Exotic Pets – Forgotten Creatures


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 hundreds 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. In every sense of the word, they are Forgotten Creatures.


Zoocheck’s Forgotten Creatures campaign aims to:

  • challenge abusive and/or outdated mass-market, pet industry husbandry practices;
  • promote behaviour-based husbandry of all captive animals;
  • facilitate improved enforcement of existing laws;
  • promote the passage of laws and regulations to control, restrict or eliminate the keeping of wild animals as pets;
  • push for an end to the capture of wild animals from natural habitats for pet trade purposes;
  • facilitate, wherever possible, the rescue and relocation of exotic pets in need.


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