BVA welcomes Scottish Government review of exotic pet trade

(BVA Press Release) The British Veterinary Association (BVA), together with its Scottish Branch and the British Veterinary Zoological Society (BVZS), has welcomed the Scottish Government’s review of the exotic pet trade, announced by Richard Lochhead, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment.

Following discussions with the animal welfare charity OneKind, Mr Lochhead is keen to review the current legislation and explore the effect of tighter controls on the ownership of exotic pets, including the breeding and sale of exotic pets.

Over 1,000 species of mammals, birds, invertebrates, reptiles and amphibians are traded every year, including via the internet.

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BVA President John Blackwell commented:

“This is a welcome move by the Scottish Government. In BVA’s and BVZS’s joint statement on exotic pets we urge the European Union to ban the import of wild caught reptiles and amphibians and we would still like to see this implemented.

“Any review at a national level that helps us better understand the welfare issues involved with the breeding, sale and ownership of exotic species can only be a good thing, emphasising the need for robust enforcement of current legislation and encouraging the UK pet industry to provide effective and consistent welfare and husbandry advice at the point of sale.”

Ronnie Soutar, President of BVA Scottish Branch, said:

“BVA and its members in Scotland are very pleased that the Scottish Government is leading the way with the proposed review of the exotic pet trade. We welcome the review’s emphasis on the proper and responsible trade of these animals, particularly when animals are traded via the internet.

“As the popularity of exotic pets increases across Scotland, we want owners and potential owners to fully understand the welfare needs of these animals and their responsibilities as owners. We must also ensure that we take full account of the potential impact of these animals on Scotland’s own native species and the environment.”

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