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Exotic pet suitability: understanding some problems and utilizing a labeling system to aid animal welfare, environment, and consumer protection

Warwick, C., Steedman, C., Jessop, M., Arena, P., Pilny, A. and Nicholas, E. (2018) Exotic pet suitability: understanding some problems and utilizing a labeling system to aid animal welfare, environment, and consumer protection. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, 26 . In Press17-26.

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Free to read: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jveb.2018.03.015
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Abstract

Exotic pets are essentially animals that are non-native to a region and/or non-domesticated. The trade in and keeping of exotic pets has been frequently criticized for the commonly inhumane and harmful practices that are associated with supply and keeping, including: animal welfare, species conservation, invasiveness, and public health and safety. Relatedly, a growing issue is that of unwanted exotic pets handed to animal care centers due to their overly demanding requirements and the confiscation of animals suffering from abuse. Mis-selling exotic species as ‘easy to keep’ or ‘beginner’ animals is widely regarded to be a major common and problematic factor. Efforts, post pet acquisition, to educate sellers and keepers to improve animal welfare and public health issues have proven unproductive. We propose that a system is required that facilitates decision-making at the interface between sale and purchase sectors, and that utilizes clear evidence-based labeling. We review current options for developing such a pet labeling scheme and recommend a novel approach based on the EMODE (‘Easy’, ‘Moderate’, ‘Difficult’ or ‘Extreme’) pet suitability assessment tool to provide a preventative educational approach to alleviating the multifactorial issues of concern.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier
Copyright: © 2018 The Authors.
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/40711
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