A new scientific article is raising questions about conflicts of interest relating to the veterinary profession and exotic pet trading because of the known harmful links to animal suffering, human health, and species and environmental conservation. The article, entitled 'Veterinary accountability and the exotic pet trade', appears in the current issue of the Journal of AWSELVA (the Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law Veterinary Association), and has been greatly welcomed by the Animal Protection Agency, which campaigns against the trade in wild animals as pets.
A rise in exotic pet trading has resulted in strong concerns from major veterinary bodies in the UK and Europe, particularly regarding the lack of understanding for the complex biological needs of wild animals kept as pets and animal-to-human disease. Many exotic pets, such as reptiles, are often misleadingly promoted by traders as 'easy to keep', but a recent study found that most reptiles die within just one year in the home.
The article (http://www.awselva.org.uk/journals/2013/07/awselva-journal-summer-2013) spotlights the fact that some vets have directly aligned themselves with exotic pet trading - serving vested financial interests. Such vets effectively cause or commission the wild-capture and intensive breeding, cramped storage, transport and sale of hundreds of thousands of fish, amphibians, reptiles and other animals. Similarly, certain vets also promote exotic pet-keeping in the media and on company websites.
The article points to a greatly expanding raft of scientific evidence showing that stress, disease and premature mortality commonly accompanies 'wild pets' at all stages of the trade and private keeping process. The article also highlights threats posed by the trade to public health, species conservation and ecological stability. More....