January 3, 2016

1108591More unusual animals kept as pets are known as non-domestics or exotics.  Examples include snakes, terrapins, lizards, scorpions, frogs and sugar gliders.

The RSPCA has concerns about the welfare of these animals when kept as pets, due to how difficult it can be to meet their welfare needs.  Exotic pet species, as wild animals in captivity, have the same needs as they do in the wild ( for example environment, diet, behaviour, etc) and it can be challenging to look after them properly as set out in the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

In particular the RSPCA is opposed to the trade in wild-caught animals and we believe that some exotic species, such as primates should never be kept as pets as they have complex needs that cannot be met in a home environment.

Although there is a statutory Code of Practice on the welfare of primates we do not believe it has been effective in protecting animal welfare.  Furthermore the EFRA Select Committee has held an inquiry into the keeping of primates as pets and the Government responded to this.

For further information please see our report on primates kept as pets.