The cruel exotic pet trade

The cruel exotic pet trade


Millions of wild animals are being captured from their habitats or born into captivity to be sold into the exotic pet trade. This multi billion-dollar industry is having a devastating impact on wildlife populations.

Whether traded legally or illegally, keeping wild animals as pets is cruel. The journey they endure is perilous; they are stuffed in crates, often unable to breathe properly or move and most of these wild animals will sadly suffocate, starve or succumb to diseases in transit. 

A lifetime of suffering

Once they are in people’s homes, there is no realistic way to replicate the space and freedom these animals would have in the wild.  

African grey parrots are also highly social, nesting in very large flocks. They’ll never be happy spending their lives in cages. 

Many animals are kept in spaces vastly smaller than their natural habitats. Also, despite a pet owner’s best intentions and efforts, they don’t receive the correct nutrition. 

Our research reveals that nearly one third of all wild animals die during transportation. 

Devastating Consequences

Cassandra Koenen, our global head of campaign – exotic pets, says, “Poaching animals for the exotic pet trade is happening on an industrial scale with devastating consequences. Worse still is that the illegal and illicit elements of the trade are often aided by government corruption and inadequate enforcement. 

“Animals suffer at every step of the journey destined to people’s homes: from capture to handling, transport, holding, breeding, sale and the lifetime of captivity in the home.” 

Choose a domesticated animal

Most people buy exotic pets because they love animals – but any wild animal in the exotic pet trade experiences suffering.   

We are urging people to not buy, own or breed a wild animal as a pet. A life in captivity is a world away from a life in the wild. 

Find out more and add your name to the pledge today. 


Jurgen & Christine Sohns / Getty Images


Most people buy exotic pets because they love animals – but any wild animal in the exotic pet trade experiences suffering

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