HSI says native animals as pets is a bad idea
Humane Society International (HSI) says Threatened Species Commissioner Gregory Andrews’s idea to keep native animals as household pets is a bad one on both conservation and animal welfare grounds. Mr Andrews is promoting the idea in today’s The Australian newspaper and suggesting state and territory governments to relax their laws.
“There are very good reasons why people are not currently allowed to keep native animals as pets”, says HSI’s Head of Campaigns, Nicola Beynon.
“Native animals belong in the wild; they do not belong in back yards, hutches and cages. They have specialist welfare needs.
“Relaxing the laws to allow people to have native wildlife as pets would have serious repercussions for both conservation and animal welfare.
“Breeding companion animals is already a poorly regulated industry with thousands of animals abandoned at pounds and euthanized every year. Why open up more problems with native animals?
“Wildlife trade is one of the biggest threats to wildlife conservation globally. It would be very unwise to commercialise our native wildlife and allow them to be traded.
The history of wildlife conservation has repeatedly shown that legal trade in wildlife acts as a front behind which illegal trade flourishes.
“There’s no doubt feral cats pose a problem for threatened species. But you don't solve one problem by creating another one,” Ms Beynon concluded.
HSI are experts in threatened species conservation. Our scientific nominations and submissions are behind the legal protection given to over 70 threatened species in Australia.