Tuesday 20 August 2019

Trade in exotic animals more diverse, says rescue charity

The degu is a Chilean rodent. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Some 53 species of exotic animals were legally and illegally traded in the Netherlands between March and May this year, exotic animal refuge Stichting AAP has found.

The refuge started its investigation because the number of requests for help made by people who have underestimated the often complex care needed by exotic animals have tripled since 2010. AAP did not look at the actual number of animals being traded but specifically monitored diversity.

At six sales channels for the animals, including Facebook, Marktplaats and exotic animal fairs, the foundation identified 53 different species, including zebras, primates, tenrecs, wallabies, yaks, dromedaries and alpacas.

AAP said it wants to raise awareness of the kind of animal which can be cared for as pets in the Netherlands without problems. The agriculture ministry is working on a list at the moment but until such time, AAP says, its inventory shows enforcement of the existing rules will have to be taken more seriously.

This is the top 10 of animals which were taken in by AAP between 2014 and 2019.

1. 86 degus

2. 40 orange headed tree squirrels

3. 35 common marmosets

4. 30 woodland dormice

5. 12 striped skunks

6.11 black-tailed prairie dogs

7. 11 four-toed hedgehogs

8. 8 sugar-gliders (a small possum)

9. 8 suricates

10. 6 Asian small-clawed otters.

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