Exotic Pet Trade

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Within the United States, the exotic pet trade is a very popular business. Many people will spend over hundreds of dollars just on the animals alone, not including housing units and food. As a result, business men and women of the pet trade will scour the earth to find populations of interesting, exotic animals to sell. Many hobbyists of the pet trade will make snap decisions to buy these animals before they completely understand the commitment needed to take care of the animal. Once the owner realizes they can no longer take care of their pet, most will release it into the surrounding environment. Depending on where the animal was originally from, this can be a very destructive practice. This is how many invasive species in the United States…show more content…
In a peer reviewed article by Katherine Smith et al. titled "U.S. Drowning In Unidentified Fishes: Scope, Implications, And Regulation Of Live Fish Import.", the authors discuss the mode in which many exotic fish have been spread to many different ecosystems through the pet trade. As stated by Smith et al. “Over 200 fish species have been introduced to the United States following importation, many of which threaten ecosystems and infrastructure” (103). When exotic animals are introduced to habitats they did not evolve with, they are without many of the environmental stressors that are placed on native animals, such as predation. When that characteristic is coupled with the fact that some exotic animals may be larger and more aggressive than its ecological counterpart, it becomes easy to see how non-native species out-compete native…show more content…
One way to do this task is to put harsher regulations on the import of animals in and out of the country. Many different regulations could be implemented such as taxation or simply better documentation of what is being imported. In an article by Gad Perry and Michael Farmer titled “Reducing the Risk of Biological Invasion by Creating Incentives for Pet Sellers and Owners to Do the Right Thing”, they suggest creating incentive programs for pet stores to take back unwanted animals as well as developing a tracking system to punish the owners of released animals (134). These are certainly good ideas for the attempt to halt the destructive practices of the pet trade. Tracking the animals that people buy will hold people accountable for their actions. Implementing this practice will also make people do more research before they buy an animal from the pet

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