Cyprus becomes 7th EU Member State with a Positive List for pets

Exciting news from the Mediterranean! Cyprus has just enacted a regulation that, for the very first time in Cypriot history, defines which animal species are allowed to be kept or sold as pets on the island. Their chosen regulatory instrument? A Positive List.

Prior to entry into force of the Positive List, the Cypriot laws allowed for uncontrolled imports of exotic animal species as pets. Now, with the Positive List in place, only the possession and sale of a limited number of mammal species – namely dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits and rodents – is allowed. Pigs, sheep, goats, cattle, horses, donkeys, mules and hinnies are also permitted, but for these species additional municipal or city regulations may apply (which can for example prohibit their keeping in residential areas). Apart from the wider category of rodents, the list also contains broad categories of permitted non-mammal species (birds, fish, and –with some exceptions – reptiles and amphibians). Now that the system is in place, these categories can –and should– be further refined.

The adoption of the Positive List in Cyprus is an important milestone worth celebrating, as it prevents the keeping and selling of thousands of exotic animal species that are unsuitable as pets. The development is also exemplary of the growing recognition across the EU that the Positive List is the way to go when it comes to regulating the exotic pet trade. Cyprus is the 7th EU Member State to embrace the Positive List, joining Belgium, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Croatia, Malta and Lithuania, as well as non-EU countries such as Norway. In The Netherlands and Lithuania, the Positive List is enshrined in the law, while the actual list is still being developed.

"Back in 2013, there was only one EU Member State with a Positive List; Belgium. The fact that we now have Positive Lists in 7 EU Member States is an important indication that the instrument is proving its effectiveness and gaining ground across Europe. We continue to advocate for more EU countries to adopt this crucial, preventive instrument and we hope to ultimately see an EU-wide Positive List.”

Alejandra San Quirico, Head of Public Policy

It will only be a matter of time before the number of EU countries with a Positive List rises, as more and more countries are recognizing the animal suffering and risks associated with the exotic pet trade. Discussions on the need to regulate the exotic pet trade are ongoing in many EU Member States, such as in France, Sweden, Finland, Estonia and Slovenia to name a few. As AAP, we continue to provide our support and expertise to partners working towards the Positive List all across the EU.
 

Grivet monkey Violetta, rescued from a life as pet on Cyprus.

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