Did You Know~Pet or Prisoner
I think most of us have seen the tigers in the circus. They are simply beautiful. In the United States there is a growing problem with its citizens taking on the responsibility of raising an exotic animal, as a pet. While this may seem like an exciting and unique idea, to some, the truth is that it is a huge responsibility; which many are not prepared for.
There are 3 federal laws in place, in regards to exotic pets in the United States:
- The Endangered Species Act– which states that it is illegal to buy, sell, or possess an endangered species.
- The Public Health Service Act- which prohibits the importation of non-human primates and their offspring into the United States after October 1975 for any use other than scientific, educational or exhibition purposes.
- The Lacey Act- allows the U.S. government to prosecute persons in possession of an animal illegally obtained in a foreign country or another state.
There are many state laws which also have very strict guidelines when it comes to choosing an exotic animal for a pet; it is strongly suggested that these are investigated before making this decision.
We should all keep in mind that; these animals can carry communicable diseases. Also, we must never discount that the natural nature of the animal may not be conducive to domestic life. Often when this happens the owner of the exotic pet will look to a zoo or wildlife refuge to take on the responsibility of the pet. With the number of tigers, alone being 6000-7000, in the United States; the zoos are overrun. Therefore a zoo may not be a viable solution.
I can only urge you to probe your conscience. When deciding on whether you should or should not consider taking on an exotic pet; this arrangement could not only put those whom you love at risk of attack or disease; but the animal itself. The animal will be removed from its natural habitat, where it knows how to survive. I would ask that you weigh all sides of the issue before making a decision; there are something’s that we are only supposed to adore from afar.