A group representing vets across Europe has called on EU member states to create and enforce lists of allowed pets, in an effort to curb imports of “completely unsuitable” animals.
The Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE) has called for competent authorities to work towards establishing positive pet lists, detailing animals allowed to be kept as pets. The call follows FVE concerns about exotics and wild animals – including crocodiles, cobras and chimpanzees – that are growing in popularity across Europe.
Belgium and the Netherlands already have positive lists of mammals. FVE president Christophe Buhot urged other European countries to follow their example.
He said: “The establishment of positive lists in European countries represents a manageable, proportionate and effective regulatory process.”
He said the lists should be based on a thorough scientific assessment of the risks to the animal, its owners and society, as well as potential impact on the indigenous species and ecosystems should the animal be released or escape.
Commenting on successes in Belgium and the Netherlands, an FVE spokesman added: “The positive list has been incorporated in their national legislation and assisted at large in the regulation of import and keeping of these species.
“Experience from those countries has shown conducting assessment studies and defining companionship requirements ensure animal health and welfare as well as public health and local ecosystems will not be compromised.”