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Animal Law: Thou Shall Not Covet Exotic Pets in Oregon (and beyond)

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I’m not big on buying stuff, especially stuff that eats, so am not inclined to feel acquisitive or broody when I see a cute critter, but apparently it’s a real problem in the real world (i.e. the non-bibliophile world – we apparently covet only time to read – and maybe Hood strawberries and Ranier Cherries.)

This was an interesting Oregonian story:

Jane Hartline shifts focus from the Oregon Zoo to discouraging ownership of exotic pets, Monday, June 28, 2010:

Excerpt: ‘A young woman presses her face against the glass, trying to get closer to the pretty turtles inside the exhibit at the Oregon Zoo. As she walks away, she expresses her fondness for the amphibians: “I want a turtle,” she says to her companions.

“See, that’s what I mean,” says Jane Hartline. “I should make a sign that says, ‘No, you don’t want a turtle.’…

“The zoo gets an amazing number of calls from people who don’t want their exotic pets anymore,” Hartline says. “They often prove to be more than they can handle.”

There’s a reason cats and dogs are the most common pets, Hartline says: Over centuries of breeding, “the ones that weren’t good with humans didn’t make it through the gene pool.”

But people seem to feel the need for unusual companions, which often aren’t suitable pets. And so, the zoo gets calls from owners of pythons, capybaras, parrots and other animals not from these shores.

That’s extra work for the employees, but there’s something people do that’s a lot worse than calling the zoo: They let the animals go….‘ (Link to full article.)

So, the next time you covet a cute critter, think LAW ($$ fines) and consider the GREEN (as in environment, sustainability, habitat) alternatives including VISITS (to the zoo) or SHOOTS (as in photography).

Two links from the Oregonian story:

1) Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW), Division 056: Importation, Possession, Confinement, Transportation And Sale Of Nonnative Wildlife

2) Odd Pet Gazette

And see the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s website on Information for Animal Owners in Oregon (and their exotic pet link).

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