Some days ago we read at the papers that the Government wants to make an “exotic pets positive list”. This means they are going to control strictly purchasing and owning of this kind of animals.

So far, practically every species could be considered as an exotic pet: lots of birds, mammals and reptiles, such as Vietnamese pigs, geckoes and pogonas are kept in captivity as pets, but many of these animals are not “pets”, since we can’t hold them in our arms, caress them, or take them for a walk… or we shouldn’t do it.

Lots of breeders and traders are angry and refuse this new regulation, but we think it’s necessary.

A positive list implies only animals included in this list are going to be considered as pets. So far, what lists indicated was forbidden species, because they were dangerous, endangered, or invasive.

A good example could be red ear Florida terrapene (Trachemys scripta elegans), which was forbidden 13 years ago. What traders did was to introduce similar terrapenes, such as yellow ears one, taking an advantage of the legal gap.

This new regulation will make these trickeries impossible, and will allow to control in a more efficient way the animals we adopt and consider a member of our families. It’s not a matter of eliminating the animals that are already living with us, but avoiding thousands of wild animals living in inadequate conditions.

Last week a client asked us for some advice about purchasing a pet for her daughter: the girl wanted a gecko because she had watched at Youtube several videos of people having them as pets and interacting and playing with them; even you can find at Amazon special harnesses for taking them for a walk. Does anybody believe this is a happy life for a reptile?

Some years ago, the trend was to have a Vietnamese pig as a pet, because they were supposed to be “very cute and clever”. But when the little pig ends up weighing 50 kg or more, spends most of the day squealing loudly, and doesn’t allow us to hold it anymore, in most cases it “escaped” or was released by their owners. At Vega Baja we have a serious problem with these animals, since tens of feral pigs destroy vegetable gardens and harvests.

Probably, the ultimate reason for implementing this new regulation has been the risk of outbreaks of new diseases such as NCoV-19, since the source of most of them have been wild animals. Lots of them are been living with lots of bacteria, viruses and parasites for centuries without suffering any health problem. People and domestic animals have never contacted with them, so their immunity is not prepared to defeat them.
About 30% of Florida terrapenes are supposed to be a reservoir of Salmonella, and they eliminate the bacteria continuously in the water via faeces. Every time a person cleans and manipulates terrarium and terrapenes has a risk of catching the disease.

Of course, since Salmonellosis is a bacterial disease, it can be treated successfully with antibiotics, but this is not applicable to lots of other diseases.

Clinica Veterinaria, Calle Holanda 9, MASA Square, Gran Alacant

T: 966 698 569