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Wild animals are not pets

Private ownership is detrimental to wild animals


Sadly, exotic wild animals are not only kept in zoos and animal parks but also in people's living rooms and in private enclosures. From the perspective of animal welfare, wild and exotic animals and even many popular 'pets' are completely unsuited for private keeping. Their complex behavioural, physical, and environmental needs make them ill-suited for life in captivity. In contrast to domesticated species like dogs and cats, wild animals have not adapted to life in human care even over hundreds of years. 

Many species have specific needs that a private household will never be able to fulfil. International trade with animals captured in the wild is a further major issue. For this reason, FOUR PAWS says a clear 'no' to the keeping of wild animals like big cats, macaws, iguanas, or exotic small mammals like chinchillas. 

As long as there is a legal market for exotic pets, this trade will be intrinsically linked to the illegal taking of wild animals from their natural habitat, and this trade will continue to move across borders and into countries like Australia.


  1. A ban on selling wild animals at fairs and exhibitions.
  2. Regulations for the private keeping of wild animals and the compilation of a 'positive list' focusing on:
    - Criteria regarding animal protection and appropriate conditions for keeping wild animals
    - Criteria for potential dangers to both people and animals
    - Criteria with regard to risk factors in the areas of nature protection and the protection of species
  3. The introduction of a compulsory certificate of competence.
  4. Compulsory registration for private keepers.
  5. A ban on the import of animals captured in the wild.

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