An article published in the Ecologist claims reptiles and fish are suffering and dying prematurely both before and shortly after their arrival in the home.

Clifford Warwick: opponent of the exotic pet trade.

Author Clifford Warwick puts death rates for wild-caught marine fish at about 80% pre-sale and goes on to claim almost all pet fish die within a year.

For reptiles, the article asserts that pre-sale mortality is around 70%, and between the pet retailer and the home a further 81% of reptiles die within a year. The article, entitled “The exotic pet trade is a global evil that must be stopped”, describes the exotic pet industry as hiding “in plain sight, rooted behind the sanitised façade of pet stores and private homes, quietly facilitated by trade permissive legislation”.

Warwick describes the trade as unsustainable and out of control, with an estimated 25% of this trade thought to be illegal: “Governments do not entertain guidance on trade policy from drug dealers or people traffickers, yet they accommodate the vested and harmful interests of pet dealers and wildlife traffickers,” he said.

“For decades, wild pet traders have had a free ride at the expense of animal populations, local ecologies and animal suffering. Whether wild-caught or captive-bred, exotic pets are consumed in an unethical industry wrongly propped up by overly accommodating civil servants. We need major changes, and we need them now.”

The article can be found at

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