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Press Release November 2008

APA presses exotic pet trade issue in Brussels

APA's Director, Elaine Toland, attended the fourth annual conference of ENDCAP (a European network of wildlife protection groups and specialist consultants), which took place from 9th - 11th November in Brussels.

As Co-Chair of the Trade and Capture of Wildlife Committee, Elaine Toland proposed key projects to tackle the trade in wild animals as pets and received good support.

The new reptile trade film, "A Far Cry from Nature" - a joint project of APA and International Animal Rescue - was screened and the campaign to tackle the reptile trade in Germany was discussed. It was agreed that APA would lend its expertise to the German welfare groups and that German authorities needed to be reminded of the risks to animal and human health from exotic animal markets.

APA has also agreed to jointly commission a report that would help curb the trade in exotic pets in Norway. For a number of years, Norway has set an example to the rest of Europe by enforcing a ban on the keeping of reptiles and amphibians as pets. Recently, however, the Norwegian government has come under pressure from animal dealers and this ban is now in jeopardy.

Organisations representing several countries agreed to step up their public education campaigns to dissuade people from buying exotic pets. Problems concerning wild animal sanctuaries and sub-standard zoos were also discussed in depth during the conference.