CITES commits to giving greater protections to animals
Great news for Asian otters and Indian star tortoises! These species threatened by the exotic pet trade have just been given further international protection.
Regardless of whether this trade is legal or illegal, these animals suffer terribly.
Geneva, August 2019: 183 countries gathered at the Convention of International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) to decide the fate of many animals traded as exotic pets. We were there to be a voice for animals who are currently victims of the exotic pet trade, which is not only a concern for their welfare, but is also threatening the survival of many species due to the growing demand for these animals to be stolen from the wild to be sold or bred in captivity.
Below are some of the species that have been given further protection by being transferred or added to CITES Appendix I. Under Appendix I, species receive the highest level of international trade regulation possible, which effectively rules out international trade for commercial purposes – including the pet trade. The success of these up-listings is a key defining moment for wildlife used as pets.
Small-clawed and smooth-coated otter
⬆ Up-listed to Appendix I (both species) ⬆
Asian small-clawed and smooth-coated otters have declined by more than 30% in the last 30 years, due in large part to the exploitation for the global trade in otter skins and the exotic pet trade.
Our recent investigations reveal how otters suffer at the hands of those involved in the illegal trading of wildlife. Southeast Asia has seen a massive rise in the popularity of otters as pets due to the online trade and a high increase of posts on social media, which is, in turn, driving the illegal hunting, illegal trafficking, and unregulated captive breeding of otters.
Indian star tortoise
⬆ Up-listed to Appendix I ⬆
Every week, at least 100 – 150 tortoises are illegally smuggled from the state of Andhra Pradesh in India to Thailand and Sri Lanka. The journey they face is perilous and causes significant suffering. The tortoises are stuffed into sacks and suitcases, their shells get cracked and associated disease is rife, with many not surviving the arduous smuggling process.
The Indian star tortoise is the world’s most illegally traded species of tortoise. Up-listing this species to Appendix I will strengthen international cooperation by enforcement agencies, which support India’s already admirable national laws to protect the species.
The cruel exotic pet trade
Every day, thousands of wild animals are poached or farmed and sold into the global multi-billion-dollar exotic pet trade. Regardless of whether this trade is legal or illegal, these animals suffer terribly.
Wild animals belong in the wild, not as pets. It is only in their natural environment that they can fully lead lives free from the deprivation and suffering inherent with captivity.
A life in captivity is no life for a wild animal. They're wildlife, #NotPets.
More about exotic pets...