World Animal Protection asks PetSmart® to end the sale of exotic animals

NEW YORK, January 19, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — World Animal Protection, a global non-profit animal welfare organization, is today launching a campaign urging PetSmart® end the sale of reptiles and amphibians. The group notes that the sale of wild animals poses a risk to both animal welfare and public health. Whether these animals, including snakes and lizards, are wild-caught or captive-bred, they suffer tremendously. Many die prematurely, including in transit to their destination. If they reach their destination, these animals are kept in inadequate environments which can lead to physical and psychological problems and many die within their first year as pets in homes.

Reptiles and amphibians are extremely complex with behaviors and needs that cannot be met in captivity.

According to a survey by World Animal Protection, there are currently 9 million American households who own an exotic pet, and an estimated 17.6 million exotic pets nationwide, a number that will only continue to grow without additional public education. Many people don’t realize what constitutes an exotic pet – 38% of exotic pet owners do not consider any of their pets to be exotic – and ignore the suffering these creatures endure in captivity. Among exotic pet owners, the most popular types of exotic pets are reptiles, which make up 51% of all exotic pets in the United States.

Ben Williamson, Director of Programs, World Animal Protection, USA, says:

“Reptiles are known as vectors of zoonotic diseases that pass from animals to humans – and diseases do not distinguish between legal or illegal trade. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention holds reptiles responsible for thousands of disease outbreaks. salmonellosis every year, many of which hospitalize people. Households with children under five are specifically warned against keeping reptiles. Yet, worryingly, PetSmart continues to sell these animals to consumers, many of whom are families.

“PetSmart no longer sells dogs or cats, but dedicates space in its stores to house animals from local rescue groups. The irony is that unlike cats and dogs, which have been domesticated for thousands years, reptiles and amphibians have not evolved to be good pets. In captivity, reptiles can suffer from acute stress, chronic debilitation and other medical problems such as calcium deficiency and Metabolic bone disease Their ability to explore, properly regulate body temperature, and eat natural, balanced foods is severely compromised.

Yet PetSmart does not take steps to prevent the sale of reptiles. Instead, they are labeled as “easy to handle” and a “perfect choice for beginners” and are gladly sold to first-time buyers.

World Animal Protection encourages people to voice their concerns and sign our petition calling on PetSmart to end the sale of reptiles and amphibians.

Learn more here.

For more information, please contact:
Jeanne Turkheimer
[email protected]

SOURCE World Animal Protection

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