Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 1 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds   

Exotic pets must be outlawed

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     (# of views)   4 comments
Author 5357
Follow Me on Twitter     Message People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
Become a Fan
  (7 fans)
- Advertisement -

An Indiana boy and his dog were injured recently by the family's pet monkey--who had been locked in a cage for years because of "aggression"--after he escaped and ran amok. You'd think that after a Connecticut woman's face was ripped off by her friend's pet chimpanzee last year--or after a toddler was strangled to death by her family's python, or a Texas teenager was mauled to death by her stepfather's tiger--that lawmakers would step in to put an end to the carnage.

But there's still no federal law prohibiting people from breeding, selling or acquiring exotic and dangerous animals to keep as pets. Why?

- Advertisement -

The journey for many of these animals begins in places such as Asia and Africa and in the jungles of Central and South America. Many are imported legally in the billion-dollar-a-year exotic-animal industry. Others are jammed into trunks or suitcases or not infrequently, strapped or taped to the smuggler's body. Such was the case with a Mexican man who was recently caught with 18 dead and dying monkeys stuffed into a girdle.

What few laws and penalties exist hardly dissuade dealers when compared to the kind of money to be made from smuggling: Prices on animals' heads can range from a few thousand dollars for a jungle snake to tens of thousands of dollars for a hyacinth macaw.

- Advertisement -

Closer to home, countless tigers, primates and other exotic species are bred specifically to be sold as pets. Babies are removed from their frantic mothers (who sometimes have to be sedated) so that the infants can be acclimated to human contact. Traumatized and terrified, these young animals don't stand a chance of ever living as nature intended. Primates are diapered and often have their canine teeth yanked out. Within weeks, tiger cubs outgrow their ramshackle backyard pens and spend the rest of their lives pacing and yearning for something that they want and need but will never get: their freedom.

Buying an animal on a whim or because one wants to be "different" almost inevitably leads to buyer's remorse. Since dealers market these animals as little more trouble than stuffed toys, most people are inevitably shocked by the responsibility and expense of specialized food, space and veterinary requirements of exotics. When the novelty wears off and reality sets in, some try to unload their high-maintenance pets at zoos, which are unlikely to accept such animals.

Jack Cover, a curator at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, says, "We'd have to have two or three warehouses to handle the [animals] we get calls on."

- Advertisement -

Others simply abandon animals in woods, swamps or along rural roads--but since the animals' wild instincts have been irrevocably corrupted, many starve to death or fall victim to the elements or predators. Some species, such as pythons dumped in the Florida Everglades, thrive and wreck havoc on entire ecosystems.

Too many animals--and in far too many tragic cases, people--pay with their lives in this cruel cycle. The time is long overdue for federal lawmakers to put a stop to it once and for all.

Next Page  1  |  2

 

- Advertisement -

Rate It | View Ratings

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), with 6.5 million members and supporters, is the largest animal rights organization in the world. PETA focuses its attention on the four areas in which the largest numbers of animals suffer the (more...)
 

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Dolphins in tanks: Cruel confinement

Don't turn your back on feral cats

Protecting animals protects everyone

What a horrific cruelty case can teach us