By Jessi Clark-White
We all know how special interest groups can blow things out of proportion – like the nonexistent “Exotic Pet Crisis.” If you listened to some animal rights groups, you’d think keeping exotic pets is cruel, dangerous, and even bordering on treason! Before you buy that agenda, consider that a junior high student once made a convincing case for banning dihydrogen monoxide: colorless, odorless, and tasteless, it kills thousands of people every year.
Most deaths are caused by inhalation, but the dangers of dihydrogen monoxide do not end there. Prolonged exposure to its solid form causes severe tissue damage. Dihydrogen monoxide is also known as hydroxl acid, is the major component of acid rain, may cause severe burns, contributes to land erosion, may cause electrical failures and decreased effectiveness of automobile brakes, and has been found in excised tumors of terminal cancer patients.
This report was presented to 50 students, asking them what should be done about the chemical. 43 students favored banning it, 6 were undecided, and only one correctly recognized that ‘dihydrogen monoxide’ is actually H2O — plain old water. How gullible are you?
Banning my cat makes about as much sense as banning yours – and the results are just as heartbreaking for pet and owner. Are you ready for the truth about the “Exotic Pet Crisis?”
* Exotic pets are not dangerous! One study showed that the risk of injury to exotic cat owners was less than the risk of injury due to a domestic dog bite. And every person who drives a motor vehicle subjects themselves and their family to a risk three times greater then does someone who owns even a large exotic cat such as a tiger.
* Most exotic pet owners are kind, intelligent people who adore their animals and take excellent care of them. We love our pets just as you love yours.
* Exotic animal bans result in beloved pets being confiscated, impounded, and usually killed. A lucky few live out their lives in cages under the care of strangers in zoos and sanctuaries. This is the dirty secret animal rights groups don’t want you to know. Banning does not help animals: it kills them!
* Exotic cat ownership is already regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Interior, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, CITES, the Animal Welfare Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Lacey Act, more city, county, and state regulations than you can shake a stick at, as well as existing animal welfare and public safety laws that govern both exotic and domestic animals.
* “You can buy a tiger on the Internet for $100.00,” research-averse activists proclaim in horror. Just try to order up a tiger online, or even a serval. You won’t succeed. This urban legend has great repeatability at cocktail parties and save-the-cute-animals-from-evil-humans fundraisers, but is severely lacking in the reality department. Breeders do have web sites, but it takes much more than a click of the mouse to purchase an exotic cat.
For information on wild and exotic cats from servals to tigers as pets, visit http://www.exoticcatz.com. The site includes articles on care, behavior, housing, and legal issues as well as species profiles and photos.
This article may be reprinted in its entirety only. Permission is not granted to reproduce in edited form or to support the ending of exotic pet ownership.
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