A senior reptile biologist has warned that Government failures to crack down on wild animal trade are resulting in global animal suffering, unchecked human disease and degradation of wildlife.

A senior reptile biologist has warned that Government failures to crack down on wild animal trade are resulting in global animal suffering, unchecked human disease and degradation of wildlife.

In a new article titled “The morality of the reptile pet trade“, published this month in the Journal of Animal Ethics, Clifford Warwick states “Government regulatory inertia” and trade-favouring policies are unscientific and damaging to animals, people and the environment.

Mr Warwick compares the exotic pet trade to other industries and draws attention to the fact exotic pet traders do not have to prove their “products” (live animals) are safe for consumers and the environment before marketing them.

He said: “In my view, there is simply no reliable evidence or defensible argument to justify trading and keeping animals, such as reptiles, as pets. Indeed, there is a vast library that implies the practice should not be happening.

While the activities of sellers and keepers are predictably exploitative of these animals, the real problem arises because supposedly competent Governmental authorities continuously fail to regard the overwhelming scientific evidence and rationale that warrants a ban on all commerce and private keeping of reptiles, among other wild animals.”


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