New official rules: you can keep a cat as a pet but not a camel

The government has published new rules listing mammals which are suitable to keep as pets, ruling out big cats, camels and raccoons.

Not every animal is suitable to be kept by private individuals because they may, for example, be dangerous or spread diseases, junior economic affairs minister Sharon Dijksma said in a briefing to MPs.

The approved list contains animals such as dogs, cats, hamsters, mink and water buffalo. A second list containing animals which can be kept under specific conditions includes ferrets, varieties of dwarf hamster and wallabies.

Mammals not on either list may not be kept at all.

The list was drawn up by animal protection experts on the basis of research carried out by Wageningen University. The new rules come into effect next year but a changeover period will be introduced for people who already own an animal which will be banned.

The animal welfare foundation AAP welcomed the new rules, describing them as a ‘milestone in animal welfare in the Netherlands’. The foundation says hundreds of exotic animals, such as raccoons and porcupines end up in shelters every year because they have been abandoned by their owners.


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