Position Statement

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Wild and Exotic Animals as Pets

When wild or exotic animals are kept as pets, the result is usually tragic for the animal and often negative for the owner. Lack of knowledge about behavioral traits, social needs and proper nutrition may lead to inadvertent neglect. For many of the larger wild or exotic species, the cost of feed, veterinary care, handling equipment and confinement facilities may be prohibitive. The release or abandonment of non- native wildlife or exotic animals into the natural environment can create severe or catastrophic impacts to the native ecology. Federal, state and regional laws and regulations may prohibit the ownership of some animals, and some species are at higher risk to transmit diseases to humans. American Humane opposes the deliberate capture, confinement, breeding, or the hybrid breeding, of wild or exotic animals as pets and also opposes their release into non-native environments.