Distress, Danger, Disease – the call for an EU Positive List

A growing number of European countries recognise that exotic pet ownership comes with considerable risks. Not only because of many animal welfare problems, but also because of the health and safety risks for humans. In addition, the large-scale trade in exotic animals poses a threat to both biodiversity and the conservation of species in the wild. Therefore, more and more countries are choosing to regulate the trade in exotic animals through a Positive List.

As the risks are similar in every EU member state, AAP believes it is time to develop this tool also at EU level to stop the suffering of exotic pets across Europe. This is why today in Brussels, together with Eurogroup for Animals, we are presenting a new report on the possibilities of a EU Positive List. Watch it live!

A tool against animal suffering

With a Positive List, you no longer run behind the facts, but preventively assess all animal species for suitability as pets. If a species is not on the list, it may not be kept by private owners. Experience in countries with such a list shows that this instrument curbs the unbridled growth of exotic pet ownership. This is sorely needed, as this trend is visible all over Europe, causing animal suffering and many accidents. Millions of animals of thousands of different species are now kept in the EU. Supervision and enforcement of welfare laws is often impossible.

That is why AAP wants a European list of allowed pets in addition to national positive lists. Such an EU-wide Positive List would allow countries that do not yet have animal welfare legislation to directly tackle the trade and possession of dangerous or vulnerable species.

Presentation of the report in Brussels

The aim of the event in Brussels is to get the European Commission to quickly carry out a feasibility and impact study on the possibilities of introducing an EU Positive List.

AAP director David van Gennep: “It will be a lengthy process, but we will not give up until we end the suffering of these countless animals. Until recently, it was unthinkable that countries pivotal to the global wildlife trade would act against its cruel consequences. Yet last year France and Italy, and recently Spain, agreed to a national Positive List. If we can persuade these countries to make a difference for so many animals, it can also be done at EU level.”

Download the report here.

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