About the origins of your exotic pet
Chris Turner, respected herpetologist has written an independent article on wild caught, captive farmed and captive bred exotic pets.
The origins of your exotic pet
There is a vast selection of exotic animals available for sale in the UK pet market. The suitability of each of these as 'pets' varies, depending upon their species but also upon their origins. For example, a royal python bred in captivity in the UK will generally make a more suitable first snake than one collected from the wild or farmed at source.
The following articles will give some points to bear in mind before purchasing an exotic pet and is broken down into the categories below.
- About Wild Caught, Wild Collected or WC exotic pets
An animal collected directly from the wild
- About Captive Farmed or CF exotic pets
An animal bred on a 'farm', generally in it's native country but born into captivity
- About Captive Bred or CB exotic pets
An animal bred in captivity, possibly from wild caught parents, but generally in the country of final purchase. There is however some trade in CB animals between other countries e.g. animals bred in Europe or the USA are often sold to UK customers and vice versa
- About Captive Hatched or CH exotic pets
Although not discussed in detail, it means animals that hatched in captivity from wild caught animals that laid eggs after capture
Groups of animals
Invertebrates do not necessarily suffer the same stress as vertebrates, so though this is not a reason to take buying wild caught invertebrates lightly, they can adjust better to captivity.
As they generally have shorter life cycles, invertebrates can be harvested with less impact on wild population numbers than reptiles, who may take many years to reach sexual maturity and have small numbers of offspring.
It must be remembered however, that removing anything from a natural environment can still have far reaching negative effects on increasingly fragile ecosystems.
My personal opinion
In an ideal world, all animals available for general sale in the UK pet market would be captive bred. People then purchasing their first exotic pet would not have to make a decision based on reasons such as those stated above, but would be guaranteed a healthy, well acclimatised and 'tame' animal, which would hopefully come with a great deal of after sales care from the breeder/supplier.
Wild caught or captive farmed animals would then only be required by breeders who have the means and experience to deal with somewhat unsuitable and problematic captives in order to work with these animals to propagate them, thus providing the market with captive bred animals for us all to enjoy.
Some related links
© Chris Turner 2008