Ethical Issues


Unless you have "Been There, Done That" you may not know all the facts. We have been there and are still 'Doing That!" We know our animals and the truth about what happens to them in the wild today. If you want to know, read on.

Animals are disappearing in the wild, not just because people are catching them to keep them captive in cages. They are caught and/or killed by some native peoples because they either want them for food or feel that their crops or livestock are compromised by the wild animals' encroachment on their properties (often due to habitat destruction and reduction). The subject can be argued and argued and opposing sides will never meet in harmony. There are those who will NEVER agree that an animal of any type should be in captivity, including goldfish. And no animal or part thereof should ever be utilized or enjoyed by or benefit mankind in any way whatsoever. If they had their way, we would be pet-less, wear paper shoes, drink soy-milk, eat tofu and zucchini sandwiches made with egg-less, milk-less bread and take our kids to the botanical instead of the zoological gardens. And that is just the beginning. Do you realize that the only places some species survive today are in ! capt ivity - both in zoos and in private collections. They have totally disappeared in the wild!

Wild animals are protected by certain conventions and laws. Some are world-wide, country-wide or state-wide. If you understand them, at least a little, it might help you to gain a real perspective about breeding wild animals in captivity.

"CITES" means the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (of Wild Fauna and Flora). It is a United Nations Convention (signed by 130 member countries) that controls trade in wildlife and wildlife products to prevent endangered species of plants and animals from becoming extinct and that trade in the species is not harmful to that or other wildlife. Of the 24,000 species controlled, 21,000 are plants. Animals, birds, fishes, insects, and plants are listed as Appendix I, II and III with I being the most threatened. Special import/export permits are required by the originating and destination country depending on the Appendix level. Since this convention concerns the 'international' trade of these species, an animal of a listed species is no longer under the auspicious of the convention. However, other laws and/or regulations may enter into your decision to own an exotic animal.

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife 50CFR 17.11 of:
United States Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service The list covered by US government agencies states the following, and I quote verbatim: Part 17, Subpart B, 17.11 (a)

The list in this section contains the names of all species of wildlife which have been determined by the Services to be Endangered or Threatened. It also contains the names of species of wildlife treated as Endangered or Threatened because they are sufficiently similar in appearance to Endangered or Threatened species.

There are about 400-500 animals on this list and a multitude of birds, fishes, reptiles, invertebrates and plants. The way I understand this legislation is: ANY animal listed in the 50CFR 17.11 is considered endangered or threatened. These animals may not cross state lines, or leave or enter the country without a special permit from the Department. It is my understanding that if the animal is a personal pet and traveling with the owner, it does not require a permit. Check with USDI, F & W Department to be sure.

Thanks to the Animal Welfare Act, administered by the United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Department, owners/collectors, whether private or public must adhere to approved standards for care and well-being if any of these animals are transported or change ownership. There are licenses for breeders, dealers and exhibitors of animals. That is the LAW! USDA licensees must conform to the USDA/APHIS regulations which are closely monitored by USDA - by unannounced inspections of animals, facilities, paperwork and veterinary care.

Longtime breeders of these species are some of the very best sources for information about the animals because of their intimate relationship and day-to-day contact and interaction with the animals.



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