Exotic Animals Kept as Pets

The exotic pet trade has been characterized as a destructive industry that depletes wildlife populations, disrupts natural ecosystems, causes widespread animal suffering and threatens human health and safety. Globally, the wild animal pet trade involves thousands of species and millions of individual animals annually.

In the United States and Canada, millions of exotic pets, including small mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and invertebrates, are kept by private individuals. While large numbers are bred in captivity, significant numbers are also captured from the wild. Many of these animals receive little more than the basic necessities of life and suffer from poor welfare and high mortality rates. Unfortunately, many animal protection and animal control laws pay little attention to or do not include a broad range of the small exotic pets. We believe that has to change.

Zoocheck aims to:

  • challenge abusive and/or outdated mass-market, pet industry (folklore) husbandry practices;
  • promote ethical, evidence-based husbandry of all captive animals;
  • advocate for new laws, regulations and policies that better protect exotic animals kept as pets;
  • facilitate improved enforcement of existing laws, regulations and standards;
  • push for an end to the removal of wild animals from natural habitats for pet trade purposes;
  • facilitate, wherever possible, the rescue and relocation of exotic pets in need.