A request from some EU countries: No more tigers as pets

Status: 05/24/2022 6:39 PM

Cats and dogs are among the most popular pets, but some owners prefer more exotic breeds. Perhaps not necessarily tigers, but certain types of birds or reptiles. Four countries in the European Union are now calling for it to be banned.

According to many EU countries, some wild animals such as iguanas, some birds or fish are no longer allowed to be kept as pets. The background is concerns about animals, species, and health protection, as shown in a paper prepared by Cyprus, Lithuania, Luxembourg and Malta. The countries presented the initiative at a meeting of EU Agriculture Ministers.

Stress, depression and behavioral problems

“It is well documented that the trade in alien species constitutes one of the greatest threats to biodiversity,” the four countries wrote in their letter. Many captive wildebeest were previously in the wild. The animals’ suffering included stress, boredom, depression and serious behavioral problems such as self-mutilation.

While cats or dogs can live long and happily in the company of humans, this is not the case with certain types of birds or reptiles. Wild animals have complex social and nutritional needs that make it difficult for ordinary animal keepers to “provide the care they need”.

Germany wants to support progress

Federal Agriculture Minister Cem Ozdemir (the Greens) announced that Germany would support the initiative. “It is clear that keeping wild animals at home poses a risk to the health of the animals themselves, as well as to humans,” he said in Brussels.

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Specifically, it is proposed to provide a so-called positive list. Any animal not on this list will no longer be allowed to be kept privately in the European Union. However, the proposal does not mention which animals should be on this list.

In addition, the four European Union countries cite a study conducted by the United Nations Environment Program, according to which many animals died during captivity or transport. In the case of gray parrots, which are popular in animal husbandry, two-thirds of them die in captivity.

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