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Keeping exotic pets
  1. Peter Scott
  1. Biotope, PO Box 60, Winchester, Hampshire SO23 9XN
  1. e-mail: pscott{at}

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WHITEHEAD and Forbes (VR, December 7, 2013, vol 173, p 558) raised an important issue: that of pet keeping. There is a much promulgated story that we are being swamped by exotic pets ripped from the wild. This is untrue. Certainly numbers have risen, but the vast majority are bred in the UK or elsewhere. Small numbers are wild-caught and these tend to go into specialist hands. What is also true is that pet owners are also realising that their desire to keep a pet conflicts with the way we are now living: with an increasing proportion of pet owners (in the UK 16 per cent and rising) living in flats where ‘normal’ pets are prohibited – or should be!

The number of pet dogs and cats is falling – not a good omen for small animal practice. …

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