Green Mountain Animal Defenders

Green Mountain Animal Defenders

Working to Protect the Well-Being of All Animals Since 1983

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Exotic Pets

We oppose the sale of protected wildlife. Many animals used in the pet trade are snatched from their native surroundings in Australia, Africa, or Brazil. These creatures are then subjected to transport so grueling that many die before reaching their destination. Animals that do survive often go to incompetent caretakers and suffer until they die due to malnutrition, life in an unnatural environment, loneliness, or overwhelming stress.


Another frequent scenario for exotic animals is abandonment. Exotic animals released into an inappropriate habitat often die of starvation or predation. The ones that do survive may upset the local ecosystem by killing members of native species.

Importation of exotic animals is also dangerous for humans, as evidenced by the dozens of recent attacks on humans by captive big cats. Members of exotic species are a threat to humans for other reasons as well. According to one Center for Disease Control and Prevention officer, these animals may be "unknown vectors of human disease." The least-known way in which the pet trade is a threat to humans is in the area of crime. The illegal pet trade is one of the largest sources of criminal earnings, behind only arms smuggling and drug trafficking.

What Can You Do to Help?

Never purchase an exotic animal.

Contact your representatives in the federal government to urge them to support legislation that prohibits the interstate sale and ownership of exotic wildlife, and demand that such regulations be enforced.

If you become aware of a sale of an exotic animal in Vermont, please notify us.

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