The Malta Independent 25 October 2020, Sunday

Wanted: Positive lists for exotic pets in Europe

Malta Independent Wednesday, 10 July 2013, 15:13 Last update: about 7 years ago

On 10 July 2013, AAP and Eurogroup for Animals organized an international seminar on Positive lists for exotic animals in Europe.

This seminar aimed at sharing information and experience related to the legislation on, and introduction and enforcement of Positive lists in Belgium, the Netherlands and in the EU. The event concluded with the commissioning of AAP’s new quarantine and primate hall by Dan Jørgensen, MEP, President of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals. Over 70 people from 11 EU Member States and more than 40 European organizations participated in the event. Amongst them, there were representatives from national and European governments and parliaments, animal welfare organizations, rescue centres, veterinarians and scientists.

AAP is confronted daily with the necessity of regulations for keeping exotic animals. David van Gennep, Director of AAP: “We are extremely happy that the current Dutch government recently introduced a Positive list for our country. Experience tells us that discussions about Positive lists can drag out for decades, as it took the Netherlands 21 years.

Hopefully by sharing all accumulated knowledge, we can support and inspire other EU countries to expedite legislation on Positive lists. AAP is delighted to also be able to contribute to solving European enforcement issues, by putting into use the first wing of our new animal facilities today.”

The seminar brought good and bad news: unfortunately, statistics show a growing trend across Europe for citizens to keep exotic pets.

Meanwhile, only Belgium and the Netherlands have Positive lists. This was shown by a major review of the legislation currently in place across Europe on the keeping and trade in exotic pets, presented by Eurogroup for Animals today. 
On the Positive side, participants were treated to encouraging facts and figures that support the introduction and efficacy of Positive lists. According to Els Vanautryve from the Belgium Government, the introduction of their Positive list in 2009 dramatically improved animal welfare in Belgium, and enforcement also turned out to be more cost effective than not having such a list.

Paul Bours from the Dutch government gave insight in the process and systematics used in the Netherlands to objectively judge which animals can be on the Positive list, providing other EU countries with a model to work with. Also, Eurogroup for Animals launched their exotic pet campaign, alongside with the legislative report on Positive Lists in Europe.

“Sadly, the legislative rapport makes disappointing reading,” Reineke Hameleers, Director of Eurogroup for Animals said. “We are extremely concerned that there is a growing trend across Europe for citizens to keep exotic pets. These animals are not native to Europe and in many cases have very specific needs which most people are unable to meet. This creates problems concerning animal welfare, animal and human health, the environment, biodiversity and species conservation. Therefore, we are calling for all countries to take this issue seriously and to act now to protect the welfare of exotic animals.”


See story run by this portal last month on exotic pets in Malta and concerns tied to the ‘responsible’ ownership of such animals.

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