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The Safety Risks Exotic Pets Pose

914 words - 4 pages

Throughout the world, wild cats, reptiles and primates live peacefully in their natural habitats. Despite this, every year more and more of these exotic animals are becoming domestic pets. Keeping exotic animals as pets is unsafe and should therefore be made illegal. They pose as a risk of injury, disease and are an invasion the natural environment. Some people believe that keeping a pet does not pose a risk if properly kept and trained. However, these arguments are not corroborated by the information available. Keeping exotic animals as pets is dangerous, and should be made illegal in Canada.

Exotic pets threaten the safety of the community for they pose potential risks of injury and fatality. Natural animal instincts and lack of proper care can trigger destructive behaviours of animals, injuring their owners or other community members. There has been a total of 543 human injuries and 75 deaths as a result of exotic pets, including 52 year old woman killed by a Bengali tiger (http://channel.nat......). These numbers illustrate the risk that exotic animals pose to owners and community members. Keith Gisser, an exotic reptile owner claims he's “not the kind of animal owner neighbours need to worry about”, yet Brian Johnson Gisser's neighbour says on of the reptile owner's snakes escaped into his backyard (www.wkyc.com....). Injury and fatalities are a risk, endangering the community when exotic animals are kept as pets which is yet another reason why owning them should be illegal.

Exotic animals carry diseases and infections that can be potentially harmful or fatal to humans, jeopardizing the safety of the community. These diseases range in severity from common ringworm infections from African pygmy hedgehogs to lyssaviruses in pet bats (Belotto et al). The Herpes B virus is a potentially fatal disease carried by macaque monkeys (www.bornfreeusa....). The virus is contracted to humans through the saliva (Belotto et al). Salmonella can be developed from reptiles if proper hygeine is not present. The infection causes severe diarrhea, vomiting, headache and possibly death in certain situations (Beletto, Chomel & Meslin) This information clearly demonstrates that the herpes B virus and salmonella can cause serious and fatal impacts. People who are in constant contact with exotic animals including various exotic pet owners are a constant risk of the infection, imperilling themselves and the community, proving owning exotic pets should be illegal.

When exotic animals and are brought in as pets by exotic pet owners, they can become invasive species and damage the natural biosphere. Invasive species do not have natural predators, causing them to reproduce at a rapid rate and take over the habitat. The Cuban Toad Frog is one of the invasive species that can be found in Florida, a point of concern because the toad foces out the native toads in the environment...

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