Right now, a huge variety of wild species are sold into a lifetime of misery as ‘pets’. But whether they’re caught in their natural habitat or bred in captivity, these species have complex needs that simply can’t be met in people’s homes.
Each animal is a living, thinking, feeling being. When they’re not free to eat, move, behave and socialise as they would in the wild, they suffer.
Wild animals aren’t ours to use for companionship, enjoyment or entertainment. Yet the trade in wild species as pets is thriving. They can be bought in high street pet shops or via online ads, social media and even dedicated wildlife markets.
This just isn’t right. We’re determined to show people that wild species aren’t pets and to stop them being sold as products for profit.
Wild species’ complex needs
Caught in the wild or captive bred, wild species in captivity have the same social, physical and behavioural needs as animals in their natural habitat. Caring for them is about much more than just keeping them clean, fed and safe.
In the wild, many animals roam and explore for miles. They run, jump, climb or fly freely. They hunt or forage for food, eating a hugely varied diet. They can have complex social relationships and strong family ties, living together in diverse, stimulating environments.
It’s simply impossible to recreate this wild environment in someone’s home. The reality is that very few people have the knowledge, skills or resources needed to give wild animals a good life in captivity.
For wild species kept as pets, even the best care is no match for life in their natural habitat.
The stress of life in captivity
Wild species kept as pets can suffer serious health or behavioural problems. Even more, many wild species don’t like to be touched or held. Some are very sensitive to light, temperature, humidity or noise, and need very specific conditions to stay healthy.
When animals are unable to express their natural instincts or behaviours, they can become stressed and frustrated. Being trapped in the same environment can lead to boredom and psychological distress.
Often the impact of these unmet needs is hidden, but sometimes it’s obvious. Parrots shriek and pluck out their own feathers. Mammals pace up and down, or groom themselves excessively. Reptiles repeatedly bash the walls of their tanks. For animals with longer lifespans, this torment can last decades.
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Fighting for change
Wild species don’t belong in people’s homes. The only place they can live a full life is in the wild. We’re working to show people how much these animals suffer in captivity and that they are Wildlife. Not Pets.
Will you join us? Together, we can tackle the trade in wild species as pets by:
- Making it socially unacceptable to keep a wild species in your home.
- Disrupting the lucrative trade in wild species as pets.
- Pushing for stronger laws and better enforcement to regulate the pet trade.