Exotis ISSN 2398-2985

Reptiles

Captive welfare

Contributor(s): Vetstream Ltd, Molly Varga

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Introduction

  • Before we can provide for the welfare of an animal in captivity we must first understand what resources it has in the wild, as well as how and why it utilizes them.
  • Inevitably captivity requires a level of compromise in that animals in captivity are not in the wild and an exact replica environment cannot be provided. These compromises must be understood and mitigated as far as possible in order to promote the welfare of captive species.
  • Humans have a long history of associations with animals dating back to prehistoric hunting and the earliest attempts to domesticate animals either as hunting tools, pest controllers or secure food resources. As humans have evolved, so have the reasons for keeping animals in captivity. In the case of many exotic pets they are kept for no practical purpose, other than the interest or pleasure of their owners.
  • As technology has evolved it has become possible to keep exotic species, particularly the more challenging ones, more successfully.
  • In some cases, captive breeding programs have been managed in a way that controls costs and increases productivity such that it brings ownership of exotic species within the financial range of more people.
  • There is, however, a clear responsibility to plan for the animal’s optimum welfare before obtaining the animal and this may entail a considerable amount of research and potential expense.

Roles and responsibilities

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Welfare

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Implications of context

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Sourcing and transportation

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Planning and welfare strategy

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Evolutionary considerations

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Physiology

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Sociality

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Conclusion

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Mayer J & Martin J (2005) Barriers to Exotic Animal Medicine. Vet Clin North Am Exot Anim Pract 8 (3), 487-496 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Honess P E & Wolfensohn S E (2010) Welfare of Exotic Animals in Captivity. In: Behavior of Exotis Pets. Ed: Tynes V V. Wiley-Blackwell. pp 215-223.
  • Kennedy B W, Compton S, Turner J G et al (2007) Editorial: Can you hear me now? J Am Assoc Lab Anim Sci 46 (1), 9.
  • Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 on the Protection of Animals During Transport and Related Operations and Amending Directives. Website: http://eur-lex.europa.eu.
  • United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. State Regulations for Importing Animals. Website: www.aphis.usda.gov.

Organisation(s)

  • Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES Secretariat, International Environment House, 11 Chemin des Anémones, CH-1219 Châtelaine, Geneva, Switzerland. Tel: +41 (0)22 9178139/40; Fax: +41 (0)22 7973417; Email: info@cites.org; Website: www.cites.org.
  • International Air Transport Association (IATA) Live Animals Regulations. Website: www.iata.org
  • International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN UK Office, The David Attenborough Building, Pembroke Street, Cambridge CB2 3QZ, UK. Tel: +44 (0)1223 331199; Email: redlist@iucn.org; Website: www.iucnredlist.org.
  • United States Department of Agriculture - Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. USDA - APHIS Center for Animal Welfare (CAW), 2312 East Bannister Road, RM 1180, Kansas City, MO 64131-3011, USA. Tel: +1 816 737 4200; Website: www.aphis.usda.gov.

Reproduced with permission from Valerie V Tynes: Behavior of Exotic Pets © 2010, published by John Wiley & Sons.


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