings, these exotic animals may attack their owners and other people, ending with severe consequences. There is also the risk of disrupting natural ecosystems when non-native animals are accidentally released into different environments.

This trade industry not only threatens the welfare of these animals, but also generates unnecessary dangers for people and the environment. This is why the trade of exotic animals for pets must be halted before any further damage can occur. I implore you to take action and bring an end to this egregious trade industry.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Ambernectar 13 via Flickr

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