Wildlife as Pets?
Profit for the pet industry at what cost?
20 NOV 2012: There are many reasons as to why we need to ensure that our dwindling and threatened wildlife do not have to face yet another obstacle jeopardising their long term survival. For many decades, proponents wishing to see wildlife become suburban pets have been intimately connected with the pet trade and view wildlife as another commodity to be marketed. Environmentalists and animal welfare groups have long argued in the defense of wildlife. We have witnessed the ongoing tragedy of individuals who can not look after their domestic dogs and cats which sadly leads to devastating outcomes. The problem of such owners being responsible for the special behavioral and dietary needs of wildlife is even greater.
- Wildlife are extremely diverse and complex species thereby requiring specialised skills and experience in order to care for them appropriately
- Keeping wildlife will mean keeping them incarcerated forever. They will not be able to stroll around the house or be taken for walks. They will usually need to be caged and/or restrained permanently
- Other domestic pets will have to be restrained from predating on wildlife. Aside from the obvious risks, our fauna is especially prone to shock and stress. The scent of other animals nearby is enough to create a constant state of anxiety
- When wildlife ‘pets’ become ill or injured, veterinary care will be needed. Very few vets have any specialised skills with treating wildlife, be they mammals, birds or reptiles
- As nocturnal animals, people (particularly children) will want to touch and play with them when they prefer to sleep and hide
- When these native animals grow, the problems associated with confinement will grow also. Many animals will face being abandoned, just as domestic pets are every day
- Our fauna have specific dietary needs, along with behavioral and psychological requirements, which the natural environment is best suited to provide
- Foliage for many of our native animals will have to be picked each night. Most people are not prepared to do this. Again much training and expertise is required to understand what different species are required to eat
- For many carnivorous animals, special types of insects and other kinds of animals will need to be sourced and killed in order to feed tawny frog mouths, blue tongue lizards, raptors etc. Even if these animals are bred by the pet industry, the nutrients required for optimal health will not be able to be replicated. Freezing, storage, and preservatives will be necessary in order to supply demand
- The argument of protecting endangered species by domesticating them is extremely flawed. The best way to protect them is to protect their habitat. Respect and awareness comes from appreciating wildlife in their own environment
Please act today and write/email your local MP and the Premier Kristina Keneally at:
Parliament House Macquarie St. Sydney 2000
Talk to friends and family about the issues raised above. Learn about our magnificent wildlife and if you are truly motivated, consider becoming a wildlife carer.