The Estonian Society for the Protection of Animals (ESPA) would like to establish which and how many exotic animals are kept as pets in Estonia and to inform people that in order to have quality life exotic animals require special conditions and special knowledge of the owner.
We have noticed that lately more and more exotic animals have become household pets in Estonia. Unfortunately, a unique pet has often been taken just for show-off simply because it seemed interesting at first sight. It is very sad that people make no efforts to raise their awareness about the conditions that those animals really need.
Pet stores are currently under no obligation to provide the buyer with instructions or information on how the animal should be cared for or which conditions should be created for it. Simple talk is easily forgotten. It is very good to have a few Estonian internet forums where pet owners can ask other animal friends for advice on certain animals; however, it would be necessary to know the conditions and prerequisites that would be suitable and needed for home keeping of the animal before taking the pet in.
This year the ESPA carries out an exotic pets project. The first part of the project has been planned in the form of a questionnaire that aims at establishing which animals are kept as pets in Estonia and how many animals are there that can be referred to as exotic.
Everybody who thinks he or she has a creature that falls under this category at home is welcome to fill in the questionnaire. This way we would like to try to establish the animals that people would consider exotic pets.
Based on the answers we would like to issue information materials on most popular species of pets that would contain the basic facts of keeping a pet. These materials could be spread by pet shops and clinics to potential future pet owners as well. In addition, they could be used by the ESPA members in the framework of the education project.
This year the information work would be focussed mainly on exotic birds, reptiles, amphibians and arthropods. These seem to be the animals that may suffer the worst consequences from wrong care.
It may be a bit too early to reveal but we are already planning a seminar closer to autumn that would bring together exotic pet owners from all over Estonia to exchange experience and listen to presentations by both local and foreign lecturers.
The aim of the whole project is to make people think before bringing an animal that they don’t know what to do with into the household.
The questionnaire will remain available until 31 August 2007.
+372 52 67 117 info[at]loomakaitse.ee