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By - TSDadmin

The Pet Charity Aims To Represent The Pet Owner Through Scotland’s Exotic Pet Review

The Pet Charity, which promotes the joy and benefits that pets have on society, is requesting the Scottish Government allow the Charity a role in the review of the international pet trade.

Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, Richard Lochhead, announced on 15th February 2015 a review into the trade and importation of exotic animals for the pet trade in Scotland. Further to this, the announcement also makes reference to the consideration of ‘positive lists’, which in short have the ability to ban the keeping of certain reptiles and ornamental fish.

The Pet Charity aims to represent the pet owner and believes pet ownership should be encouraged for those that can demonstrate they are able provide the appropriate level of care. Additionally, the Charity believes the suitability of a pet is dependent on each individual and their lifestyle, not the animal-type. In many situations, reptiles or ornamental fish are much more suitable pets than a cat, dog or rabbits. Limiting pet options could potentially encourage the public to choose pets that are unsuitable for their lifestyle, which in turn results in more abandoned animals.

The vast array of reptiles and fish and their sometimes very specific needs is what attracts many pet owners to exotic animals. Instead of a ‘positive list’, which punishes the knowledgeable, hobbyist keeper, the issue lies with the need for the industry to be in agreement on the best way to source these animals and provide for its needs. A ‘positive list’ will not limit the quest for exotic animals, instead it will simply drive these sales further underground, where they are uncontrolled and unregulated with detrimental effects to animal welfare. Purchasing exotic animals from fully licenced and inspected outlets allows exotic pet sales to be traced and sold only to those who can demonstrate the ability to care for them. As such, The Pet Charity does welcome the review into the trade of exotic pets via the internet, where welfare can be compromised.

Paul Miley, Chairman for The Pet Charity, commented: “The keeping of exotic pets is becoming increasingly popular with the busy family, who are sometimes unable to provide the time or space required by many larger pets but are able to provide for the needs of reptiles and fish.

“Pets bring such joy and companionship to the lives of the public and there are huge health benefits as a result of pet ownership seen across all generations, such as reduced blood pressure for those caring for fish*. Researchers have also found that displaying tanks of brightly coloured fish can reduce disruptive behaviours and improve eating habits of people with Alzheimer’s disease**.”

For more information about The Pet Charity call 01234 224506, email info@thepetcharity.org.uk or visit www.thepetcharity.org.uk

Ends

Notes to editors:
*A. Beck, A. H. Katcher and E. Friedmann, The Centre for the Interaction of Animals and Society, University of Pennsylvania, USA. http://disabilityuk.com/health/stress/str5.htm
**N.Edwards. Purdue University, Indiana, USA 1999. http://www.purdue.edu/uns/html4ever/1999/990628.Edwards.fish.html

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