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Exotic pets

Legal trade of exotic animals in Czech Republic

Thanks to the support of the British organization for the protection of animals RSPCA, we have conducted an annual country-wide survey concerning pet shops – mainly the quality of the environment where animals are being sold and the knowledge of the sellers. We were asking the sellers from the position of the customer, as we were mainly interested in what information are the sellers able to offer to the customer.

Unfortunately, in a quite large share of the shops no welfare is being kept and often even the basic conditions ensuring the health of the animals are not assured. (For example, young reptiles are left without sufficient heating and proper amount of UV light, isolated parrots are kept in small cages without any way of entertaining themselves, water is foul or none at all.) Even basic laws are not respected. Not only laws protecting animals against mistreatment but also laws for the protection of the customer – ignorance and will to follow the current trends are harmful both to the animals and to the customers as they can – for instance – buy a cayman without any problems.

Veterinary inspections are not sufficient and individual parts of the public administration are not cooperating effectively; many questions concerning inspections and standards which have to be maintained in animal trade are left unanswered. However, we are not saying that nobody in the public administration is working correctly. There are many who people try to improve the situation on this side of the wall as well – namely, the representatives from the CITES division. However, the animal trade is growing by leaps and bounds; the whole problem is opaque and the results not even satisfactory. We try to lead a discussion with the appropriate institutions and attempt a collaboration that is helpful to everyone – even for the animals.

The most important of all are the costumers themselves. If they are better informed and if they see the true nature of the problem they will definitely become more sensible. They alone are creating the demand which is the cornerstone of everything. That is why the next step in our project will be an educational campaign which will inform the public about the troubling situation in the “exotic” animal trade and domestic breeding of exotic animals. People often mistakenly believe that shops that have not been closed are all right and pieces of advice from the personal are to be trusted. In fact, those shops offer no guarantee at all and the quality of the information offered is various – including many completely insufficient and often directly misleading answers.

The next part of the problem – professional breeders and the exchanges where many of the bred animals are being sold. Usually, at those exchanges there is no such thing as welfare and the laws and even the rules of the exchange, which are set individually for each exchange by the appropriate body of the public administration, are not being maintained.

In the month of June, we will provide you with a detailed final report from the year long project mapping the situation in animal trade across the whole republic. Subsequently, the information on how we will continue to help to improve the current unsatisfactory state of things will follow.

We released a survey of the lgal market with exotic animals:

Pruzkum legalniho trhu s volne zijicimi druhy zvirat v zajeti v Ceske republice.pdf
Shrnutí v češtině
A survey of the legal market in non-domesticated animals in captivity, in the Czech Republic.pdf 
Summary in english