Should There be More Regulations Concerning the Ownership of Exotic Animals?

Many Americans are catching up on available shows, including documentaries that spark debate about a number of policy questions concerning the treatment of exotic animals. A variety of opinions exist about questions like whether there should be bans on private individuals owning exotic animals and whether local, state, or the federal government should be the one to enact such legislation.

Those who support more regulations concerning the ownership of exotic animals argue that life in the modern world is not conducive with the well-being of exotic animals. This side tends to believe that animal rights should be prioritized over a person’s property rights.

Those who oppose more regulations argue that allowing people to possess exotic animals helps conserve them as a species. This side tends to believe that an individual ought to be able to have the ability to make a responsible choice concerning their property and have the right to an income from exotic animal keeping. They prefer minimal government interference on this issue.

So, what do you think? Should there be more regulations concerning the ownership of exotic animals? Students can argue Yes, there should be more regulations; No, there should not be more regulations; or something else!

Current Standings:
Yes: 82%
No: 18%
  • Florence from Florida

    Netflix original docu-thrillers, personal blogs, and day-time news clips tell the stories of seemingly harmless dare-devil pet owners and their Bengal cats, Himalayan tigers, endangered 440-pound Cross River Gorillas, and a Capybara named Chewy they fell in love with while on a family trip in South America. What they do not address however, are the underlying safety, environmental, and health related threats posed for these owners, animals, and the public. All things considered, there is an undeniable need for increased restrictions on exotic animals. The phrase “exotic pets” in and of itself should not sit well with those who would argue that stricter regulations are not necessary. The very inability of humans to domesticate these “exotic” animals begs the question of whether they should even be considered our pets, and made easily accessible for every Tom, Dick, and Harry.

    The truth remains that by their very nature, many of these animals are wild and potentially dangerous, and though they may appear calm for years, never truly adjust to the captive environment. Such is the case of the many reports released for public access by the Captive Wild Animal Protection Coalition which details incidents of “human injuries and fatalities, animal injuries and fatalities, confiscations, and escapes”. In 2019 alone 2883 total incidents were reported these including 47 human fatalities, 52 animal fatalities, 43 confiscations, 997 escapes, and one indictment of an individual for selling lion and tiger meat illegally on the black market (“CWAPC 2019 Report”). Furthermore, many owners of animals that have lashed out have reported being “reluctant” to report such incidents for fear their animal will be confiscated, killed, or the means by which they obtained the animal being brought to light. This opens up the conversation about exotic animal ownership leading to an increase in organized back-hand crime. Since much of the trade in exotic pets occurs on the black market or over the internet, it is difficult to determine exact statistics of such illegal incidents. However, the statistics that do exist are startling, showing the buying and selling of 5,000-7,000 endangered Asian tigers and at least 3,000 African Great Apes (“Animal Legal and Historical Center”). The average human being is in no physical or locational position to care for animals and many of them will suffer major injuries and death during capture and transport from these remote places. Trapping is outsourced to illegal third-party groups that push endangered species toward extinction, disrupt the biological order of habitats, and contribute to an unsustainable means of revenue. For the people in these places they are typically voiceless as they watch their natural wildlife wither away by means of prohibited animal trapping.

    But outside of the legality of exotic trade and the physical threats they pose to humans Exotic species are known to be great conduits of infectious diseases. Many exotic animals are carriers of zoonotic diseases such as Herpes-B, Monkeypox, Salmonellosis, SARS, and many others (“Born Free USA”). In addition to sickness, these animals when brought into foreign conditions can prove to be invasive. Many a time, exotic plant species, when introduced, have outcompeted native species resulting in their disappearance and an unseen catastrophic domino effect to the rest of the ecosystem

    Our current exotic animal statutes are not doing enough to protect the sanctity of wildlife, their natural habitats, their well-being, the well-being of those who choose to own them, or that those who suffer fatality by being the neighbors of those with exotic animals. There is little being done to address black -market trade and how it affects the economy and well-being of the people where these animals come from. This is far greater than the tragedy of commons, wildlife is the property of the earth not of any one human being. So, for those who choose to own them, they should be held to the highest point of the law and held accountable for any and all negligence. More regulations can and should be put in place to protect animals, their habitat, and human-beings. If one wishes to see a wild African iguana they can go to the zoo.

    Sources:
    G., Matthew, and Liebman. “Full Title Name: Detailed Discussion of Exotic Pet Laws.” Animal Law Legal Center, 1 Jan. 1970, http://www.animallaw.info/article/detailed-discussion-exotic-pet-laws.

    “The Dangers of Keeping Exotic Pets.” Born Free USA, http://www.bornfreeusa.org/campaigns/animals-in-captivity/the-dangers-of-keeping-exotic-pets/.

    http://www.sanctuaryfederation.org/gfas/news/IncidentReportNovDec2020.pdf

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    • Luis from Texas

      I think there should be more regulations concerning ownership of exotic animals. Yes, people who take in exotic animals have the possibility of restoring an animal species’ endangered status back to normal, but there is a reason animals like tigers are considered exotic and endangered: to alert people not to take them in. Many zoos and organizations take in endangered and exotic animals like tigers so they do not get illegally poached or trafficked and potentially killed for a fur coat. THese organizations then replicate their environment and keep them in an enclosed space to prevent any natural predators from attacking them. Many of the individual people who take in tigers are not tigers taken care of themselves from birth andare wild animals, therefore, it is evident they are to behave like wild animals. If they’re wild animals, that means they are not domesticated, meaning that they are not to be taken in as pets to prevent any casualties to humans. More regulations should be put in to prevent any casualties to both humans and potential species of animals to be driven to extinction. A good regulation to be put in is wether the person taking in an exotic animal has ever taken in one before, and if so, has it gone successful and how many times has it gone successful. A regulation like this should be put in since wild animals are prone to feel threatened to any disturbance such as a human trying to encounter them.

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      I think there should be more regulations concerning ownership of exotic animals. Yes, people who take in exotic animals have the possibility of restor…

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  • Dylan from Florida

    Would you lock a human being in a cage and force them to do cruel shows for other people’s entertainment. No, of course, you wouldn’t, so why should we allow those same cruel practices to be inflicted on animals. These are real living creatures, yet some people continue to treat them like they are robots. We need tighter regulations in order to ensure that these animals are protected. We should give more funding to positive institutions who treat their animals well and have rehabilitation and breeding programs, where many of there animals can be released back into the wild, where they belong. In conclusion, I believe that we should have tighter regulations that ensure that these beautiful animals are not being cruelly taken advantage of by some people just looking to make a quick buck.

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    Would you lock a human being in a cage and force them to do cruel shows for other people’s entertainment. No, of course, you wouldn’t, so why should w…

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    • Sofia from Florida

      Referring to Carter’s comment above^. Animals are 100% sentient beings! When animals are neglected, treated poorly, they clearly fall into depressions and dogs can even die of heartbreak. Domesticated animals, like dogs, have adapted to living with humans. In most cases, they depend on people to survive. A dog will not attack its owner, they build deep relationships with them. Tigers and other large wild animals have attacked their “owners” countless times. If you take any tiger, even raised in captivity, it will still have an instinct to harm people. Dog’s and domesticated animals would not harm people because they do not have the instinct to. There are so many laws in place against animal abuse particularly for dogs because they are sentient. They deserve a loving home which is what they usually get from their owners. Of course, I also do not agree with having zoos. As they clearly have negative psychological effects on animals. No animal wants to be trapped in a cage for its entire life. Regardless, my point is that humans should not be allowed to treat animals as inferior just for their own benefits and pleasures.

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      Referring to Carter’s comment above^. Animals are 100% sentient beings! When animals are neglected, treated poorly, they clearly fall into depressions…

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    • Carter from Arkansas

      Do you believe that tigers have sentience? Using this idea you could argue that the public should not own pets. I can pretend my cat or dog has intelligence but it does not question anything about its life. It wants food, water, and sex. Humans thought history have used animals for our own benefit. If a animal has no way to help me I have no desire to further its existence. It sounds cruel but its reality. The Dodo bird died out due to it lacking competence to survive in the modern world. The tiger is sadly the same. If you truly want to ensure the tigers futures you should give humans a reason to keep them around. One reason can be tourism. If their is a market for cub petting let it happen! If we don’t have zoos and don’t make money from showing the animals no one has a practical motive for keeping them around.

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      Do you believe that tigers have sentience? Using this idea you could argue that the public should not own pets. I can pretend my cat or dog has inte…

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    • Hendrix from Florida

      Dylan, I really like the reasons you gave for your position. The response was very concise and I was really grabbed by your opening. Great Job!

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  • Aaron from Mississippi

    There should be tighter regulations on the ownership of exotic animals because the current regulations are not sufficient for protecting exotic animals. For example, four states have absolutely no regulations on the ownership of exotic animals as pets, and six states have no regulations on keeping big cats as pets. [1] Aside from some states having absolutely no regulations at all, there are large loopholes that allow basically anyone to own exotic animals. The largest loophole of all is the “USDA Loophole,” where individuals can circumvent their state laws regarding exotic animal ownership by obtaining a USDA license. In many cases, people can claim to be animal exhibitors or breeders to obtain this license, when in reality they are merely keeping these endangered species as pets for their personal pleasure. [2]

    These loopholes have massive consequences. If literally anyone can own exotic animals with little to no oversight, then this endangers animals and humans alike. [3] Without proper education, owners neglect the needs of their exotic animals, such as the fact that many of these species require specialized diets. Many exotic animals can transmit diseases to humans such as the Herpes B virus, Rabies, Salmonella, Ebola and Monkeypox. In other cases, unregulated owners who feel that they are no longer able to care for their exotic pets will simply release them into the wild. Irresponsible releases often result in these animals starving to death or even becoming an invasive species. Even worse than irresponsible releases, many times these exotic species will escape captivity from their owners, resulting in both human and animal deaths. There have been thousands of reports of exotic pets escaping private captivity, and “people have been strangled by large pet snakes and mauled by pet bears, chimpanzees and a number of big cats.” If an exotic animal has escaped captivity, it will often be killed on sight. Clearly, the lack of regulation on the ownership of exotic animals is harming everyone involved, humans and exotic animals alike.

    Those who oppose more regulations often argue that exotic animal ownership helps preserve these animals as a species. However, it is clear that exotic animal ownership does not benefit the exotic animals. Without regulation, exotic animals under private captivity often see their needs neglected by their owners, and they can even be shot and killed if they escape. An individual’s property rights do not outweigh the lives of the people and the animals that have died as a result of little government regulation. Having tighter regulations on the ownership of exotic animals is the best way to ensure that the people who do own exotic animals are ones who are responsible, which protects everyone involved.

    [1]https://bigcatrescue.org/state-laws-exotic-cats/
    [2]http://7a1eb59c2270eb1d8b3d-a9354ca433cea7ae96304b2a57fdc8a0.r60.cf1.rackcdn.com/Exotic_Pets_Report.pdf
    [3]https://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/reasons-exotic-animals-do-not-belong-in-our-backyards/

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  • Kyla from Tennessee

    There should definitely be more regulation regarding the private ownership of exotic animals. Such legislation should be created by the federal government of the United States. As the Netflix series ¨Tiger King¨ depicts, the process of acquiring exotic animals is not difficult in some states. Four states have absolutely no regulation regarding the ownership of dangerous wild animals. These four states are Alabama, Nevada, North Carolina, and Wisconsin (bigcatrescue.org). In the state of Oklahoma, where the infamous ¨Tiger King¨ is filmed, and in many other states, it is required that owners have a permit in order to own exotic cats (newsweek.com). While many states have some form of regulation regarding the ownership of exotic animals, there are varying degrees of enforcement. Some states may only require applying for a simple permit, while others may completely ban keeping exotic animals as pets. However, it seems that in Oklahoma the policy is quite loose, as a background check is obviously not required given that a man who attempted murder can own and breed exotic animals. Because of the widely varying degrees of regulation in the fifty states, the federal government needs to step up and take charge. It is necessary to ban the private ownership of all exotic animals in order to prevent animal abuse. At the very least, there must be a requirement for a permit in order to legally and privately own exotic animals. Applying for this permit should require a background check. Those who pass a background check should have the area they intend to keep the animal examined. This area should meet the regulations regarding public zoos, and should not be inside their residence. If the applicant does not have such a facility, they should not be granted a permit, and would need to wait at least six months to reapply. After meeting the requirements to obtain a permit, an owner of exotic animals must have their facility examined early. If, at any point, the facility does not meet regulations, their permit should be taken and their animals moved to a safe facility. They would not be able to reapply for a permit. In the case that there is any ¨blotch¨ on an applicant´s record, they should not be granted a permit and may not reapply. In the case that an owner of an exotic animal is arrested their permit should be taken and the animals moved to a safe and nurturing facility, such as legal public zoos. This owner would not be permitted to regain possession of those animals or reapply for a permit. Establishments dedicated to the protection and adequate care of exotic animals, such as licensed zoos and aquariums, should also be regulated as they currently are. It is also necessary to have a simple and convenient way to report exotic animal abuse. If someone were reported to have been abusing exotic animals, they should be investigated. If the report is true, they would be arrested and their permit should be taken. If the report is false, there should be no legal action taken. While every private owner of exotic animals may not be abusive to them, we must at the very least regulate the ownership of and care for such animals.

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    There should definitely be more regulation regarding the private ownership of exotic animals. Such legislation should be created by the federal govern…

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  • Davida from New Jersey

    Exotic animals belong in there natural habitat. They can be extremely dangerous and should not be made to be tamed. Many accidents occur when wild animals are taken out of their natural world.
    The American Veterinary Medical Association, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have all expressed opposition to the possession of unrepealable exotic animals by individuals. Even after these animals are kept people realize that they can not be tamed and send them to the zoos where they are eventually not given the proper care.

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    Exotic animals belong in there natural habitat. They can be extremely dangerous and should not be made to be tamed. Many accidents occur when wild ani…

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  • Thomas from West Virginia

    According to livescience.com, there has been a rise in incidents occurring with exotic animals and humans over the past 30 years, with a few of these incidents being fatal.

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  • Deshun from Texas

    Yes. The handling of exotic or endangered species of animals shouldn’t be entrusted to just anybody. Judging from Joe Exotic’s case, they should especially have certain restrictions based on someone’s wealth, as the most wealthy can purchase these animals and potentially abuse these endangered species for sport.

    Illegal breeding, massacre, and profit off these animals can be a huge dent in the well-being of these endangered animals, good or bad. The most concerning factor of all is who is permitted to own these animals and the loopholes they can find to get away with these crimes. This is why more regulations and mandatory check ins with these owners will help keep an eye out for potentially dangerous owners and let the legal system handle it, but as long as these wealthy but abusive owners continue to endanger these animals, there’s no sure-fire way of actually stopping the abuse all around.

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    Yes. The handling of exotic or endangered species of animals shouldn’t be entrusted to just anybody. Judging from Joe Exotic’s case, they should esp…

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  • Bryson from South Carolina

    Yes, because exotic animals are way different when it comes to taking care of than it is to take care of a dog or cat. And if the regulations and requirements are not high to be able to have one as a pet than some random person with no knowledge of the animal may buy one because they think it would be cool. And then they don’t take care of the animal properly and the animal may die.

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    Yes, because exotic animals are way different when it comes to taking care of than it is to take care of a dog or cat. And if the regulations and req…

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  • Sonya from Arizona

    Yes, I feel that more restrictions should be withheld for the ownership over exotic animals. Exotic animals don’t belong to any human, they don’t receive proper attention. Examples have proven it, male orcas have collapsed dorsal fins in captivity. This is due to the fact they don’t have enough space to swim freely or a proper diet. When they are used to the wide ocean that makes makes up 71% of the Earth you cannot compare that to a swimming tank.

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    Yes, I feel that more restrictions should be withheld for the ownership over exotic animals. Exotic animals don’t belong to any human, they don’t rece…

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  • Anisa from Arizona

    There should be more regulations on owning exotic animals. It is not fair to capture animals who belong in the wild. They were not meant for environments besides the ones they are born into. You are not only causing harm to the animal captured putting them into strange environments, but also to the poulation of wildlife. Certain animals are born into certian places to thrive and survive there, that does not mean just because the animal looks cool we should go capture it. They are obviously born in the wild for a reason and need to be kept there since it is a part of nature.

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    There should be more regulations on owning exotic animals. It is not fair to capture animals who belong in the wild. They were not meant for environme…

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  • Hannah from Illinois

    I think that there should be more regulations concerning ownership of exotic animals. First exotic animals originate or have the characteristics of a foreign country. So owning an exotic animal means you are taking it out of its natural habitat and putting it into a new and nonnative environment. An example of this that everyone can relate to is animals in the zoo. Studies have shown how animals react when put in nonnative environments. They can become depressed, get sick, and have shorter life spans. And zoos do all they can to replicate the animals native habitat. In addition studies have proven that animals are able to perceive feelings. Being captured and becoming a domestic animal can have an effect on the animal. They can become depressed and sad. Also some of these exotic pets are wild animals and meant to stay in the wild. They are meant to roam and hunt, because it is their instincts and the way their species have lived for years and years. Another reason owning an exotic animal is bad is because they could be badly treated. Animal cruelty is a problem and these animals do not have a voice. They can not speak up. It is unfair to take an animal out of its native habitat and force them to be your pet. Even if you give them all the love in the world being out of their native habitats is harmful to the animal.

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    I think that there should be more regulations concerning ownership of exotic animals. First exotic animals originate or have the characteristics of a …

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  • Emily from California

    Yes, there should be more regulations concerning the ownership of exotic animals. I cannot say that I have watched Netflix’s documentary “Tiger King”, so I am basing my argument on the generalities of owning an exotic animals. Unlike typical, domestic pets, exotic animals are not conditioned to live in captivity. Their wild nature can result in harm to either the caretaker or the animal. The restrictions of a small enclosure heighten the territorial, dangerous nature of exotic animals. Furthermore, the care for an exotic animal is much more extensive, which many do not realize until after they have purchased the animal. In addition, the adoption/purchasing of an exotic animal does not aid the animal at all as they are removed from their natural environment and isolated from others. With this in mind, purchasing an exotic animal would not aid the conservation effort. People should instead trust and donate to trustful organizations that can properly help exotic animals.

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    Yes, there should be more regulations concerning the ownership of exotic animals. I cannot say that I have watched Netflix’s documentary “Tiger Ki…

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  • Elizabeth from California

    With Tiger King’s rise in popularity on Netflix, the issue of the ownership of exotic animals has been brought to light. I think that there should be more regulations concerning the ownership of exotic animals. Many owners of exotic animals solely breed them for money, using conservation as an excuse. A lot of owners are also abusive to the animals, as seen in the Netflix documentary. Joe Exotic is said to have shot five tigers to make room for more and to have taken baby tiger cubs away from their mothers within 5 minutes of birth. He is one example of the many exotic animal owners who commit animal abuse. These forms of animal cruelty are exactly why state or federal government should place more regulations on the ownership of exotic animals. First, conservation efforts should be priority, but not be allowed as a loophole for breeding exotic animals. Additionally, there must be stricter laws regarding who can own exotic animals and for what purposes.

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  • Ellis from California

    SHOULD THERE BE MORE REGULATIONS CONCERNING THE OWNERSHIP OF EXOTIC ANIMALS?
    I believe that people there should be more regulations surrounding the owning of exotic animals. It is extremely concerning that, there are more tigers in captivity in the United States then there are in the wild around the world. Although I do believe that some people have good intentions when they say that holding animals in captivity is done so to protect the species, I do not think that this is the right answer. Sitting home during quarantine has showed me that living in a zoo or cage is not the life that anyone or any animal should live. I believe that the government should put more regulations on people to stop the mass holding of exotic animals because it is not fair to the animal.

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    SHOULD THERE BE MORE REGULATIONS CONCERNING THE OWNERSHIP OF EXOTIC ANIMALS?
    I believe that people there should be more regulations surrounding the o…

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  • Josh from California

    I do believe that there should be more rules and regulations regarding the ownership of exotic animals in the United States. In the U.S. there is a genuine tiger problem and apparently there are more tigers in this country than the whole world. The dream of having an exotic species living with you is completely irrational and irresponsible. These animals are capable of being extremely dangerous and there is a chance that the exotic animal can lash out at any point and harm the owner. Another reason there should be more regulations is because these animals are not supposed to be in these habitats. These exotic species need to be out in the wild in their natural ecosystem where they belong. By owning these exotic species, people are depriving the animal of their purpose on the planet. Animals should not be kept in captivity and should be able to roam free in their natural homes. I understand that keeping them out in the wild allows for poachers and hunters to take their action on the animals, but that means that in these countries we must fight for stronger laws to protect these beautiful exotic animals from losing their lives.

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    I do believe that there should be more rules and regulations regarding the ownership of exotic animals in the United States. In the U.S. there is a ge…

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  • Zac from California

    The answer is simply yes. Exotic animals are not pets for one thing, and for another, they are not meant to be treated like pets. Animals that possibly could go extinct should not be in the ownership of a person. They need to be treated with respect and given freedom as well as taken care by professionals so these animals do not go extinct. Exotic Animals should not be held in captivity, abuse and cruelty. It is not safe for the animal or the person to be housing an animal in a cage, rather they need to be in their natural habitat where they can reproduce and make the species become less rare.

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    The answer is simply yes. Exotic animals are not pets for one thing, and for another, they are not meant to be treated like pets. Animals that possibl…

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  • Lila from California

    The United States needs more regulations concerning the ownership of exotic animals in order to protect public health, public safety, and animal welfare. While there are some feral laws pertaining to exotic animal ownership, most is at state and local levels. Some states have completely banned exotic pets, however other states have absolutely no restrictions. There are currently loose laws, however they vary from state to state, and there are many loopholes for licensed zoos, universities, and people who already own exotic pets. Recent reports of people being attacked by these exotic creatures and of these animals escaping from their habitats are proof of the need for stronger regulations. Humans are not equipped to own these animals as pets, and as many cases of attacks as well as inhumane treatment of the animals goes to show, only people with professional knowledge of the proper care needed should be allowed to maintain them. Not only must the safety of humans be considered, but also animal wellbeing. There are currently very minimal regulations to ensure the health of exotic animals, but these animals require special care, housing, diet, and maintenance that most people cannot provide.

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    The United States needs more regulations concerning the ownership of exotic animals in order to protect public health, public safety, and animal welfa…

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  • Maddie from California

    After the rise in popularity of the new Netflix documentary, “Tiger King” animal rights has become a more present debate in society. Animals do not deserve to be restricted of their natural habitats and kept in confined spaces for their lives as it is an unjust way to live and they do not have the ability to stand up for themselves. From watching the popular documentary myself, it seems as if those who own exotic animals are so caught up in making money off of them that the animals do not get treated right. I believe that many people who own exotic animals have the best intentions, where they want to create an emotional connection between people and animals so that people can protect wildlife. However, wild animals are not meant to be contained to the size of cage and displayed for viewers’ attention. There need to be more restrictions laws on the ownership of exotic animals to ensure that the animals are being taken care of properly, and if the person owning the animals cannot do this they should not have the ability to own exotic animals. Exotic animals are certainly more dangerous than domestic animals, and have the potential to spread infectious diseases.

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    After the rise in popularity of the new Netflix documentary, “Tiger King” animal rights has become a more present debate in society. Animals do no…

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  • Chenxu from Pennsylvania

    I think we should yes

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  • Laney from Kentucky

    While, I’m not against the ownership of exotic animals, I do think that there needs to be more restrictions. Animals deserve to be treated kindly and not abused. Owning a pet is a huge responsibility, especially if that pet is not a common pet. You have to be able to provide it with proper food at proper times, take it to a capable vet for both routine check-ups and emergencies, keep it groomed, and give it love, among other things. You can’t just buy an exotic pet as an accessory or for clout, and then not take care of it. And with owners of bigger animals, you must also be able to know when you’ve reached your limit. If the animal has grown to big or become to much of a responsibility, people need to turn them over to the proper authorities. For example, my uncle owned a lion. He got the lion when it was a baby, and loved the lion and treated it right. However, when the lion got to big and popped his waterbed, he did the responsible thing and handed it over to the zoo. And the lion lived a good life at the zoo from what I’ve been told. There’s nothing wrong with owning exotic pets, there just needs to be a clear set of guidelines of what is and what isn’t allowed.

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    While, I’m not against the ownership of exotic animals, I do think that there needs to be more restrictions. Animals deserve to be treated kindly and …

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  • David from Texas

    For a long time, humans have had pets like dogs and cats because they are easy to control and are of less danger to humans than exotic animals are to humans. Not only are exotic animals dangerously aggressive but they also carry diseases that could pose serious health risks to humans. Many exotic animals are carriers of zoonotic diseases, such as Herpes B, Monkeypox, and Salmonellosis, all of which are communicable to humans.Having exotic animals as pets isn’t worth risking human lives for the sake of company. For our safety and for the animal’s safety, we should let them roam free in the wild and not let bad people cage them up and do whatever they want with them. There have been many cases where circus owners have mistreated and abused tigers and that just proves how people cannot be trusted with animals like this. Just because they are animals doesn’t mean we have to treat them like one. And although having exotic animals as pets can conserve their species more, we are taking away the animals’ freedom and that is unfair to them. Instead we should prioritize animal rights over a person’s property rights. That is why I believe there should definitely be more regulations concerning The ownership exotic animals.

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    For a long time, humans have had pets like dogs and cats because they are easy to control and are of less danger to humans than exotic animals are to …

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  • Allison from Kentucky

    The US government should put more regulations on the ownership of exotic animals. The dangers of owning exotic animals goes both ways; just as much as the owner stands a chance of getting hurt, the animal has the chance of getting hurt. Exotic animals are often endangered so owning a creature on the brink of extinction is a dangerous thing. If the animal is not cared for correctly they are likely to suffer extreme harm and death. The death of endangered species is one of the worst things to happen to an ecosystem and the odds of it happening double if the animal is kept in an unregulated home and faces the chance of death.

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    The US government should put more regulations on the ownership of exotic animals. The dangers of owning exotic animals goes both ways; just as much as…

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  • Colin from Kentucky

    I believe that there should be more regulation regarding exotic animal ownership. Many exotic animals are endangered and should be preserved by those with proper training and knowledge. Private ownership of exotic animals should be allowed, since this can help conservation efforts, but allowing anybody to own animals puts said animals at risk. Thus, a permit/license system should be implemented for ownership.

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    I believe that there should be more regulation regarding exotic animal ownership. Many exotic animals are endangered and should be preserved by those…

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  • Grady from Kentucky

    A while back I heard of some famous person who had a monkey for a pet. After looking into it a little bit more, I discovered that it was Chris Brown. Also, I looked up to see if it was legal to own a pet monkey. It turns out that around 20 states have banned the ownership of a pet monkey. Seriously, only 20 states? If there are only 20 states banning the ownership of a pet monkey, then I think that alone should speak for itself.

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    A while back I heard of some famous person who had a monkey for a pet. After looking into it a little bit more, I discovered that it was Chris Brown. …

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  • Maia from Kentucky

    There should definitely be more restrictions on people owning exotic animals as pets, in fact, I believe that people shouldn’t own exotic animals as pets. The animals can survive much better on their own, out in the wild than they can in captivity, especially the kind of captivity that doesn’t have the necessary space or equipment that the animals need. People who believe that they are protecting these animals should take another look, because unless they are extremely rich, they probably aren’t going to have exactly what the animals need. In addition to that, being in close captivity take away their natural instincts, which can occasionally be something they need to survive, and what good is a natural predator, like a tiger, without its instincts.

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    There should definitely be more restrictions on people owning exotic animals as pets, in fact, I believe that people shouldn’t own exotic animals as p…

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  • Jacob from Kentucky

    I do believe there should be more regulations on the ownership of exotic animals. Mainly, regulations should be put in place to protect the after of the animals and the people who own them. People should not be able to raise dangerous animals without any proper treatment or regulations. With adequate oversight, exotic animals can be treated correctly and ensure the safety of them and their owners.

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    I do believe there should be more regulations on the ownership of exotic animals. Mainly, regulations should be put in place to protect the after of t…

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  • Jack from North Carolina

    Recently, a new Netflix documentary called “Tiger King” has taken Americans and frankly the world by storm. This captivating series is centered around zoo owner Joe Exotic, who owns hundreds of exotic animals including tigers, lions and monkeys. By the end of the series Joe is put in prison for charges related to animal abuse and the sale of these animals. This documentary truly opened my eyes to the world of exotic pets and just how easy they are to obtain.
    Currently there are little to no regulations concerning the ownership of exotic animals and I feel this is wrong. Unlike normal pets like house cats and dogs, exotic animals are generally more dangerous and will be treated as such. In Zanesville, Ohio, in 2011, around 50 exotic animals were set free into the open. Authorities had no choice but to kill all of these animals which included lions, tigers and bears (https://www.livescience.com/16815-exotic-pets-wildlife-infographic.html). If just anyone can obtain these animals, who’s to say this scenario won’t happen again except next time humans will die. I don’t think owning exotic pets is wrong, I just feel there should be proper steps taken to make sure potential buyers of these pets are capable of caring for them correctly.
    This series also touches on the harsh reality of using these animals as money makers. Joe exotic uses tiger cubs to bring in money with his cub pettings and then is rumored to shoot the tigers. This cruelty is completely unnecessary and is a perfect reason for stronger measures to prevent just anyone from getting their hands on exotic animals.
    Overall, there should be more regulations concerning the purchase of exotic animals because they are too dangerous and some people just aren’t capable of handling these beautiful animals correctly.

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    Recently, a new Netflix documentary called “Tiger King” has taken Americans and frankly the world by storm. This captivating series is centered a…

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  • Trevour from Texas

    I think there should be more regulations because of the harm that some can cause such as tigers etcetera. There should also be higher qualifications to own an exotic animal and go through strict guidelines as well as routine checks on the animals to see that they are properly taken care of like if you are a felon you can’t own one etc. not only that but find and fix the holes in the Endangered Species Act so that it makes it more difficult to obtain and keep an exotic animal.

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    I think there should be more regulations because of the harm that some can cause such as tigers etcetera. There should also be higher qualifications t…

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  • Brannon from California

    The idea of having exotic animals as pets has been around for a while now, but in today’s society it is becoming ever so prevalent. People around the world are getting their hands on exotic animals such as tigers, lions and cheetahs, who belong in the wild. These animals are often times dangerous as they are brought up to hunt down and kill their prey. Having an exotic animal as a pet is a very ridiculous idea for a few reasons. One, being that it is inhumane to take these animals out of their natural habitat and keep them in a cage as a pet. Two, being that these animals are often times dangerous, if not deadly, depending on how much people know about these animals. Overall, the world needs to wake up and realize that keeping wild animals in cages as pets is absurd and animal abuse. These animals belong in their natural habitat, not in a cage in some persons backyard. It is time to realize that exotic animals are animals and not pets. Regulation on this topic is needed now before more damage is caused to these endangered species.

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    The idea of having exotic animals as pets has been around for a while now, but in today’s society it is becoming ever so prevalent. People around the …

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  • Drew from Kentucky

    I believe all exotic animals should remain wild because I think it is wrong for humans to keep them in captivity. They are called exotic for a reason and this doesn’t give the humans the right to take them out of their habitat just for people to look at and see. The more exotic animals taken out of their environment the more of an impact it can make on the whole ecosystem. It causes a chain reaction which makes it more likely to result in major consequences.

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    I believe all exotic animals should remain wild because I think it is wrong for humans to keep them in captivity. They are called exotic for a reason …

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  • drew from California

    Exotic animals are extremely rare and they do not belong in people’s homes. These animals are not pets instead are unique and scarce organisms that may never be seen again. We need to care for every animal but most importantly the exotic ones. Additionally, holding on to the exotic animals prohibit them from reproducing to their capacity and letting them to be free. Earth is a place of freedom and nature, no one should be able to keep an exotic animal as a pet

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    Exotic animals are extremely rare and they do not belong in people’s homes. These animals are not pets instead are unique and scarce organisms that ma…

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  • Livia from California

    I believe there should be more regulations and restrictions regarding the captivity of exotic animals. Animals were never meant to be under the ownership of humans in the first place, making it completely and utterly unethical for us to do so now, with the exception of domestic pets. As a result of climate change and our current environmental status, 27 species go extinct every day. 27. Due to this, we should no longer interfere with the habitat of these exotic creatures due to the fact that in a matter of days, these animals may no longer exist. I believe that zoos should only house animals that are on the verge of extinction in hopes to help prevent it. However, zoos should no longer be available to contribute to the enjoyment of humans on an everyday basis. Although zoos make most of their profit off visitors, they still receive a large number of donations and they would ultimately save money by returning the exotic wildlife to their homes in the wild.

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    I believe there should be more regulations and restrictions regarding the captivity of exotic animals. Animals were never meant to be under the owners…

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  • Aniya from North Carolina

    Owning exotic pets is becoming more and more popular throughout the years. According to American Pet Products Association “19.4 million U.S. households owned exotics in 2013’’ (CNBC,2014). In some states citizens can own certain exotic animals without a license. There should be more regulations on who is allowed to own an exotic pet. There should be more regulations because exotic pets are dangerous especially owned by someone who is not trained. The owner is putting themselves at risk of being injured or even killed by the animal. Born Free USA says “Across the country, many incidents have been reported where exotic animals held in private hands attacked humans and other animals, and escaped from their enclosures and freely roamed the community”(2016). Owning exotic pets not only puts the owner at risk but those surrounded as well. Taking these animals from their habitat may cause them to be uncertain and defensive which could be a cause that increases attacks.
    Another reason there should be more regulations is because exotic animals carry different diseases.Live Science explains that “reptiles can carry salmonella bacteria, and monkeys can carry the herpes B virus, both of which can be deadly in humans”(2011). Being in close contact with these animals will cause the owner to become sick if they are not careful.
    Those who oppose the need for more regulation argue that taking these animals out the wild helps conserve them as species. When these animals try to attack people the only thing that can be done is to kill the animal. So is keeping exotic animals as pets really saving their species.
    In conclusion, there is a need for more regulations on owning exotic pets. This will help lower the amount of attacks and the number of people who are getting diseases from wild animals.

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    Owning exotic pets is becoming more and more popular throughout the years. According to American Pet Products Association “19.4 million U.S. househo…

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  • Janie from North Carolina

    I think there should be more regulations concerning the ownership of exotic animals primarily to protect animals from abuse and cruelty. We should not put animals a risk of suffering through unhealthy human-made conditions. As depicted in the Tiger King, the ownership of exotic animals such as big cats has grown rapid, undocumented, and unsafe. Without reports of these animals, there is no assurance that they are being treated correctly. According to Newsweek article, “NETFLIX’S ‘TIGER KING’ RAISES QUESTIONS ABOUT TIGER CAPTIVITY. WHAT ARE U.S. RESTRICTIONS ON OWNING BIG CATS,” national geographic has revealed that “the number of tigers in captivity in America is likely larger than the number of wild tigers around the world.” This is very concerning and raises a threat to the species as they are forcibly captive outside of their national habitats. This could cause defects to adaptation and the species if this continues. The article also discusses how there is not strict federal regulation overseeing private ownership and it is left up to states. Based off what I know about the current captivity of exotic pets in the U.S., it seems that some states due not hold this problem to much seriousness. If the federal government got involved it would bring needed attention to the situation and encourage people to respect and make efforts to protect these animals. As endangered species are a cause for concern to the whole nation, I believe the federal government needs to be held responsible and legislative take action to protect the animals of the U.S..

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    I think there should be more regulations concerning the ownership of exotic animals primarily to protect animals from abuse and cruelty. We should not…

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  • Grace from North Carolina

    The term ‘exotic pet’ is loosely defined as any pet that is not a dog, cat, or farm animal. Examples of exotic pets can be birds, turtles, rodents, and lizards. Surrounding the topic of exotic pets is the question, “Should there be stricter regulations on the housing of these exotic pets?” When taking this question into consideration, there are several factors to consider too. Based on the sites provided on the Think The Vote site as well as research of my own, I have come to the conclusion that I do believe that there should be stricter regulations regarding owning exotic pets.

    Firstly, an exotic pet doesn’t have to be a complex animal that is hard to obtain, such as an undomesticated animal. It can be something as simple as a gecko, which is offered at most pet stores. Tags labelling the animal and giving very basic information can be found under terrains for these creatures, such as life span and the hours when it is most active. For most amphibians, such as the gecko, they will be labelled as a “beginner” pet, which I personally believe is a mislabel for an exotic pet of any kind.

    Secondly, any buyer looking to purchase an exotic pet will of course get the proper equipment and food, however while the equipment and food may be suitable for the pet, that doesn’t mean that it’s the best (which I believe any and all pets deserve). For example, the average habitat for a gecko would be about $95, for the proper equipment including a 10 gallon tank. A 10 gallon tank isn’t much space at all for a pet of this kind, and though it may be suitable, it’s certainly not what’s best. When owning a pet of any kind, but especially exotic pets, you have to take their well-being and happiness into consideration too. How expensive the cost is for taking care of one of these pets is not what makes it exotic, it’s that they’re not your average dog or cat that has the world as their living space, exotic pets require special care and have individual needs that should be met, which may differentiate them from any pet that may be considered commonplace.

    Lastly, in reference to the previously used example of someone looking to own an exotic pet (the gecko), that is assuming that this person is looking to genuinely treat this animal with care. Not only is there a wide range of exotic pets, but the laws on private ownership of these exotic pets varies from state-to-state too, meaning that where some states may require a permit, others may have no laws on private ownership at all. I believe that a permit should be required nationwide for the ownership of any animal that is considered exotic, as well as a monthly check-up for animals that are on the “more exotic” end of the spectrum, such as big cats. Doing this will ensure that not only will these animals be in the hands of good caretakers, but also that those that require much special care will be receiving such.

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    The term ‘exotic pet’ is loosely defined as any pet that is not a dog, cat, or farm animal. Examples of exotic pets can be birds, turtles, rodents…

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  • Charlie from North Carolina

    During this quarantine period I have had the opportunity to catch up on movies and TV shows, which has given me an opportunity to not think about the tough circumstances that my country and I are facing. One of these TV series has captivated the country and sparked controversy over eoxtic animal rights and protection. After watching this docuseries and reading other articles, I believe that we need more regulations concerning the possession of these exotic animals. Even though the main figure in the series captivated viewers with his various fanatics unique personality, the animals faced abused and substandard conditions throughout the entire show. Even experts such as Kitty Block, CEO of the Humane society states that “The animals are the real victims who are caught up in this human drama”. Multiple times during the show according to NBC, there were actions taking place that caused great distress to not only the bigger tigers but also the tiger cubs. Everything from cub petting and the day-to -day operations of the zoo in the docuseries covered up allegations and obvious signs of tiger abuse that when compared with other animals would be seen as cruel and extremely wrong. These attractions like the one highlighted in the docuseries are only able to remain in operation “because the federal Animal Welfare Act is weak, outdated and poorly enforced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture” according to Block. Another reason why there should be more regulations lies in the economics of the situation. Stated in the docuseries is cost up to a quarter of a million dollars to feed these exotic animals, a bill that would be hard to pay without a consistent revenue source. This and the fact that tigers need 23 to 39 miles of habitat space to live cohesively is something that small enclosures will never provide according to http://www.lions.org. The Cato Institute suggests in order to fix the Endangered Species Act would be to Use private ownership as much as possible, then a biodiversity fund out of recreation user fees as a fallback measure. This solution would still tackle a popular dissenting opinion that these attractions are beneficial to allow the public to interact with these exotic animals and to keep their population numbers from dipping into the endangered categories.

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    During this quarantine period I have had the opportunity to catch up on movies and TV shows, which has given me an opportunity to not think about the …

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  • Sophia from Kentucky

    I think that there should be more restrictions on ownership and possession of exotic animals. Firstly, I don’t believe that private ownership of such animals protects them as an endangered species. Instead of actually being able to repopulate their natural habitats, a large percentage of privately owned exotic animals, such as tigers, are confined to a life of captivity. Therefore, their existence is not based on species preservation but personal enjoyment and profit. Yes, there are activists who push for better treatment of these animals, but there are always people who abuse the system. While many states have placed restrictions or bans on exotic animals, there are still several who have no restrictions. Therefore, I think Congress should utilize the commerce clause to place foundational restrictions and let the states determine the rest. Overall, I do not see the benefit in owning exotic or dangerous animals, because it takes the animal away from their natural habitat and also puts humans at risk as well.

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    I think that there should be more restrictions on ownership and possession of exotic animals. Firstly, I don’t believe that private ownership of suc…

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  • Aaron from Kentucky

    Exotic animals require special treatment and care that most people are unable to provide. Without thorough knowledge and understanding of exotic animals and their needs, a person will not be able to provide the animal with living conditions that allow it to thrive. I think with more regulations on the ownership of exotic animals it will ensure that these animals are treated well and are able to live in an environment the provides a good quality of life.

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    Exotic animals require special treatment and care that most people are unable to provide. Without thorough knowledge and understanding of exotic anima…

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  • Naman from Texas

    There should most definitely be more regulations regarding the ownership of exotic animals. We must understand that when we hold an “exotic animal” in captivity, they not only pose a threat to humans, but to themselves as well. In order to survive sufficiently, animals are to be left to their natural habitat. This luxury comes at the expense of an animal’s life.Taking an animal out of its habitat poses a threat to wildlife and the balance nature provides. According to Lauren of OneGreenPlanet, exotic animals kept in captivity have a 20-30 percent chance of dying than them living in the wild. Many birds held in captivity die due to the shock of losing their own freedom and ability to enjoy the world as humans do.
    Not only that, one must understand that when adopting/buying a household pet, they must go through a vaccination process to protect themselves and their owners from diseases. When undertaking an exotic pet, since they are bought through black market sights and/or caught in the wild, vaccines are not provided/available for use. 90 percent of all reptiles contain bacteria, such as salmonella, that can be potentially life-threatening. Tiger King is a Netflix series that just shows how cruel humans have become, just to entertain the likes of the society. Though we cannot stop the exotic animal trade, we surely can add more regulations and procedures that help save the lives of thousands of animals. Animals are as sentient as humans, we live and feel in our own ways, we should put ourselves in the shoes of these animals.

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    There should most definitely be more regulations regarding the ownership of exotic animals. We must understand that when we hold an “exotic animal…

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  • Jim from Georgia

    It is clear that more regulation is needed for owning exotic animals

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  • Lucy from North Carolina

    There should be more regulations concerning the ownership of exotic animals. Before recently watching the Netflix Documentary Series Tiger King, I had never taken into consideration how the harsh exotic pet trade and ownership affects the world’s wildlife. According to National Geographic, there are more tigers held in captivity in America than the number of tigers around the world. But because the states do not keep accurate records of the exotic animals entering their state, it is nearly impossible to to determine how many animals are privately owned as exotic pets. The states are currently responsible for setting their own restrictions on the ownership of exotic animals and there is no federal ban on the ownership of any specific animals. Although some states ban exotic pet ownership or require specific permits, there are a few states that have no restrictions whatsoever, these being Nevada, Wisconsin, Alabama and North Carolina.
    Not only do these animals belong in their natural habitat, but they are a public safety risk and are naturally dangerous. There have been many incidents where privately owned exotic animals have attacked humans and other animals, potentially escaping their enclosures and ripped off body parts. This event occurred in Tiger King, where Saff’s arm was bitten off by one of the tigers. The isolation and time spent in their enclosures only induces the animal’s need to lash out at their owners and surroundings. Exotic animals additionally pose potential health risks on humans. Examples of these zoonotic diseases would be the Herpes B-virus, the ebola virus, monkeypox, and salmonellosis. These threats to the human population by exotic animals could be stopped in America by taking an end to the Exotic Pet Trade, which has become an easy way to obtain an exotic pet that has been captured from their native habitats and sold in various countries as pets. Americans can work to stop the private ownership and unfair treatment of exotic animals by creating private groups to assist to recover the endangered species using incentives and rewards for their protection. The lack of regulation concerning the ownership of exotic pets is alarming, and more restrictions should be federally put in place.

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    There should be more regulations concerning the ownership of exotic animals. Before recently watching the Netflix Documentary Series Tiger King, I had…

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  • Jesus from Texas

    I think there should be regulations,and yes i believe people should have a permit for exotic animals.I think that people should not own animals like bears tigers or any big animals unless if they own a shelter for animals or if they want to use them for circuses.If they have the animal because it was hurt and raised it when it was small or had it for years i think they should keep it. the only new regulation i have is for Someone to cheek on the animal to see if its good every year.

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    I think there should be regulations,and yes i believe people should have a permit for exotic animals.I think that people should not own animals like b…

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  • Lizet from Illinois

    I think that there should be more regulations concerning the ownership of exotic animals. So many people take advantage of the law and loopholes in order to get what they want. Most of the time, an exotic animal will not live a long time in a habitat that isn’t meant for them, causing them to eventually be extinct. There are thousands of animals that were made extinct by humans, and since nowadays different animals are becoming extinct the laws clearly aren’t enough. For example, in 2019 3 bird species, 2 frogs, a shark, a snail and one of the world’s largest freshwater fish. Thousands more are endangered and should be left alone in their natural habitats to reproduce and expand the population before it’s too late. There are millions of house pets from anything like a dog to a turtle that go months without a home, that we should be bringing in instead of exotic animals. For example, there are 3.9 million dogs and 3.4 million cats in shelters all around the United States just waiting to have a home. I think that these are the types of animals that we should own instead of disturbing an exotic animal for our own benefit. Lastly, not many people that own animals in general understand the responsibility that comes with them. There are millions of animals that are abandoned that are house pets, if people do that with simpler animals, how are we supposed to trust others with pets such as tigers or any other exotic animal? Overall, I think that there should be far more regulations concerning the ownership of exotic animals. Not just anyone should be able to own one and they should ultimately be left alone in their natural habitat to avoid any disturbance.

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    I think that there should be more regulations concerning the ownership of exotic animals. So many people take advantage of the law and loopholes in or…

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  • Erika from Texas

    In regards to the resolution, there should be more regulations when it comes to the ownership of exotic animals. The ownership of exotic animals is displayed throughout the media in shows like Tiger King; however, when put into perspective, there are many safety, environmental, and health-related threats that could harm the owners, animals, and the general public. First off, the setting of our modern world is harmful and not suitable for exotic animals. These animals have been living in the wild for decades and to take them out of this setting can be extremely harmful. If we remove these animals from their habitat, it can disrupt the biodiversity and cause the ecosystem to be extremely hurt.
    In addition, exotic animals that are not domesticated towards humans are not suitable to live in an area with them. This can cause harm to both the owner and the animal. There should be more regulations of who can be allowed to own exotic animals. There should also be a process to review the person’s motives when it comes to owning an exotic animal and see if it could harm them. For example, Kelly Wynne stated in “NETFLIX’S ‘TIGER KING’ RAISES QUESTIONS ABOUT TIGER CAPTIVITY. WHAT ARE U.S. RESTRICTIONS ON OWNING BIG CATS?” that “Some of the other charges that fed into Extotic’s prison sentence have to do with animal abuse—including that he apparently shot and killed five tigers just to make room for more, which is a violation of the Endangered Species Act.” This shows that there should be more regulations of who is allowed to own an Exotic animal because it could significantly harm these endangered species. There needs to be a required inspection before people are allowed to buy an exotic animal to make sure that they will respect the guidelines of the Endangered Species Act and protect the animals for the greater good of them.
    Finally, those who disagree believe that owning exotic animals could conserve these endangered species and shouldn’t have added regulations. However, not everyone that owns an Exotic animal respects the Endangered Species Act and can harm the wellbeing of them. In addition, these animals have not adapted to living with humans and should not be locked in a tightly confined area. They are different from domesticated animals and should not be handled like pets. With that, there should be more regulations concerning the ownership of exotic animals for the overall well being of the owners and animals.

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    In regards to the resolution, there should be more regulations when it comes to the ownership of exotic animals. The ownership of exotic animals is di…

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  • Melissa from Pennsylvania

    I believe that there should be more regulations concerning the ownership of exotic animals. Owning an exotic pet can cause trauma to the pet because they are not in their original home. They can also bring disease if not vaccinated properly.

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    I believe that there should be more regulations concerning the ownership of exotic animals. Owning an exotic pet can cause trauma to the pet because t…

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  • Giovanna from Pennsylvania

    I think there needs to be more regulations on people owning exotic animals and displaying them as if that’s what they were put on the earth for. These animals that are being held in cages aren’t used to bein locked up and listening to rules, these animals are meant to live in their NATURAL habitat, fend for themselves, and find their own way of living. Imagine your neighbor owned a tiger and one day it starts becoming aggressive and officially impossible to handle. These animals aren’t meant to be caged up and because of that it could put peoples lives at stake. These exotic animals deserve to be left alone with out anyone bothering them.

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    I think there needs to be more regulations on people owning exotic animals and displaying them as if that’s what they were put on the earth for. These…

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  • Lilly from North Carolina

    In recent weeks the Netflix documentary Tiger King has been growing exponentially in popularity among Americans all over the country. This docuseries follows Joe Exotic and other Zookeepers such as Carol Baskin and Doc Antel as they go through the daily hardships and challenges of owning maintaining many species of big cats and other animals. This has brought to light many questions about Animal Rights and Endangered Species protection. In the United States, there are currently no federal laws preventing people from owning exotic pets although there are many state laws prohibiting this. This has led to the many pets being kept in unsafe and harmful environments, animal abuse, and animal deaths. Because there are no federal laws preventing this ownership it allows for a huge business of buying and selling these exotic animals that puts these creatures in horrible conditions being transported all around the country. According to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, “Seventy-two percent of exotic animals in the “pet” trade die before they even reach stores.” Morally this is not right. I believe that these animals need to be protected and that they should live in the wild in the environment they were meant to be in and not some rich man’s back yard as a fun toy hell get bored of by the time it gets to be one year old. This is why I believe that there should be many more restrictions placed on exotic animal ownership in the United States.

    Many people advocate for tiger and other exotic animal breeders because of the endangered state of these species. They hear that they are breeding them and making more, so therefore they must be helping the conservation of these animals. This is wrong. According to National Geographic, tiger breeding is not conservation. These animals that are bread will never be able to go into the wild because they would not have the right genetics and are not raised to have the skill sets necessary to survive in the wild. If they were to be released they would most likely die because they would not know how to hunt for food. This is another main reason why there should be more restrictions on ownership and breeding of exotic species. These animals should not be exploited and endangered because of monetary reasons. Their lives are more valuable than a couple of bucks in someone’s back pocket.

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    In recent weeks the Netflix documentary Tiger King has been growing exponentially in popularity among Americans all over the country. This docuseries …

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  • Karolina from California

    I think that having a wild animal as a pet needs more regulations. I think this because even if these animals have been well trained and brought up human friendly, they have physical features and characteristics that can harm and cause danger to someone even by accident. An example of this is a tigers strong jaw and sharp teeth. A tiger can be playful and accidentally bite u causing injury and maybe even permanent damage. I think you can make a great pet out of theses animals and I understand that they are amazing creatures but they are strong and built for the wild.

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    I think that having a wild animal as a pet needs more regulations. I think this because even if these animals have been well trained and brought up hu…

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  • Jared from Pennsylvania

    I personally believe that we should put more restrictions on exotic animals because they are too unpredictable. Having them cooped up in a cage would most likely just make the animal angrier and more aggressive. We must treat all animals as we would like to be treated.

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    I personally believe that we should put more restrictions on exotic animals because they are too unpredictable. Having them cooped up in a cage would …

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  • Raymond from Arkansas

    There should be more regulations concerning the protection of big cats, they need our help as much as people go and pay to go and see them. People like Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, better known by his stage name Joe Exotic, have been caught and were found guilty, but there are still more people illegally breeding. All the big cats that are being held captive in cages don’t belong there and yes, there are species of big cats that are going extinct, and we only have our selves to blame because we keep on having a high demand for them. It’s not illegal to own a big cat, it’s only illegal to breed, sell, or buy them.

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    There should be more regulations concerning the protection of big cats, they need our help as much as people go and pay to go and see them. People lik…

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  • Peter from Wisconsin

    Yes there should be more regulations surrounding the ownership of exotic animals. Animals were never meant to be kept by humans, excluding domestic pets and livestock. A tiger does not belong in a mansion in Dubai, and an endangered gecko should not be smuggled in a barely survivable Tupperware container because someone in the United States thinks its flashy colors look pretty. Animals should be left to their own devices, in their own habitats, without the interference of humans who want to take them from their natural home. When it comes to legal exotic pets, those laws need to be changed as well. If it lives in a different area of the world from where you, the would be pet owner, are living, then it should not be kept as a pet. The only exceptions for the ownership of exotic animals would be for rehabilitation clinics, and zoos in the case of endangered species.

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    Yes there should be more regulations surrounding the ownership of exotic animals. Animals were never meant to be kept by humans, excluding domestic p…

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  • Elizabeth from Washington

    In terms of taking these animals out of the wild to use them for entertainment is cruel.

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  • Emily from California

    Some states do not have regulations or have few regulations on exotic pets. There should be regulations because it is important that we protect not only ourselves and our neighbors from animals that could harm us but also protect the animals themselves from being abused, mistreated, and poorly housed.

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    Some states do not have regulations or have few regulations on exotic pets. There should be regulations because it is important that we protect not on…

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  • Nadine from Georgia

    I believe that due to exotic animals not only majority being close to extinction, they also may pose a threat to the cities they are being taken to. These exotic animals may carry serious biological viruses or even may have trouble adapting to the area. Additionally, exotic animals are already facing population decreases; therefore, restrictions should be placed to ensure that these possibilities do not occur.

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    I believe that due to exotic animals not only majority being close to extinction, they also may pose a threat to the cities they are being taken to. T…

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  • Claire from Tennessee

    Exotic animals are not made to be kept in captivity. If you take a fish and put it in a tree, it will obviously die. If you take exotic animals where they do not belong, they will not thrive. Nature is not made for humans; humans are a part of nature that has come to exploit it for personal desires.

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    Exotic animals are not made to be kept in captivity. If you take a fish and put it in a tree, it will obviously die. If you take exotic animals where …

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  • Victoria from New Hampshire

    Exotic animals require special care that those without a permit may not be able to provide. Those who truly desire to care for exotic animals would be willing to put in the time and effort to research the animal that they wish to care for before adopting it. These same people would also likely be willing to do what it takes to obtain a permit while those who may not have the means or intentions to properly care for an exotic animal may not be willing or able to do what is required to obtain an exotic pet permit. By having this permit you would protect exotic animals from potential abuse and mistreatment by those who saw them as trophies or simply did not have the proper resources required to care for them.

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    Exotic animals require special care that those without a permit may not be able to provide. Those who truly desire to care for exotic animals would be…

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  • Sofia from Florida

    Exotic animals are not meant to be pets. They deserve freedom, no animal should be kept in a cage. Normal people are NOT fit to take care of tigers and other rare animals. These animals are meant to roam huge lands and hunt. An animal should never be taken from its natural land, it has a home and deserves to live there.

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    Exotic animals are not meant to be pets. They deserve freedom, no animal should be kept in a cage. Normal people are NOT fit to take care of tigers an…

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  • Mario from Texas

    These luxuries are at the expense of an animal’s life.

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  • jada from Texas

    I think with the release of new TV documentaries such as “ Tiger King” releasing the world had really gotten to get a glimpse on how living with exotic animals is. As unique as it is, if we decide to make this a common thing we as a society need to enlist a certain set of rules and guidelines to set an understanding for those owners. To not only protect themselves but also to protect their communities, the life of the animals, and to maintain a balance for the ecosystem those exotic animals live in.

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    I think with the release of new TV documentaries such as “ Tiger King” releasing the world had really gotten to get a glimpse on how living with e…

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  • Thomas from Vermont

    The owning of exotic animals is immoral. I don’t think that anyone should own exotic animals, but the least we can do is heavily regulate it so as. to reduce poaching and punsih those who trade illegally.

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    The owning of exotic animals is immoral. I don’t think that anyone should own exotic animals, but the least we can do is heavily regulate it so as. to…

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  • Hannah from Illinois

    No matter how strongly one person may care for their exotic animal, there will be people who will take loose rules and run with them. Trying to convince ourselves that exotic animals are the same as domesticated pets leads to not only mistreatment of exotic animals, which have vastly different needs than household pets, but also the endangerment of unknowledgeable owners or even innocent bystanders.

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    No matter how strongly one person may care for their exotic animal, there will be people who will take loose rules and run with them. Trying to convin…

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  • Kyle from New York

    The problems that arise due to the human superiority complex have vast detrimental effects to the other life forms that inhabit our planet. We look at the dog and think about their purpose in a way that serves us; we look at the bees that fly on the flowers as producers of honey to feed us. Frankly, this belief that the animals and plants that we share space with are here for our control is causing great harm within these beautiful populations. While they’re certainly not as small as bees, we see big cats in a similar way — needing to adhere to our superiority complex. As the mightiest of the animal kingdom, “taming” their fierce nature would allow for a human being’s ego boost upon captue. But why? What do we gain from this? The disheartening answer to this question is the selfish satisfaction of power. We neglect to see the severe harm that being caged up in disgustingly kept boxes can have on these creatures. Undoubtedly, actions must be put in place to ensure that these animals roam freely in the wild where they belong and not in a tiny hellhole that an egotistical human builds. They need more protection; they need compassion. The only way to achieve this is to implement strict laws that forbid their capture.

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    The problems that arise due to the human superiority complex have vast detrimental effects to the other life forms that inhabit our planet. We look at…

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  • Duaa from Missouri

    I understand that many private owners have good intentions however those good intentions often materialize into abuse as profits drive heartbreaking actions like breeding and cub petting (which overstimulates newborn wild cats). I, like many, watched the popular documentary “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness” which follows the stories of Carole Baskin (owner of Big Cat Rescue) and a now incarcerated Joe Exotic, the former owner and operator of the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park. The documentary closes with a very unfortunate statistic, there are 4,000 tigers left in the wild, and 5,000 tigers living in captivity in this country alone. We aren’t helping them, tigers bred and born in captivity cannot survive in the wild, so, we’re left with abuse for the sake of profits and a cool photo-op for those who can afford it. I expect more of our society.

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    I understand that many private owners have good intentions however those good intentions often materialize into abuse as profits drive heartbreaking a…

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  • Joshua from Washington

    If the process of getting an exotic animal became harder for the average citizen in the United States, then there will be less exotic animals in the United States, simple logic. Exotic animals can carry or become invasive species and destroy ecosystems and populations of animals. If exotic animals become common in households across America, then there will be a rises of numbers of them in the wild of the United States, and risk becoming invasive species. The National Wildlife Federation states that invasive species cause 42% of threatened or endangered animals, and they also state that most of these invasive species are spread by humans. If there is a decrease in human and exotic animal interactions, there would be less endangered animals that the United States government has to put money into to spread awareness about the animal, and in saving it. Invasive species cost the economy and ecosystems billions of dollars every year. If laws are made to keep exotic animals out of the United States, then we will start to save money and lives of the United States citizens. All of the reasons the TSA does not allow fruits on airplanes are also all the reasons exotic animals are not very common. But more laws will not hurt, but not having laws might hurt the United States. Better safe than sorry.

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    If the process of getting an exotic animal became harder for the average citizen in the United States, then there will be less exotic animals in the U…

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  • Anushka from Wisconsin

    Although people with the qualifications and facilities to care for an animal should have a right to, reckless teenagers go and adopt wild animals just on a whim. Even with the proper technology, they are wild animals with animal instincts and should be cared for as such.

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    Although people with the qualifications and facilities to care for an animal should have a right to, reckless teenagers go and adopt wild animals just…

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  • Mohammad from Florida

    Of course there needs to be. Many people do not know how to take care of these animals!

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  • Emily from California

    Overall, there are numerous benefit with no downsides to adding more regulations regarding the ownership of exotic animals.
    Benefit 1: Improved Public Safety
    – Born Free USA, an organization that strives to end the ownership of wild animals, has documented 1,500 attacks, including 75 human deaths, escapes and other incidents involving exotic pets since 1990. These animals are a large threat to public safety. Adding more regulations will help ensure public safety, and also the animals safety.

    Benefit 2: Upgraded Animal Welfare
    – According to peta.org, 75% of exotic animals die prematurely within a year of being purchased. We are sacrificing both our own and the animals welfare; for what? So we can have a ‘cool’ pet. This is a major threat to justice. We must add more regulations concerning the ownership of exotic animals.

    Benefit 3: Heightened Environmental Protection
    – The United States Fish and Wildlife Service states, invasive species harm human health and also cause economic and environmental harm. Why? The reasons are twofold. First, the process of attaining these animals from the wild cause harm. Second, many exotic pet owners cannot afford these animals or they cannot handle them so they release them back into the wild. This is an endless circle of harm. Adding more regulations would heighten environmental protection.

    There is no argument or point about keeping the regulations as it is, that outweighs public safety, animal welfare, and environmental health combined.

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    Overall, there are numerous benefit with no downsides to adding more regulations regarding the ownership of exotic animals.
    Benefit 1: Improved Publi…

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  • Lelah from New Jersey

    Yes, there should be tighter regulations. No living creature deserves to be exploited for entertainment, especially when there’s modern alternatives to this—we’ve all seen how cool those holographic circuses are, plus there’s documentaries on animals for people who want to know what they live like. We need to learn to appreciate their beauty from afar. While I agree that there should be stricter regulations, our government has bigger concerns than this, and it’s not fair to imply that this takes precedence over human lives. It’s not their responsibility to fund the protection of animals, but perhaps if they weren’t so busy putting immigrants in cages, they’d have the money to take better care of animals.

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    Yes, there should be tighter regulations. No living creature deserves to be exploited for entertainment, especially when there’s modern alternatives…

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  • Carrigan from Kansas

    From a constitutional perspective, there is no given right to own an exotic animal. If anything, some of these species are endangered and should not be kept in captivity as much as say dogs or cats commonly are. If one truly desires an exotic animal as a pet or other justified purpose, they will conform with the regulations and go through the legal process to obtain the animal.

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    From a constitutional perspective, there is no given right to own an exotic animal. If anything, some of these species are endangered and should not b…

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  • Shahana Parveen from California

    Sometimes, exotic animals can threaten the general public. The safety of the people is number one.

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  • Saaliyah from Louisiana

    There most definitely should be more regulations on the ownership of exotic animals because they cause death and we are slowly killing the earth in which we live. With the current pandemic going on pollution has been decreasing and animals not around for years are starting to show up and flourish in our society. This leads us to think are we the virus, we cause animals to go extinct, we take them out of their natural habitats and they cause torture amongst our people, then the animal has to be put down, but then you start to think “what if I never owned an exotic animal this wouldn’t have happened?”Furthermore, you may ask, “what if I had the necessary tools and environment for the animal?” And the biggest question, “why wasn’t it regulated or mandatory to have certain tools and a certain environment?”

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    There most definitely should be more regulations on the ownership of exotic animals because they cause death and we are slowly killing the earth in wh…

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  • Jekhia from Kentucky

    Exotic animals are dangerous! Not only that, but they should be in good hands because exotic or not they are still a living organism. The ownership should be to someone with at least a credible background and a history with animals to take care of them. Not all humans deserve an exotic animal. They are potentially harmful and could kill. For example, owning a tiger is a risky situation. Not only do they bite, but they have claws that could scar you for life! Owning an exotic pet is a daring choice.

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    Exotic animals are dangerous! Not only that, but they should be in good hands because exotic or not they are still a living organism. The ownership sh…

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  • Alexis from New York

    When an animal is raised domestically, it cannot return to the wild. Some owners, not all,
    Will euthanize their animals, such as big cats, or send them away somewhere else if the cost of taking care of them gets too high, or they run out of room. I do not think this is a morally correct practice because these animals, much like humans, are raised by their “parents”, or owners, and can be traumatized if they are just disposed of/taken away.

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    When an animal is raised domestically, it cannot return to the wild. Some owners, not all,
    Will euthanize their animals, such as big cats, or send t…

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  • gabriela from California

    Exotic animals may be a form of entertainment for many, but their living conditions should meet their needs in order for them to thrive in any type of environment.

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  • Chyna from Florida

    I feel before people are allowed to purchase such animals a check should be made seeing if they are even able to financial take care of this animal. A wild animal deserves to be able to live in such manner. There should also be a guide line to what animal you can own because be are getting these animals to hurt and harm them and that is cruel and unfair.

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    I feel before people are allowed to purchase such animals a check should be made seeing if they are even able to financial take care of this animal. A…

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  • Denise from Michigan

    The treatment of animals nowadays is so harsh and these animals have no voice, it’s only right if we speak for them. We need to create more guidelines to ensure that animals are able to live the life they were made to live in the wild.

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    The treatment of animals nowadays is so harsh and these animals have no voice, it’s only right if we speak for them. We need to create more guidelin…

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  • Rachael from Connecticut

    More regulations should definitely be put in place without any loopholes. Tigers and bears and elephants are all supposed to live in the wild on their own and be a part of their own ecosystem. We should not try to domesticate these types of animals. I understand if they are in rehabilitation centers or babies who were not brought up by their mom to fend for themselves but they need to live their own life in their own natural environment because ecosystems would be put off balance.

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    More regulations should definitely be put in place without any loopholes. Tigers and bears and elephants are all supposed to live in the wild on thei…

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  • Andrew from Texas

    I believe yes there should be more regulations on exotic pets. The idea of keeping a wild animal as proud and dangerous as a tiger locked in a cage is wrong. I think that those are wild animals that deserve to be free and roam their natural habitats without the influence of human society. I think while it should be wrong to privately own exotic animals, an exception should be an animal sanctuary or somewhere such as that which promises protection and safety of the animal to live out their natural lives. When it comes to privately owned exotic pets you cannot be able to keep track of how such an animal is being treated. There is also another problem when deciding the regulations on exotic animals, and that is what animals define as “exotic”. Of course tigers are exotic, but what about hedgehogs or snakes, or any animal that is while uncommon to find in someone’s home it is not surprising if someone has one? Do those animals define themselves as exotic? Should the public only have access to animals available in stores? There are many key factors when defining an exotic animal and the decision of what is exotic or not is hard to decide by yourself. While there should definitely be more regulations on the ownership of exotic animals there should also be a classification system on what animals fall under the “exotic” category and what animals don’t.

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    I believe yes there should be more regulations on exotic pets. The idea of keeping a wild animal as proud and dangerous as a tiger locked in a cage is…

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  • Mackenzie from California

    Not every environment is made so that they can survive within it, and man making environments for man pleasure is wrong. They were put on earth where they are for a reason and should be left within their given habitat

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    Not every environment is made so that they can survive within it, and man making environments for man pleasure is wrong. They were put on earth where …

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  • Laiken from North Dakota

    Yes, I believe there should be more regulations because exotic animals should not be kept as pets and should live in the area they are native to.

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  • Isabella from Florida

    There should 100% be more regulations and standards regarding the ownership of exotic animals in private homes. This is a time where our whole world is in a crisis and someone may think they need company, such as a tiny pig. Half a year later, that same pig is on the street or in a slaughterhouse. Animals are supposed be in the wild, they have a right to life just like we do. Who allowed us human beings to just take them away from their habitat. Rules need to be set by the federal government to make sure that exotic animals should not be in a home for entertainment or profit, but in the wild where they belong.

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    There should 100% be more regulations and standards regarding the ownership of exotic animals in private homes. This is a time where our whole world i…

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  • Arissa from Hawaii

    Animals can unknowingly bring viruses that can be lethal to humans when exposed to them. Most deadly pandemics come from animal bacteria (bubonic plague (rats), ebola virus (dead animal bacteria), and currently coronavirus (bats)

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    Animals can unknowingly bring viruses that can be lethal to humans when exposed to them. Most deadly pandemics come from animal bacteria (bubonic plag…

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  • Sinclaire from Pennsylvania

    When there are people who own animals that are either endangered, threatened, or illegal, it puts their lives, the animal’s lives, and anyone who interacts with the person or animal lives in danger. The animals who are put in this situation are usually not cared for under the best living conditions. Without careful regulation, many animals are suffering by people’s selfish ways on their philosophies that they are “helping” the animal and they are “saving” them when they are really just a person’s pet. Stricter regulations isn’t going to stop people from curving around the law though. There needs to be law enforcement of prevention of illegally owning wild animals like a tiger and there also needs to be education. Whether it is teaching someone how to report it when they find an animal in this situation or to teach people the dangers of owning an exotic animal to persuade them from trying to obtain one, there needs to be a force of general education to the public to make sure tighter regulations are enforced. Without stricter regulations, many more animals can and will die or be harmed because they are not in their natural habitat and are forced to live their life enclosed and isolated behind bars.

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    When there are people who own animals that are either endangered, threatened, or illegal, it puts their lives, the animal’s lives, and anyone who inte…

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  • Calab from Michigan

    Exotic animals weren’t meant to be pets.

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  • Isabela from California

    Exotic animals aren’t domesticated pets, and therefore need to be regulated more heavily. Some can inflict heavy damage, and others are endangered species that need protection from illegal smuggling. Exotic animal owners need to show they can give proper care, because these aren’t things but actual beings at stake. They feel pain and suffering, so we should protect against that.

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    Exotic animals aren’t domesticated pets, and therefore need to be regulated more heavily. Some can inflict heavy damage, and others are endangered spe…

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  • Hannah from Florida

    Exotic Animals should not be kept as pets due to the their size and ability to kill. However, this does not make them bad, they are simply just animals. They belong in the wild and not locked up in someone’s backyard.

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    Exotic Animals should not be kept as pets due to the their size and ability to kill. However, this does not make them bad, they are simply just animal…

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  • Jack from Pennsylvania

    I believe that there should be more restrictions on the ownership of exotic animals. Exotic animals do not belong behind cages or in people backyards. They belong in the wild. These animals also pose a threat to public safety. In the first episode of the Tiger King documentary, it depicts a scene when exotic animals were let free by a man that owned them and they wreaked havoc over the presiding town. In the end, these animals had to be put down. If there were more restrictions people would not be able to get these animals and put themselves along with the public in danger. It would also protect these animals and keep more of them in the wild where they belong. It is sickening to know that there are more exotic tigers in captivity in the United States then there are in the wild. There must be more restrictions to keep the remaining exotic animals in the wild because as soon as they are taken into captivity they can not be released. We must preserve the wild exotic animals’ populations and cease taking from the population to be our pets. These animals are not pets they are wild nondomesticated animals that belong in the wild.

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    I believe that there should be more restrictions on the ownership of exotic animals. Exotic animals do not belong behind cages or in people backyards….

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  • Landon from North Carolina

    There should be federal restrictions on the ownership of exotic animals. Exotic animals come from habitats that do not always exist in the United States. This means that in order for certain exotic animals like tigers to be humanely cared for, aspects of their habitat need to be recreated. Thus, if private citizens wish to own an animal like a tiger, they should be required to create a habitat for that animal. People who wish to own exotic animals should also be required to obtain a license to do so, because if an animal native to the United States is released into the wild by accident, it could develop into an invasive species and choke out the biodiversity in the surrounding ecosystems. Biodiversity is incredibly important to ecosystems because it makes them more resilient if they are threatened by things like disease or natural disasters. However, there should be opportunities for people that are truly committed to caring for exotic animals to be able to do so.

    On the other hand, restrictions should be far more strict for the ownership of endangered exotic animals. Outside of reservations, endangered exotic animals should only be allowed to be owned by properly regulated zoos. Endangered exotic animals need to be taken care of by professionals that can properly care for them and release them back into their natural habitat when the time is right, which is ideal for an endangered species. Endangered species are too important to the preservation of biodiversity to be put in the hands of people who may harm them. The World Wildlife Fund estimates that anywhere from 200 to 2000 species go extinct every year. These heavy losses need to be avoided at all costs. Therefore, heavy restrictions should be placed on the ownership of exotic animals, specifically those that are endangered.

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    There should be federal restrictions on the ownership of exotic animals. Exotic animals come from habitats that do not always exist in the United Stat…

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  • Angelica from Tennessee

    I completely agree. People take advantage when they can. 😔

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  • Emma from Michigan

    Animals can be called exotic for a reason.

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  • Ira from Tennessee

    Is it important to protect biodiversity? Is it important to treat animals humanely? Is it important to protect native species? Is it important to keep mothers with their children? If you answered these questions ‘yes’ then it’s clear: there must definitely be more regulations concerning the ownership of exotic animals. They are often kidnapped from their natural habitats, taken away from their family often at a young age, and mistreated their whole lives. On top of that, once they are past the phase of novelty or being cute, many of them are dumped at a zoo where they will be further mistreated, or they will be left on the side of the road. Alongside that, once they are let loose in the wild, they can completely change an ecosystem and kill native species. Consider the Burmese python: it was brought to Florida as an exotic pet. When a hurricane happened, a breeding center was destroyed and many pythons escaped into the wild. Now, Burmese pythons are a deadly invasive species, killing many native animals. The federal legislature should reflect Americans’ morality in the sense that it is unfair to kidnap and mistreat these animals and bring them to a country in which they may end up destroying local ecosystems. So to answer the question: absolutely yes. There should be many more regulations concerning the ownership of exotic animals.

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    Is it important to protect biodiversity? Is it important to treat animals humanely? Is it important to protect native species? Is it important to keep…

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  • Jessica from North Carolina

    Rather than completely banning the ownership of exotic animals altogether, I believe that the government should strive to make efforts to regulate it more, because in some cases, keeping exotic animals in captivity can help in preserving or restoring a species.

    According to the World Wildlife Fund, there are approximately 5,000 to 10,000 tigers living in captivity in the United States and less than 4,000 living in the wild. With tigers being classified as an endangered species, this is a significant problem. The only acceptable time to keep a tiger—or any exotic animal—in captivity is for the sole purpose of recovery and preservation. Kelly Wynne, a writer for Newsweek, provides a list of states and their stance on tiger ownership. There are currently four states where owning a tiger is legal without a permit: Nevada, Wisconsin, Alabama, and North Carolina. This presents a dangerous issue because, without a proper permit, it cannot be ensured that the tiger is being kept in a safe environment and being treated with the utmost care. To avoid this problem, the person planning to own a tiger should have sufficient knowledge and experience with the species, which would grant them the permit.

    Critics of exotic animal ownership may argue that completely banning the practice overall would be the best option in ensuring the tigers’ safety and well-being. But, without human interference, there is still a possibility of the tiger population to decline or even become extinct. There are thousands of endangered animals currently being restored thanks to human efforts, so keeping animals in captivity is not entirely unethical, as long as the owners are doing their job properly.

    Overall, the ownership of tigers and other exotic animals is not a problem if the owners are taking measures to properly care for the creatures, as it can help in with preservation and restoration. To ensure these conditions, the government should make efforts to further regulate the ownership of exotic animals.

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    Rather than completely banning the ownership of exotic animals altogether, I believe that the government should strive to make efforts to regulate it …

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  • Tierney from North Carolina

    I believe that there should be more regulations on the ownership of exotic animals. Just like any other living creature, I feel that they have a right to life that is on their own terms, at least to what extent is possible. Caging up wild animals just so someone with enough money can check it off of their list is far from moral. According to Lauren Cox, a writer published by NBC News, once they’re caged, many of the animals are abused or bred constantly. That way the zoo or institution is able to offer photos with cute tiger cubs at a moment’s notice. The abuse and use of animals for profit is unacceptable. Attractions such as SeaWorld have become known for poor treatment of animals. Whether it be starving or whipping them to force them to do tricks or putting them in enclosures that are far too small, it is all far from humane.

    While there are some protections in place to prevent such mistreatment, they are clearly not working as shown most recently by the Netflix series “Tiger King.” Despite the abuse shown in the series, abuse that should be prevented by the Endangered Species Act, it has become widely popular. According to Randal O’Toole, a writer published by the Cato Institute, the Endangered Species Act requires owners to make any necessary changes with their personal funds, a task few are willing to take on. Instead, O’Toole recommends that a two-part system be put in place to give ownership of any animals on a piece of land to the land-owner who will be held accountable and then create a fund for making any additional changes that are nessicary.

    At the very least, those animals who are in captivity should be treated with the utmost care. In many cases, however, animals found in zoos have not been born there with no knowledge of the wild, but rather taken from the wild to entertain. According to Jani Actman of the National Geographic, “Rampant poaching for the exotic pet trade is devastating animal populations worldwide.” As a result of the severe consequences of the improper ownership of exotic pets, I feel that it should be further regulated.

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    I believe that there should be more regulations on the ownership of exotic animals. Just like any other living creature, I feel that they have a right…

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  • Evan from North Carolina

    I believe there should be more regulation on owning exotic animals because with these exotic animals many can be endangered. According to Newsweek there are around 4,000 tigers left in the wild and 5 to 10 thousand in captivity in America. With so many of these animals residing in captivity and so few in the wild, we cannot give licenses and permits to everyone. I personally believe there should be more background checks and overall a more indepth system to investigate the person who is applying to own an exotic animal. This will prevent needless animal deaths and abuse since the ones obtaining these licences will have been checked out thoroughly. I also believe there should be more check-ins on the homes and areas that these animals go to just to make sure that everything is going okay even after these animals are bought and taken home. But this is to only make sure those who obtain these exotic animals are the most reliable and responsible people when it comes to taking care of these animals. There would also need to be an increase in the number of people or facilities whose job it is to take in these animals and nurture them to a point where they can be released into the wild again. As stated by the CATO Institute one way to help with biodiversity and preservation is the creation of a multi-billion dollar fund that would be used to pay those who want exotic animals and then release them. Both of these solutions provide a measure that once reached will make sure that all exotic animals raised in captivity are cared for to the point where their numbers will be replenished and a mass release into the wild will be possible. This will ensure that endangered animals will be able to make a full recovery to healthy numbers in the wild.

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    I believe there should be more regulation on owning exotic animals because with these exotic animals many can be endangered. According to Newsweek the…

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  • Kate from North Carolina

    I believe that there should definitely be more regulations for people wanting to own exotic animals such as monkeys, tigers, wolves, foxes, and many more. I myself have many exotic animals such as different lizards and frogs, many of which people would consider unusual or “exotic”, however, not to a point where very few people around the world may own them. According to NBC a television streaming website called Netflix had recently released a new documentary titled Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness about the owning of big cats such as tigers, lions, leopards, panthers, and hybrids such as ligers. During this series there is one lady who continually tries to limit or ban the trading, selling, and breeding of owning big cats. Many of the people in this documentary, such as Joe “exotic” and Dr. Bhagavan “Doc” Antle believed that showing and letting people handle baby cubs as well as grown lions or other exotic animals would help with their protection by educating them and creating an emotional attachment to the animals by making them think, “I would not want this animal to hurt,” leading them to donate. However, this leads to the overpopulation and ownership and exploitation of these big cats that generally land themselves inside of very small enclosures without their basic necessities or the wrong care. For example, in Netflix’s new documentary they show clips of how Joe Exotic feeds his big cats where he’ll put food in one cage and let what seems to be 10 big cats run around and compete for small amounts of food, something that is potentially very dangerous and harmful to these animals. Owning these animals and profiting off of it is generally bad for their health and wellbeing, the only people who would want the Big Cat Safety Act to be abolished is those who own these cats themselves and profit off of their bad care. There is no real reason to not have stricter regulations for owning exotic animals because it would be very beneficial to these animals. I believe these animals belong in sanctuaries or animal reserves in their natural habitats and environments.

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    I believe that there should definitely be more regulations for people wanting to own exotic animals such as monkeys, tigers, wolves, foxes, and many m…

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  • Davis from North Carolina

    In the peak of the pandemic, Netflix has released a new documentary titled, “Tiger King”. In the netflix series, it follows the story of Joe Exotic and Carol Baskins in the debate over the murder of Carol’s husband and Joe Exotic’s tiger farm. But as the show has drawn in many viewers, only few have been able to see the controversy of owning exotic pets. It brings up a very controversial argument over the regulations on owning exotic animals, and whether or not they should be tightened. In my opinion I believe that there should be more restrictions on the owning of exotic and endangered animals. More restrictions would allow the animals to thrive in their surroundings, especially since many exotic animals are also endangered.
    According to an article in NBC News, even though it may seem like these animals are in good condition, you should never judge a book by its cover. The tigers and other big cats seen in these roadside zoos, exotic animal farms, etc. are usually the product of over breeding of these animals in order to make money off public photo ops, antics seen used by Joe Exotic on “Tiger King”. The CEO of the Humane Society says that the exotic animals are the real victim of these acts. Conservation biologist Imogene Cancellare says that by removing wild animals from their mother, it is psychologically cruel, medically negligent, and serves no purpose for the animal in question, all reasons to place more restrictions on the ownership of exotic animal species.
    Although “Tiger King” is only one documentary exemplifying the problems and lack of restrictions on the ownership of exotic pets and endangered species. I believe that more regulations and restrictions on the ownership of these animals would increase lifespan, population, and health of these animals and that the Humane Society and other global organizations should pursue the help of these animals in order to give them the better life they deserve. Shows and documentaries like “Tiger King” help to surface these problems with the ownership, but the organizations in charge of these restrictions need to take the next step in order to help the exotic animals of this planet.

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  • Rebecca from North Carolina

    Regulations on the private ownership of exotic pets should most definitely be tightened. Although some may argue that legislation mandating possession of exotic animals is already in existence, this legislation, “The Endangered Species Act,” is largely ineffective. Ownership is not strictly oversighted, as it should be. This is evident from the popular Netflix show called “Tiger King.” The main character, Joe Exotic, commits several violations of the Endangered Species Act, including killing five tigers to make room for others, but he is not even reprimanded for his actions. This mere example does not even scratch the surface of threats to the tiger population. In 2019, the National Geographic claimed that there are most likely more tigers held in captivity in the United States than there are wild tigers around the world. If the Endangered Species Act does not even protect the right of the plethora of exotic animals across the nation, then there should be no argument that tighter restrictions should be placed on private ownership.
    The lack of federal oversight in the private ownership of exotic animals is astounding. According to the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, there is no United States federal ban on owning dangerous, exotic animals. Only states can regulate pet ownership, and there are currently four states that do not enforce any bans on exotic ownerships. These states are Wisconsin, North Carolina, Alabama, and Nevada. Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, Florida, and Arkansas have very loose restrictions on exotic pet ownership. The lack of federal oversight in the Endangered Species Act is allowing for people across the nation, specifically in those nine states, to exploit unique and exotic animals that are not made to be held captive.

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  • Murphy from North Carolina

    I believe that there should be increased regulations regarding the purchase and ownership of exotic animals, namely for the safety of the animals.
    Animals are often mistreated and injured during their capture and removal from their habitat. During transport, animals often have to endure grueling conditions in order to reach their final destination. In a study conducted on the US Global Exotics, it was found “more than 27,000 animals who had been subjected to crowded living conditions, poor ventilation, and a lack of food, water, and basic care” (PETA, 2014). These included animals such as pandas, iguanas and tigers, and it was found that more than 6,000 animals died from insufficient care during this raid.
    Along with this, if the exotic animals do reach their destination, they are often subject to inadequate care by their owner. A case of this mistreatment has been exemplified through the Netflix series “Tiger King,” which has highlighted the severe abuse and harm that is inflicted upon common zoo animals. In many other zoos in America, operator of Oklahoma Zoo Joe Exotic from the series being just one of them, animals are continuously abused and mistreated. For example, the head of South Africa’s Western Cape Environmental Crime Investigation unit estimates that “90 percent of exported reptiles die within a year” (Business Day, 2004). Even more so, irresponsible owners have been known to turn exotic animals free into the wild without care. Many of these animals will fall prey to predators in this new unaccustomed environment.
    Currently, the United States holds very little regulation on the ownership of exotic animals. Groups such as PETA have been working to increase regulation over the ownership of exotic animals in order to protect these animals and promote healthier zoo environments. For these reasons, I believe that there should be increased regulation of the purchase and ownership of exotic animals, to avoid situations such as those shown in the show “Tiger King.”

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    I believe that there should be increased regulations regarding the purchase and ownership of exotic animals, namely for the safety of the animals.
    An…

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  • jack from North Carolina

    With the new series of Netfelf “Tiger King” being one of the most watched things right now, the question of owning exotic animals domestically comes up. In places like North Carolina, Nevada, Wisconsin, and Alabama litterliny having no permit to be able to buy these animals more regulations should be made to owning these animals.
    A good regulation that the state governments should take into place is having a permit to legally own these animals. As I said earlier some states don’t even have regulations on owning a big cat. With this could come many issues for example, does the animal have enough space, can they feed the animal, where will it be kept? I wouldn’t think that sending people out for a home inspection would be too demanding for someone to own a literal beast. It would also be nice to have a background check on the persons mental health to see if they are even eligible to own an animal of this size. Having someone with mental disorders and big cats do not mix together I would think. They might get hurt from the cat or worse hurt someone they didn’t intend on hurting.
    Another restriction could be how many a person can own. With this it can keep the number of domestic tigers down, and it would lower the possibility of them escaping and hurting people. This raises the problem of how people would get rid of the animals if they go over the amount. The government can’t just take them away from the person because they don’t have a habitat in america, and if they did they somehow and set them free in a different country, the tigers would die because they weren’t born in the wild. A domestic tiger will not survive in the wild because it used to be fed regularly, with them being in the wild they don’t know how to hunt and gather food.
    Resources
    https://www.newsweek.com/netflixs-tiger-king-raises-questions-about-tiger-captivity-what-are-us-restrictions-owning-1493253
    Tiger king show on Netflix

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  • Isabella from North Carolina

    While all animals were wild at some point in time, the animals we see on an everyday basis have been domesticated over time. I think exotic animals are really cool, and I wish I could own a monkey, but that doesn’t mean that I should have the right to do so. Yes, there are owners who just love their animals and treat it right, but there are many more who abuse them and/or let them go when they’ve fully grown or when they get bored. For example, a geological survey done in the Everglades confirmed that pythons, that were once held in captivity or owned as pets, released back into the wild killed 99% of the population of smaller animals in that area. Having venomous snakes in their non-native habitat is a threat to humans and biodiversity.

    Since much conversation over the issue of exotic animals has stirred even more recently, because of the popular show “Tiger King,” bigger animals are just as dangerous as the vinemous ones. In a study (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/zoo.10117) done in the span of four years, on dangerous animals in captivity, researchers found that tigers were 500 times more deadly than a dog. While they are both kept as lovable pets, there is an obvious one that should be kept in its habitat. According to the National Geographic in 2019, “the number of tigers in captivity in America is likely larger than the number of wild tigers around the world.” Owners like Joe Exotic claim to be saving them from endangerment, but it is clearly a much bigger issue, and if everyone is able to own a pet like this, it could be dangerous to society, but also to the Tiger population.

    Federal legislation should be instituted in order to maintain a healthy planet and a safe environment for all animals and people. Over half of the states in the U.S. have the private ownership of exotic pets entirely banned so we need to get the rest of the country on board.I love Tigers, monkeys, and all but I would love for them to be safe in their habitat, and I’ll be safe in mine.

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  • Olivia from North Carolina

    I believe that there should be more regulations owning exotic animals in the United States. They are called exotic for a reason, large animals such as lions and tigers belong in the wild where it is their nature to hunt and prey on other animals, and not held in captivity in the homes of people. According to National Geographic, “the number of tigers in captivity in America is likely larger than the number of wild tigers around the world”. A new Netflix series, Tiger King, has caught many people’s attention, including mine, about wildlife and the treatment of animals, particularly tigers. Although Joe Exotic claims to be conserving the life of tigers, he is shown multiple times abusing the tigers especially in episode four. Many humans think they because they have owned a pet, they are capable of caring for an exotic animal when in reality most exotic animals require special care, diet, and a habit of their own. In some cases, these animals come across as loving, but in fact, they are very dangerous because of their potential to attack their owners. This can cause owners to become more abusive towards them, but they are doing what their nature has taught them. Monkeys tend to be the most dangerous to own, according to the CDC, “52 people reported being bitten by macaque monkeys between 1990 to 1997”. Many acts have been established, such as the Endangered Species Act that regulates the treatment of exotic animals, “however these laws primarily regulate the importation of exotic animals into the United States and not private possession”. Exotic animals also present a health risk for humans owning them. They can carry diseases such as Herpes B, Salmonellosis, and Monkey Pox. Without rules for education and oversight of exotic animals, many of them, as well as their owners, face a high risk of potential danger. I believe these various reasons and many more should catch the attention of the government to place more strict regulations on the ownership of exotic animals.

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    I believe that there should be more regulations owning exotic animals in the United States. They are called exotic for a reason, large animals such as…

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  • Reagan from North Carolina

    I believe that there should be more regulations on the ownership of exotic pets. Exotic pets are wild animals and they aren’t intended to be kept as pets. Exotic pets pose serious health and safety risks to them and their owners. These animals aren’t bred to be domesticated. Domesticated animals require thousands of years of selective breeding. Even if animals are born in captivity or were raised by a human will still have characteristics of a wild animal because it’s in their nature, being born with all the behavioral needs to live in the wild. This means that the animal will remain unpredictable, it could strike at any given moment because they weren’t bred to be coddled by humans, they were bred to learn how to survive independently in the wild and they will always have their natural instincts because they can’t be easily domesticated like dogs and cats. People also get injured and killed every year by animals in capacity, and wild animals suffer in capacity. They are impoverished of their natural diet, habitat, and activity, which shortens their life span. Even though their owners are in love with their species, they lack their basic needs and don’t have enough capacity to roam. When wild animals are captured, they experience stress, injury, and even trauma which can end up killing them during their transportation. Wild animals produce many health risks, including Herpes B, Monkeypox, rabies, and salmonellosis, which are all transferable to humans. According to Live Science, 90% of reptiles carry salmonella in their feces, and Born Free USA notes that 80-90% of monkeys contain Herpes B-virus, which is fatal to humans. There are also claims that keeping exotic pets is educational. This is completely false. Neither children or adults learn about wild animals while keeping them in captivity. The only way to understand and learn about wild animals is to observe them in their natural habitat. Finally, these animals can live to be 70-80 years old, their owner will most likely die before they do and it is impossible to commit to an animal for that long.

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  • Emily from North Carolina

    I believe that there should be more regulations concerning the ownership of exotic animals in the U.S. In 2016, the New York Times reported that there are only about 4,000 tigers left in the wild. Meanwhile, 5,000 to 10,000 of these exotic beasts live in captivity in just the U.S. alone. Tigers are wild and majestic creatures, and in a world rampant with social justice movements, Netflix’s newest docuseries, “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness” has finally brought to light the cruel living situations of our nations’ exotic “pets.”

    Throughout the show, various scenes masqueraded in cuteness, truly showcased the abuse that young tigers as well as many other exotic pets experience in the entertainment industry. The exploitive roadside zoos we Americans see throughout the country have caused untold misery for countless animals, as well as created an overpopulation crisis of big cats in the U.S. According to Kitty Block, the CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, “Using tiger cubs for public photo ops results in an untold number of cubs being bred solely for this practice and then quickly disposed of after they are only a few months old — then dumped to spend their lives in tiny cages at other roadside zoos.” Through blinders of social media, we miss the cruelty that is displayed before our very eyes. Even when watching “Tiger King,” we as people don’t always notice the abuse immediately, as drama, politics, and baby tiger cuteness overwhelm the senses.

    In short, the Endangered Species Act should be expanded, banning individuals from caging and keeping wild creatures as pets for commercial use, putting an end to illegal breeding and abusive training. Our world’s precious wildlife is meant to be conserved, not exploited for the personal gain of abusive breeders and the entertainment of the blinded, yet well-meaning public.

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    I believe that there should be more regulations concerning the ownership of exotic animals in the U.S. In 2016, the New York Times reported that there…

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  • Zach from North Carolina

    Exotic animal ownership has been a subject of debate for a considerable amount of time. However, the term “exotic” applies to much more than the tigers and lions and bears that most people imagine when this subject comes up. When talking about exotic animals, the term loosely includes everything that is not the typical dog, cat, fish, or horse. This means that any family who owns a chicken or a hamster is theoretically the owner of a exotic pet, which drastically multiplies the number of exotic pet owners to 19.4 million. When looking at this question, it is important to determine what this regulation would preside over, and what species are subject to being limited.

    For the extent of this response, I intend to look solely at species that are exploited and sold for financial gain and often carry the true title of exotic, such as snakes, tigers, lions, bears and/or wolves. While other animals may be included in this field, smaller, less dangerous animals such as birds, hamsters, ferrets and/or rabbits are excluded from this discussion. My argument aims to claim that while regulations should be put on exotic animal ownership, it should be the responsibility of the states themselves to determine the extent that these regulations be enacted. The reason for this conclusion can be broken down into the following four subclaims: (I) Exotic animals are unable to be properly taken care of; (II) they are often cramped into tight spaces not suitable for a normal habitat; (III) they pose significant risks and can be incredibly dangerous should they escape; (IV) and exotic animals often carry zoonotic diseases that can be transmitted to humans.

    Exotic animal ownership often leaves the animals in horrible conditions or even abused, and those who receive adequate care are few and far between. Often these animals are in small cages and improperly fed due to large diets that cost thousands of dollars to keep up. On average, it can cost an owner of a lion or tiger between two and five thousand dollars to keep fed, as well as between one to three thousand dollars to feed bears and wolves on a yearly basis. Because of this, they are often underfed and significantly underweight, leading to other health problems down the line such as arthritis or bacterial infections in the mouth resulting from being defanged. Furthermore, these animals are often bought as small cubs, coming from black market dealers who are mass producing illegal cats at a rate that is exhausting for the mothers, who mate in the wild at an interval of 3 to 4 years. However, when in the hands of big cat handlers who exploit their fast gestation period of 3 to 4 months, the number of cubs increases drastically. These cubs are then taken from their mothers and sold as babies, when they look small and are lightweight to people who often do not consider the size they will reach. Exotic cats are expected to quadruple or quintuple in weight within a year or two, which often leaves owners shocked and no longer wanting them, with nowhere to put them. This weight gain also happens to pythons, who jump in size at an incredible rate until they become too large to harbor at home, and are possibly released, which has resulted in an invasive species of Florida , as discussed in point three. The lack of proper care, and the inability to provide it enforces the idea that regulations should prevent this ownership from taking place.

    Another fact to consider is that these are, in fact, wild animals. No exotic animal owner has the resources and the land required for these animals. In the wild, tigers and lions typically need 100 square miles, with bears needing at least 200, and wolves occasionally reaching up to 1000 square miles when in an area with scarce prey. Confining them to a backyard or a house is far from the territory they need. Exotic animals are not dogs that can be content with a walk every day. In the case of exotic cat parks, they are not only inhumane, but force multiple of these animals to share territory, despite them needing far more area than this. Opponents to this argument may say that these parks aim to help raise awareness, but the real truth is that first and foremost they exist to raise money. Many of these parks do cub petting, an immoral process that strips the cubs of their mothers, and often given body modifications such as being defanged or declawed, preventing them from hurting people. Along with this, the mothers are forced to overbreed to sustain a constant output of these babies. This cruelty is an obvious sign that these parks are not in existence to help these animals. By preventing private ownership of these animals, the abuse that they receive can be stopped, and a hope of providing these animals safety and proper conditions can increase.

    Along with poor conditions and improper areas to care for them, exotic animals are dangerous, and pose serious threats when not in captivity. In 2011, Terry Thomson, owner of the Muskingum Exotic Animal Farm, set loose the exotic animals contained in his farm before committing suicide, leaving them to run out into the surrounding Ohio area. This led to sheriffs being equipped with high powered rifles, as well as a shoot on sight and shoot to kill order which ended in almost fifty animals losing their lives. Among them were 17 lions, 18 endangered Bengal tigers, six black bears, two grizzlies, a baboon, three mountain lions, and a wolf. These deaths were preventable and may have not happened if proper regulations were put into place by the state of Ohio on exotic animal ownership. While these animals were killed and prevented from escaping, there have been other instances where exotic animals were unable to be stopped from entering and finding home in the ecosystem, becoming an invasive species. The Burmese Python is a type of snake native to SouthEast Asia, which now finds a permanent home in the Florida Everglades as an invasive species. The python was initially brought over as part of the exotic pet trade, however, when many of them escaped their homes or were released due to the massive size that they reached, they made their way to the Everglades, a perfect biome for the species. Since then, the species has out-eaten and out-competed the other species in the ecosystem. Because of the snake’s size, they have become the apex predator, with no competition, making the snake impossible to control. Another prime example is the Tegu, native to Brazil that now roam the U.S. due to being released into the wild when they are no longer able to be cared for. The threat these animals pose to not only others but their environment make them animals that do not need to be owned.

    Lastly, exotic animals are carriers of zoonotic diseases, which can be transmitted to humans. For example, the macaque monkey is a carrier of macacine alphaherpesvirus, more commonly known are Herpes B, which can easily be transmitted. Multiple zoonotic diseases exist and 60% of all diseases can be transmitted through animals, including the newly discovered Coronavirus. While the counterargument to this may be that all animals are susceptible to transmitting zoonotic diseases, this argument is incredibly relevant to exotic animals for a few reasons. Referring back to the black market dealing that these animals undergo, often any diseases that they have are not reported or talked about until they are in the hands of whoever has bought them. Specific examples include the mass transmittal of the Herpes B Virus among humans as well as epizootic diseases transmitted among animals themselves to other animals as a result of close proximity, which occurs as a result of lack of space as discussed in point two. By preventing the sale and ownership of these animals, we can hope to not only end the trade, but also to prevent spreadable diseases.

    In determining the proper regulations to put into place, and who should control them, it is important to look at the situation holistically. Any legislation put into place should specify the breed and amount of animal being restricted in order to prevent lesser exotics from being regulated as well. This argument serves to advocate solely for regulations on true exotics such as big cats, bears, wolves, snakes and monkeys, rather than pet store rabbits and hamsters. By passing laws to prevent the black market selling as well as the ownership of these animals, we can hope to prevent the future abuse of these species.

    As a result, this power should not be placed in the hands of the federal government. As stated within the 10th amendment to the United States Constitution, all powers not delegated to the United States are delegated to the states themselves. And as such, this issue should be left in the hands of the individual states to do their part in order to prevent this issue from continuing on, as well as determining what animals will receive these regulations and what animals will not. In the case of big cats, and larger carnivores, including snakes, the regulation thereof is a topic that requires little thought to determine a correct answer, and yet little to nothing has been done to prevent their ownership. What all of us can hope for the future is that state governments will step forward and help solve this issue.

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  • Noah from North Carolina

    There should be more regulations concerning the ownership of exotic animals. During this worldwide pandemic, I too have been watching the attractive and inescapable garbage fire that is Netflix’s “Tiger King”. Once you are able to get past the extravagant characters and wicked plot twist, a much harsher reality can be seen. Throughout the show, many of the moments where the plight of animals is exposed another unforeseen twist comes to capture and redirect the audience’s attention. For example, during one of the episodes of the show the audience finds out that all the big cats at the “Tiger King’s” zoo are being fed a large range of meats that are all expired. While this fact at face value is stunning, when views are watching the show their attention is redirected to that fact that employees at the zoo are stealing the expired meats to feed themselves. These acts all reinforce the fact that owning exotic animals is expensive so many exotic pet owners cut corners so that they can make a profit. Whether owners are cutting these corners to make a profit or to keep the zoos open to protect their animals, corners are being cut and animals are being exploited. In addition, Lauren Cox, a writer for nbcnews.com, also stated “there’s no focus on how or why the alligators — who burned alive in the fire — are being kept in seemingly small indoor pools.” Unlike the problem with the meat that the tigers in the zoo consume, the incident with the small alligator enclosures actually cost many animals their lives. For instance, if there were more regulations on housing exotic animals those dead alligators could have been protected if they were in a different location. All in all, as owning exotic pets is extremely expensive, owners often cut corners to house their pets. In cutting corners owners are not protecting the well-being of their “pets” and if owners cannot properly care for their “pets”, they should not have them. As exotic animals can rarely be cared for properly by a owner more regulations on owning exotic pets are needed to protect animals.

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    There should be more regulations concerning the ownership of exotic animals. During this worldwide pandemic, I too have been watching the attractive a…

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  • Carson from North Carolina

    I believe there should be more regulations concerning the ownership of exotic animals because I think the well-being of exotic animals is not at the highest priority when they are possessed.
    According to the Animal Legal Defense Fund, there are more tigers in cages in the United States, than in the wild globally. Not only are there more tigers in cages in the United States than anywhere else in the world, but “few federal laws protect these animals, who may be forced to perform or kept confined in small cages with little to keep their minds occupied and bodies well,” (Animal Legal Defense Fund). This is not sufficient because many of these exotic animals are endangered species and are at a risk for extinction. These exotic needs to be managed by professionals and need to be placed into something more like their natural habitat to conserve their species.
    The minimal restrictions on private ownership of these exotic animals are minimally regulated. According to Born Free USA, in many states such as Alabama and Nevada, there is not even a license requirement to privately own an exotic animal. These exotic animals can be mishandled and poorly treated without any major repercussions to the private owner. This is not acceptable because many of the exotic species being possessed are in danger and this private ownership can potentially hurt the animals and their species as a whole. Tigers, for example, are privately owned in the United States. According to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, only 3,500 tigers remain worldwide. The best option for their recovery and growth of the tiger population is to let tigers be managed by professionals, not unlicensed adults in the US. This is why more regulations should be put into place in the US to benefit the exotic animals and the well being of endangered species.

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    I believe there should be more regulations concerning the ownership of exotic animals because I think the well-being of exotic animals is not at the h…

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  • Jackson from North Carolina

    I think that it is inhumane and unethical to take exotic animals out of their natural habitat, out of their element, and try to make them as pets. For that reason I think it is whole heartedly necessary to add more regulations on the ownership of exotic animals. The recent Netflix documentary series “Tiger King” has opened everyone’s eyes on the poor conditions of how exotic animals are treated modern day, and the unethicalness of taking these amazing animals out of their natural habitat. And the real question is for what, so some humans can make big money off of them through exploitation? These are the same people that claim they love these animals, and have dedicated their lives towards the betterment of the animals, and if that was the case they would be putting these animals back out in their habitat, not removing them from it. In an article from bornfreeusa.org it says “ Every year, a variety of sources provides millions of animals to the exotic pet trade. Animals are captured from their native habitats and transported to various countries to be sold as pets. Others are surplus animals from zoos or their offspring. Backyard breeders also supply exotic animals. It is absurdly easy to obtain an exotic pet. More than 1,000 Internet sites offer to sell. The suffering of the animals in the hands of unqualified and hapless buyers appears to be of no concern in the lucrative exotic pet trade.” This article discusses how easy it is to acquire these exotic animals, and if you read more into the article it discusses how poor the treatment they receive when they are taken care of by these owners. These regulations need to be applied as soon as possible so the animals that are becoming rare and eventually extinct can be viewed and treated as the beautiful animals they are and not just as a curious home experiment to see if one has what it takes to properly take care of it and make it into their personal show and tell.

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    I think that it is inhumane and unethical to take exotic animals out of their natural habitat, out of their element, and try to make them as pets. For…

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  • Elijah from North Carolina

    I am opposed to individual ownership of exotic animals entirely. Oftentimes flamboyant men and women use their exorbitant wealth to purchase items as a showing of their monetary power, but sadly also a show of their insanity. These fools purchase animals of which they have no understanding, and no clue how to care for, leaving them to their own devices. There have been cases of incidents involving exotic pets, for example in Wisconsin just this year with Diane Wilke suffering permanent nerve damage and PTSD, as well as her neighbor who ended up with a severe bite requiring stitches, all from a smaller exotic animal, the Lemur. Understandably, even with such a small animal, risks come into play, these are animals, whose natural instincts haven’t been dulled as heavily as the common house pet, they bite, scratch, and warn against any and every threat. There is also a large market for these animals, legal or otherwise, the normal sale of these exotic pets is estimated to be worth around 10 billion dollars, an enormous sum, but it likely pales in comparison to the black market. With the average citizen of North Carolina being allowed to purchase a tiger, without a permit, We could easily go on the internet and get a lovely cub for our household. Although many states, 35 in total, ban the ownership of exotic cats according to bigcatrescue.org. By increasing legislation we could ultimately limit the amount of less than stellar attacks by exotic pets, and stall those who want to perpetuate the illegal side of the sale. According to a cnbc report, there were 19.4 million exotic pets in the US, with 2011 having 1500 attacks, and 75 human deaths, and many more injuries, these statistics prove the endangerment of the citizens owning these exotic pets, and should either require a permit, or the complete ban altogether of the animals.

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    I am opposed to individual ownership of exotic animals entirely. Oftentimes flamboyant men and women use their exorbitant wealth to purchase items as …

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  • Anna from North Carolina

    With the hype around the recent documentary series “Tiger King” many people have been left to wonder why there isn’t more regulation on the ownership of wild animals. Many people say that it is cruel to the animals and that private tiger ownership is animal abuse, but I am personally more concerned for the safety of people. Tigers are incredibly dangerous animals and attack when they are hungry or feel threatened. This can actually be seen in the documentary itself when one of the employee’s arms quite literally gets mauled off and also when Exotic himself is attacked by a tiger and has to fire a gun to scare it away. During another segment of the documentary series, another exotic animal owner was unable to maintain his tigers and released them into “the wild.” Later police got a call that tigers had been roaming the streets in the town the man was from.

    The facts are that tigers are predatory animals that see humans as either food or a threat. When they are released into our modern world their instincts kick in and they might just use their three inch teeth and four inch claws to gobble up a baby or rip someone’s chest open. Granted, the likelihood of getting your face ripped off by one of these big cats is unlikely, but even in professional settings like public zoos, accidents still happen. In September of 2015, Samantha Kudweh, a zookeeper at Hamilton Zoo in New Zealand, was killed by a tiger while working with the animal. If working with these animals in a professional setting such as a zoo can result in death, these types of animals should certainly not be able to be owned by the general public. Even though animals like chimps and elephants are less likely to kill you they are still nonetheless dangerous and should not be owned. So yes, there should be more regulations.

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    With the hype around the recent documentary series “Tiger King” many people have been left to wonder why there isn’t more regulation on the owne…

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  • Ashley from North Carolina

    The new hit series on Netflix, Tiger King, showcases Joe Exotic, an exotic tiger breeder and private zookeeper, and his life against his rival, Carole Baskins, an animal rights activist. This series has swept America off its feet with its popularity, but there are many issues that are not being addressed from the show. In an article from Newsweek, it states, “…There are between 5,000 and 10,000 tigers [that] are in captivity in America. Meanwhile, there are less than 4,000 left in the wild…” This is a major concern that was brought up and addressed after the shows’ airing. Should there be more restrictions concerning the ownership of exotic animals? First and foremost exotic animals are not and never will be pets. Those who argue against this issue believe that it is the right of every citizen to make a responsible choice concerning their property and the animals they own. Exotic animals are not property and should only be kept in the wild. In an article from Born Free USA, it states, “[Exotic animals] require special care, housing, diet, and maintenance that the average person cannot provide. When in the hands of private individuals, the animals suffer due to poor care.” It is inhumane to think about the conditions that these animals are in as for if they had been kept in the wild. These exotic animals suffer severe psychological distress as well when kept in captivity. There needs to be more local laws in place, to govern the private ownership of these animals. Currently, there are only a handful of states that have rules set in place against private parties keeping exotic animals. The Animal Legal Defense Fund states, “Strong state laws and even local laws have historically been a useful way to protect exotic and wild animals.” While I believe that our country will never fully ban the captivity of exotic and wild animals, it is important to ensure that while they are kept captivity, these animals are provided with the best care. This is would be made possible if there are more regulations and restrictions set in place for them.

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  • Parker from North Carolina

    There should be more restrictions on the ownership of exotic animals. Exotic animals require a lot of care that people cannot provide, cannot be domesticated due to instincts, and can be dangerous.
    Exotic animals require a lot of care to replicate what they would experience in the wild. Their diet would not consist of what a domesticated animal would eat like dog food. Many of these animals have specific diets that are only found in the wild and their habitat, but also need to be able to roam as much as they would if they lived in the wild. You simply cannot replicate an exotic animal’s normal life of roaming land and hunting for food in your backyard.
    Exotic animals also cannot be domesticated. Cats and dogs have been bred to be domesticated for thousands of years and now it is in their nature to be in a house with people, but you cannot say the same of exotic animals. Even if they grow up with humans, they would still likely be the first generation to be domesticated, so their wild instincts would still be prevalent, even if they grew up only around their owners and not their species. This can leave them unpredictable, and leads to my next point.
    Animals that are born in the wild can be dangerous. Their instincts can often lead them to do things that a domesticated dog or cat just wouldn’t do. Say there was an emergency and a first responder had to break into your home to help. This wild animal may be familiar with its owner, but not with this stranger breaking into their home. This could provoke the animal to hurt or kill the first responder. Due to the animal’s natural instincts, it is unpredictable and dangerous.
    Exotic and wild animals should not be pets because their environment cannot be replicated no matter how hard you try, people cannot provide the kind of care that these animals need, and they can be dangerous due to their instincts.

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    There should be more restrictions on the ownership of exotic animals. Exotic animals require a lot of care that people cannot provide, cannot be domes…

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  • Paige from North Carolina

    I believe that more regulations should be enforced regarding exotic animal ownership. Netflix’s new docuseries Tiger King focuses on the world of owning exotic pets and running breeding farms, exotic pets, etc. Tiger King has quickly become the most watched show right now, so the debate about exotic pets and private property has also become very popular. Currently, exotic animal ownership is a state issue, so there are a number of problems that have come from this- we need federal regulation. One of the issues with regulating exotic animal ownership, however, is the ability to know who owns these animals and how many are owned in the United States. According to Born Free USA, it is not possible to exactly know how many of these animals are illegally owned or traded in the US, but there are estimated to be about 5,000 tigers owned. But, that’s only talking about tigers, not even taking into account the many other animals classified as exotic pets. It is currently legal in 17 states to own a tiger, according to Newsweek, and there is no federal oversight on the issue. One of the main problems with having this as a state decision is citizens traveling to other states where it is legal and bringing it back to a state where it is illegal. Using that example, this would now be a state commerce problem, so the federal government can rightfully create regulations and take control of the matter. The only way to reduce the cases of illegal ownership in the United States is to create federal guidelines, so there is no way to buy exotic pets without consequences. Although there will never be a way to completely end these crimes, just like any other law, there needs to be some sort of attempt at a fix to even reduce them a little bit.

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    I believe that more regulations should be enforced regarding exotic animal ownership. Netflix’s new docuseries Tiger King focuses on the world of ow…

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  • Angelina from North Carolina

    Yes, I think there should be harsher rules and regulations on owning exotic animals. I believe that private ownership of animals should be banned; unless it is under private or public wildlife conservation or rehabilitation centers. This should be done because people have to understand that these animals are wild and cannot be treated like domesticated pets. When people are allowed to own exotic animals it not only endangers the person, but it also endangers the animal as well. Depending on the animal, if they are owned by private individuals, they could end up abused, malnourished, or mentally underdeveloped. All of these things could happen whether the owners intended for them too or not. And things will not change unless the Federal government does something. Right now in the US, ownership of exotic animals are decided by state governments with five different classifications to choose from: B, B*, L, N, and O. The classes B and B* are relatively similar, they “[Put a] ban on private ownership of exotic animals — non-domesticated felines, wolves, bears, reptiles, non-human primates[.]” as well as, “[A] Partial ban on private ownership of exotic animals — allows ownership of some exotic animals but precludes ownership of the animals listed”. The third classification is L, which requires the exotic animal owner to gain a license as well as register the animal with state or local authorities. The last two classes are N and O, which state no license is required but other papers may be needed, and O states that there is no statute concerning exotic animal ownership. With these statutes, exotic animals can be legally held in captivity with ease and no one can prevent it from happening. This is why the Federal government should mandate laws against private ownership unless it is for wildlife rescues or rehabilitation centers. If this happened then thousands of exotic animals could be rescued from dangerous or inhibiting situations and be placed in spaces specifically designed to cater to their needs.

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    Yes, I think there should be harsher rules and regulations on owning exotic animals. I believe that private ownership of animals should be banned; unl…

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  • Eyad from North Carolina

    I support the needed federal regulations on exotic animal ownership, as it is not only nonessential to the U.S public, but a burden on the lives of these exotic animals. Recently a documentary has surfaced that has showcased the horrors of exotic animal ownership with the netflix documentary, Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness. The documentary features the life of notorious tiger breeder, Joe Exotic, a zoo keeper who owns G.W Zoo in Oklahoma, who happens to crave publicity and constantly shows off his tigers, guns and husband. But aside with Joe’s comedic behavior, the show has shown the truth about these small exotic parks with the abuse of these animals. Nbcnews Now writes in an article about Exotic, “ Several moments of abuse can be seen in the fourth episode, such as Joe having a promotional photoshoot with a handful of tiger cubs that are so small their eyes aren’t even open. Tiger cubs usually open their eyes about a week or two after birth. But viewers wouldn’t know that, because the filmmakers don’t mention it, instead using the footage as background to talk about Joe Exotic’s quest for better Google rankings. In the same episode, we learn that Exotic’s so-called television studio burned down due to arson. It is casually mentioned that the studio also doubled as the alligator “habitat,” but there’s no focus on how or why the alligators — who burned alive in the fire — are being kept in seemingly small indoor pools.” This show ties in the concern of exotic animal ownership, as it’s only used to generate profits, rather than help the lions or tigers. It’s examples like Exotic who show that the public doesn’t need, rather shouldn’t need exotic animals as more are in captivity than in the wild, with 10,000 being in zoos and 4,000 out in the wild as of 2019, and it won’t get better with the constant mistreatment and abuse these animals face daily.

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    I support the needed federal regulations on exotic animal ownership, as it is not only nonessential to the U.S public, but a burden on the lives of th…

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  • Ava from North Carolina

    I believe that there should be more regulations concerning the ownership of exotic animals. Exotic animals should be able to roam free in the wild and not be taken captive of. According to Newsweek, “he apparently shot and killed five tigers just to make room for more, which is a violation of the Endangered Species Act.” Owning exotic pets has definitely gotten to the point where it should not be allowed. If somehow everyone were to agree that exotic animals are okay to be owned by humans, I think that there should be a special license law in place. If there was a special license law, I believe that there should be training on how to control this animal and how to act around it. In all honesty, regulating that there should be a special license, there would possibly be a decrease in the people who are trying to have one for just entertainment because they would have to go through a whole process and realize that it isn’t worth all of the time. These animals have become very popular over the few years, and have allowed more danger than anything. In my opinion, I think that exotic animals have a purpose and that humans just want entertainment from them. Not only should it be illegal for humans to own these pets, but you never know what could happen. Wild animals are meant to be kept outside because they are called WILD animals for a reason. People should know that keeping this kind of pet inside your house or in a cage, could end terribly. As if, the animal were to get angry, a human wouldn’t know how to handle it because they have no control over the animal because it is WILD. They are used to their natural lives and how they are supposed to behave and that is not very safe for a human, as if it could possibly end one’s life.

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    I believe that there should be more regulations concerning the ownership of exotic animals. Exotic animals should be able to roam free in the wild and…

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  • James from North Carolina

    The Tiger King is a true crime series set out to attract viewers and audiences of all persuasions. It is our duty as Americans to form our own opinions from what we view or encounter. Tiger King is a prime example of this, as we watch an action and drama filled show while in isolation from the human race. We should remind ourselves that while we wonder who killed Carole Baskins’ husband, this show has been marketed successfully entertaining us. There is an underlying seriousness to owning exotic pets that is not to be taken lightly. Through my personal experience of living in Japan, and visiting different countries in Asia, I can say that exotic animals are in extreme danger to the ignorance of people. I had visited Chiang Mai, Thailand for Christmas and New Years one year, and we had a lot of fun visiting and experiencing the culture. We went to an elephant sanctuary where they protect Asian elephants from poachers and being extorted. The elephants from birth are given watchers called mahouts, and they quite literally grow up together and bond. Elephants just like humans have personalities and can love, which makes them useful in their own ways. Also while I was in Thailand, I visited a park where we could take pictures next to tigers and hold their tails and lay on them. This type of experience is what the breeders crave and wish to encounter everyday. The sense of being around such a powerful animal that could kill you with one swipe is intoxicating. The muscles rippling beneath the skin and fur of the tigers is second to none, but they can be affectionate as long as they choose not to eat you. Owners of exotic animals usually have a purpose for keeping their animals. Some may be for profit, or out of actual love for the animal. Owning exotic animals is a very serious thing, and regulation is nowhere near to where it should be for protecting these amazing creatures. The point of breeding animals in public is not to exploit them for personal benefit, but for their own sake release them back into the wild where they belong. That is why there should definitely be more legislation protecting these amazing animals.

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  • Ellie from Florida

    wild animals should not be kept as pets. it is inhumane and not safe for the animals and the surrounding community. wild animals need to be in the wild, in their habitat so they can thrive. human beings are selfish. that is why our world is falling apart. nobody cares. we need to start caring for one another and the animals that make up this beautiful and diverse planet.

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    wild animals should not be kept as pets. it is inhumane and not safe for the animals and the surrounding community. wild animals need to be in the w…

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  • Annie from North Carolina

    I believe exotic animals are not meant to be owned by a human and if they are then there should be strict regulation and protocol. Exotic animals have a purpose in this world to be a part of the animal food chain, live in the wild, and roam free. However, over several years the domestication of these exotic species has become widely popular but is furthering animal extinction and endangerment. There have been many laws set in place to prevent the domestication of wild animals and protect the animals. The endangered species act began in 1973 during Nixon’s presidency. This act works to prevent extinction, helping injured and damaged species recover, and protect animals habitats in which they live. In some ways this law can justify the ownership of exotic animals if the intent is to help or treat the animals, however, this law can also justify the abduction of wild animals for breeding and entertaining purposes. When regarding the controversy of owning exotic species, if the focus is on the ownership of tigers as seen in the Netflix show tiger king then the endangered species act needs to be made entirely more strict. The Netflix series reflects on the endangerment, abuse, and harm of animals within the Zoo atmosphere which in my opinion should not even be allowed open. According to a medical student at Columbia University, “… and on the whole, at an institutional level, zoos paint overly simplistic views of biodiversity and ecosystems by only promoting exotic animals that are well-known, and are often at the apex of their particular food chain.” Through the endangerment species act, zoos are legally allowed to be open but some zoos directly violate the terms and conditions of the act. There should be an increased raise of awareness regarding the captivity and domestication of exotic species to prolong extinction.

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    I believe exotic animals are not meant to be owned by a human and if they are then there should be strict regulation and protocol. Exotic animals have…

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  • Brooke from North Carolina

    I believe that there should be more regulations concerning the ownership of exotic animals in the United States. Millions of exotic animals are being taken (usually in violation of the law) from their habitats and transferred to reside in the modern world, where their well-being is not a priority. This unethical trade, also known as the exotic pet trade, contributes to a large part of the multibillion-dollar global black market of the sale of live animals. These animals are not meant to be kept as pets, therefore, additional legislation should be implemented to further protect their welfare.
    Many owners claim that they own exotic animals to contribute to the conservation of their species, or because they believe it is within their property rights. Although this may be true in a few circumstances, the majority of exotic animals are abused, neglected, and killed, while generating a hefty income for the owner. Due to social media advertisement, the demand for exotic animals has exploded. As reported by NBC News, “The wildlife trade requires that people are willing to break the law, poach wildlife, breed animals extensively, and they continue to succeed by using hashtags, cute photos and terms appropriate for accredited facilities focusing on conservation and the best accepted practices in captivity.” When the Humane Society investigated exotic animal owner Joe Exotic’s zoo in 2011, reports claim that “tiger cubs were punched, dragged and hit with whips while being trained.” Joe also confessed to killing tigers during his television series; in four months, at least five were killed. Another exotic animal owner, Doc Antle, was accused of killing tigers in gas chambers when they grew too old for photo ops and petting.
    There are multiple dangers regarding ownership of exotic animals. Wild animals have the potential to attack or escape. In the United States alone, there have been almost 2,000 incidents and 82 deaths involving captive animals and their owners. Furthermore, their transportation poses health risks to humans and other animals. Ebola, SARS, and other diseases can be transmitted to humans from animal contact. During the 1970s, parrots smuggled from South America resulted in the death of over 12 million birds in the United States.
    The federal Animal Welfare Act is weak and insufficiently enforced by the US Department of Agriculture, and the Endangered Species Act does little to prohibit the exotic pet trade. There is no law that specifically speaks to the issue of private wild animal ownership. Our government should implement additional regulations in order to protect the conservation of exotic species, as well as the health of humans and other animals.

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    I believe that there should be more regulations concerning the ownership of exotic animals in the United States. Millions of exotic animals are being …

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  • Sarah from North Carolina

    In the wake of the coronavirus, Americans find themselves stuck in self-quarantine, eager to find something to watch. I, like most Americans, browse Netflix regularly, and came across the now-popular docuseries “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.” Out of boredom, I reluctantly began watching the series and found myself unable to look away. Although the drama and rivalry among the zoo owners captured my attention, it seemed to take away from the most important issue that the series should have conveyed: the captivity and abuse of exotic animals in America.

    Currently, there are only around 4,000 tigers living in their natural habitat out in the wild. However, there are a whopping 5,000 to 10,000 tigers living in captivity in the United States. In our country, each state is responsible for setting their own guidelines regarding the ownership of exotic animals. Some states, including my home state of North Carolina, allow exotic animals without a permit, while others allow them with permits or for special purposes, and others do not allow them at all. This inconsistency is not only confusing, but increases the harm to the animals in captivity. These animals belong in the wild; therefore there should be a federal law on the ownership of exotic animals in order to set things straight. Making it harder to own exotic animals like tigers would lessen the animal abuse that often happens out of the public eye.

    One environmental law that the U.S. has had in place since 1973 is the U.S. Endangered Species Act, which aims to protect animals that may go extinct by offering them a livable habitat and creating a plan for their survival. Although this has been successful in lowering the number of extinctions, it in no way regulates the ownership of these animals.

    Throughout the “Tiger King” docuseries, there are questionable moments on how these animals are being treated, but our heads seemed to be turned toward the feud between Oklahoma zoo owner Joe Exotic and Florida animal activist Carole Baskin. It is obvious that both of these individuals love their tigers, but the habitats they force these animals to live in as well as the treatment they give them is terrible. Whether you support Joe or Carole, there is no doubt that both of them have an abundance of tigers on their land that they use for their economic gain. These tactics prove that there should be more regulations on the ownership of exotic animals nationwide so that these animals can live and thrive naturally and in peace.

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    In the wake of the coronavirus, Americans find themselves stuck in self-quarantine, eager to find something to watch. I, like most Americans, browse N…

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  • john from Arkansas

    There should be more regulations concerning the ownership of exotic animals. I think the most basic regulation would be climate/environment as in you shouldn’t have a panda from Asia if you live in Canada. If you want a panda from Asia you should at least be in Asia. another regulation should be about habitats like if you have an alligator or crocodile they should have a body of water like a pool or inflatable that they can swim and or semi-submerge themselves in. Also, a regulation relating to diet like you can’t feed plants to a carnivore and you have to provide adequate food for the animal(s) portraying to natural diet, size, age, and any other qualities that can affect diet. Finally, you have to give adequate space, again based on species, size, age, and territorial mindsets, for the animal you can’t just keep in a cage outside. Along with any other qualities specific about the said animal that you want to keep that it needs and in general you should be able to keep safe and happy you should be able to keep it.

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    There should be more regulations concerning the ownership of exotic animals. I think the most basic regulation would be climate/environment as in you …

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  • Tenley from Texas

    Exotic animals shouldn’t be pets. As opposed to domesticated species, the wellbeing of a wild animal is not supported in captivity. While exotic species can be housed in zoos and wildlife reservations, these sites are run by professionals. Often, private owners of exotic pets mistreat their animals, posing a threat to themselves, the animals, and the public. With recent documentaries such as “Tiger King” drawing special attention to the subject, it’s time to realize what goes on in private ownership of exotic species.

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    Exotic animals shouldn’t be pets. As opposed to domesticated species, the wellbeing of a wild animal is not supported in captivity. While exotic spe…

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  • Anjalee from North Carolina

    I think that there should be more regulations regarding the ownership of exotic animals. While some may advocate for the release of all exotic pets and a law against having any exotic animals as pets, I believe there is some good that comes from owning them. According to the Animal Welfare Institute, one out of four of the world’s mammals are endangered. Also considering that we are currently in our sixth major extinction event, I believe that it should be necessary for the government to put regulations on exotic animal owners, not because it is wrong, but to preserve their species.

    There are some positive aspects that come from keeping exotic animals and these aspects could potentially save the species from extinction. Under their owner’s care, these exotic animals are kept under maintenance and are fed and cared for. While this may not be the case for all exotic animal owners, the majority of them do keep their animals cared for considering the owner probably paid good money for the animal. Placing stricter regulations on these exotic animal owners guarantees that the animals are being cared for. This will hopefully lead to a longer life span for the animal and increase their numbers to move them off the endangered species list.

    Overall, while many people see owning exotic animals as unethical, it might actually be a saving grace for those animals that are endangered. Owners that care for the animals and strive to give them a comfortable and happy life will help aid in preserving wildlife species. Under strict regulations and species, it will ensure that each animal is thriving under supervised care. While this is not the natural habitat for the animal, I believe that in our best interest to preserve and protect the species we should have regulations on the ownership of exotic animals.

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    I think that there should be more regulations regarding the ownership of exotic animals. While some may advocate for the release of all exotic pets an…

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  • Jackson from North Carolina

    I believe that there should be more regulations regarding the ownership of exotic and/or endangered animals. The primary reason I believe this is that people who own exotic animals often do not provide for them in the right ways and take proper care of them, a prime example being Joe Exotic. Joe Exotic was shown constantly abusing the animals he owned in the new Netflix documentary surrounding him and his life, and he is certainly not alone in keeping those poor animals captive for his own benefit. The fact that people do not feel enough responsibility to keep these animals out of danger is causing this problem to continue because a lot of people do not have enough power to help them. Everyday people may not be able to help these animals, but there have been laws put in place to try to prevent these particular situations from occurring in the United States, primarily the Endangered Species Act, which was passed in 1973 to create conservation programs to protect endangered animals and keep them out of harm’s way (EPA, 2019). This has evidently not been enough as the endangered species are still being hurt all the time, and if this continues to happen, then biodiversity will continue to drop even more, which is not beneficial to any species on Earth because it provides natural sustainability in the resources we consume every single day.
    Although most owners do not properly take care of the exotic animals they keep, some do, and it can actually be beneficial to some species. According to the CATO Institute, private involvement was crucial to the revival of animals, such as the peregrine falcon, and could help many more if given the right opportunities and guidelines. With this being said, I believe that the proper way to balance these pros and cons to protect the animals as much as possible moving forward would be to revise the Endangered Species Act to allow both biodiversity funds and private involvement, but only if the owners pass specific tests proving their capabilities as a caretaker to the animals (CATO, 2017).

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    I believe that there should be more regulations regarding the ownership of exotic and/or endangered animals. The primary reason I believe this is that…

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  • McKyrah from North Carolina

    Yes, there should be more regulations concerning many people owning exotic pets. These wild animals are not pets and deserve to live free just like us. When people decide that they want to own these wild and exotic animals as pets they are taking them away from their homes. This could be dangerous for the human because at any given time the animal could turn on them and attack their owner. This is also very dangerous for the animal due to if they do attack they are just doing it based off of instinct and could lose their life over being themselves. Lots of exotic animals are territorial and require group interaction with their species instead of being cooped up their small cages. Most of the time these animals are not being treated and cared for as they would have been in their natural habitat. Animals such as big cats, snakes, monkeys, and other exotic animals are not domestic animals and do not adjust well being held in captivity. Some buy these exotic animals just to say they have one or to continue to breed, later sell and make a huge profit off of these beautiful creatures. According to the Cato Institute, the only way to fix the Endangered Species Act there needs to be an act of creating a multi-billion-dollar fund and getting donations for it. Another big concern when owning exotic animals would be the diseases that you could get from these animals like the Herpes B virus from monkeys and Salmonellosis virus that comes from a range of reptiles. Sadly when the owner of these exotic animals feels like they can’t handle these sweet creatures anymore they turn to the zoo for help. However, zoos have a limit on animals they can possess in their facility so then these animals are euthanized or abandoned.

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    Yes, there should be more regulations concerning many people owning exotic pets. These wild animals are not pets and deserve to live free just like us…

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  • Harrison from North Carolina

    I believe that people should not privately (not zoos or safari places) own exotic pets because they do not provide adequate care for the animal, once they reach a certain age they are neglected, and they can possibly be dangerous. Firstly, many people do not know how to care for an exotic animal. Think about this, how many of us truly know something about an exotic animal other than “it looks cool”. Not many! So, most of the people who are interested in owning an exotic animal are only interested in it for the way it makes them look, and they have not idea how to care for it or love it. This can be bad for the animal as it may not be fully nourished or cared for which could ultimately result in the animal dying. Secondly, once an animal reaches a certain age people tend to neglect them. Take a tiger, for example, most people love them when they are cubs, however, once they grow out of the cub phase most people lose interest. When this happens most of the time people don’t know what to do with the animal and it ends up sitting in a small cage never to be “used” again. According to Online Parallel Programs tigers need up to 40 square miles of territory, and most people don’t have that. Even if they do and they just end up neglecting the tiger and putting it in a small cage the tigers health can suffer, again ultimately leading to death. Finally, owning an exotic animal can be dangerous. Like I stated earlier most people don’t know how to handle exotic animals, and because of this they can be dangerous. For example, say a person owned 10 lions, what would happen if they left the cage unlocked. This would not only endanger the owner, but it would also endanger neighbors or people close by, many of whom may not even be aware that there are 10 lions next door. For these reasons, I believe that the legislation around privately owning exotic animals should be more strict.

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    I believe that people should not privately (not zoos or safari places) own exotic pets because they do not provide adequate care for the animal, once …

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  • Carah from North Carolina

    The topic of whether or not people should have strict regulations for owning big cats has recently come to light thanks to the Netflix show Tiger King. Watching it only because I was bored, I found the characters bizarre, but never realized the severity behind how the tigers were treated. After reading these articles, I have a strong stance encouraging the use of more regulations for the ownership of wildlife. In her essay of NBC’s THINK segment, Lauren Cox analyzed some of the abuse that could be seen in Tiger King. The separation of tigers from their mothers, suspected killing of tigers that couldn’t be used, and small indoor habitats used for large reptiles. Cox points out that “If this was being done to dogs, there would be an uproar.” Her point is valid since humans have grown sympathetic to domestic dogs; tigers, however? The ownership of tigers is exotic; people often get caught up in the fact that they can pet animals they usually wouldn’t get the chance to see and overlook the danger the animals are in. Every source pointed out that more tigers are held in captivity- in places like GW Park- than in the wild. Habitat loss is an important factor, as Randal O’Toole mentioned, but as we have seen from Tiger King, exotic pet owners often have an addiction to obtaining these animals. Joe Exotic owned more than 200 tigers… they did not simply wonder on his front porch because their habitat was gone. Choosing to buy an excessive amount of animals that he could not properly take care of, his main focus shifted to men, drugs, and the fame that his bizarre habits brought. If there were more regulations on how many he could own, obsessions could’ve been controlled, overall possibly resulting in him not being imprisoned for an attempt at murder.

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    The topic of whether or not people should have strict regulations for owning big cats has recently come to light thanks to the Netflix show Tiger King…

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  • Phillip from North Carolina

    There should be more regulations on keeping exotic animals as household pets. Many people think that keeping pets in a household environment will help preserve the species, which may be true. According to newsweek.com, Joe Exotic continued to breed tigers to “preserve the species” until he had around 200 tigers living at his “attraction”. While this has obviously kept the species alive, it has sparked an ethical debate of the treatment of these tigers and other exotic animals kept in captivity. Many of these animals are being imported, removed from their natural habitats and environments. Many of these exotic animals have adapted to their environments and were born to survive in the wild. Removing them from their homes to live in an unnatural environment can “often lead to pain and death for these animals, who can easily suffer from malnutrition, loneliness, and the overwhelming stress of confinement to an unnatural and uncomfortable environment” (peta.org). This exemplifies the unintended harm of taking exotic animals in as “pets”, and further proves that more regulations should be put in place to promote the ensured safety and preservation of these animal species. Currently only 28 states completely ban the ownership of exotic animals as house pets, and even then there is still loose enforcement of the law (newsweek.com). Exotic animals can be bought and sold under the radar, without the knowledge of public officials unless a report is made. Illegal transactions are not kept on record, and cannot be kept track of. However, increasing regulations would reduce the number of legal transactions, keeping more exotic animals out of people’s homes as pets.
    Not only does keeping exotic animals as pets have the potential to unintentionally kill or harm these animals, but the purchase of these animals is extremely costly and could be spent elsewhere. Many exotic animals range in costs from $5,000-$8,000, and some can cost even more. For example, chimpanzees can cost about $65,000, and burmese pythons can cost about $22,000 (finance101.com). Not just the original cost can be expensive though. Many of these exotic animals require mass amounts of food, trips to the vet, and bigger enclosures, which are all vastly more expensive than standard house pets. These extended expenses over an animal that doesn’t even belong in a house environment could be spent elsewhere, on cancer research or natural disaster relief. Yet these animals are still being purchased across the globe at expensive prices, removing them from natural habitats and being put in places they do not belong. Exotic animals can be fed, treated, and preserved all for free in their natural habitats, so long as humans do not interfere with their natural environment. The purchase of these animals should be put towards diseases and dangers to humans instead of unnecessarily purchasing and putting an animal in danger. Increasing regulations on exotic animals would allow only private businesses and professional relief services to preserve the animals. This keeps the exotic animals in the hands of professionals, instead of the general public.

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  • Charles from North Carolina

    Who wouldn’t want to own a tiger? Technically, in my state, it’s not even illegal. And what’s the worst that could happen, owning an undomesticated big cat with the instincts of a predator?

    Of course, I’m being sarcastic. Individuals are not equipped to handle the responsibilities of exotic animal ownership, and since those individuals are unwilling to make the choices most conducive to the happiness of their animals, out of either misguided conviction that they truly can care for the needs of their “pets,” or outright ignorance of their animals needs, changes must be made to ensure that exotic animals are protected from would-be owners, and that would-be owners are protected from them.

    Exotic animals are an attractive, and sometimes lucrative, addition to any occasion or household. But the stubborn fact is that babies tend to be much more manageable, not to mention more adorable, than adults, and babies are only babies for a short period of time. When those baby animals, once so fun to coddle and pose with and photograph, suddenly stop being quite so easy to tame, they often enter a world of abuse, hidden in behind the facade of a private and profitable zoo, where owners, according to an NBC article, can “exploit and abuse wildlife right under the noses of the well-meaning public.” Too-small cages, starvation, whips, death. A dog owner would lose their pet ten times over for such crimes, why should exotic animals be less protected? Laws must be changed, and soon, to save these animals from the tortures of a domestic life they are unnaccustomed to by nature.

    But regulations restricting the ownership of exotic animals would not only protect the animals themselves. Earlier, in jest, I mentioned that perhaps owning a tiger would not be wise for the average untrained citizen. In an Article for National Geographic, Born Free USA employee Adam Roberts tracks exotic animal injuries and deaths. He recounts maulings by Texan mountain lions, disfigurement by Connecticut chimpanzees. A Nebraskan dies, strangled by his beloved pet snake. Without restrictions, the dangers of exotic pet ownership expand far, far beyond the danger to the animals themselves.

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    Who wouldn’t want to own a tiger? Technically, in my state, it’s not even illegal. And what’s the worst that could happen, owning an undomestica…

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  • Bailey from North Carolina

    Yes, there should be more regulations concerning the ownership of exotic animals. Although the ownership of exotic animals could potentially preserve their lives from being extinguished in the wild, the ownership of exoitc animals on private lands is unnecessary with the concerns of economics and political standpoints.

    Owning exotic animals privately is like waiting for a storm to brew up. Something is going to go wrong. Most private owners don’t know how to obtain and train these animals and it is highly dangerous to keep these animals obtained in someone’s backyard. According to Netflix’s new show, “Tiger King”, a man who goes by the name, “Joe Exotic”, raised and kept around 200 exotic tigers in his very own backyard. He supposedly killed about 5 tigers and was making a huge profit off of them with tourists attractions and shows he hosted to “show off” the tigers.

    You can start to see the trend here, money. These tigers brought Joe money and fame and they were not being kept in those cages for the right reasons. These animals were abused mentally and physically. They were used for the profit and the fame only and didn’t deserve the punishment they were treated with. The federal government needs to lay down more restrictions on these people who think they can just own exotic animals without thinking of the logic and consequences behind this. Also, these animals ae exotic for a reason. They can turn off that cute side of them in a split second. It is not safe for humans to own these animals due to the very fact that they can eat and kill you alive. There are currently more exotic animals held in captivity than there are in the wild. This is sad and just unnecessary. These animals deserve to be protected of their rights and humans need to realize the harm these animals can do to them.

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  • Vedika from Michigan

    Yes because the sole purpose is to please the human in charge. It’s hard to watch these documentaries, but they only portray the truth. If people can’t watch or have trouble seeing a Snow leopard in the back of a 100 degree truck, then there needs to be something done. These exotic wild animals need more care they are receiving. Also, these animals are creating an income for people that are teaching other’s that what they’re doing is okay. This sets an example to young people and future generations that don’t see a problem in this. I used to love going to the zoo as a kid, and then I got social media. Social media really changed my views because I saw horrific videos of animals used for entertainment. This needs to stop and it should be illegal to own exotic animals, unless it is an established sanctuary that is helping an animal while they are recovering from health issues.

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    Yes because the sole purpose is to please the human in charge. It’s hard to watch these documentaries, but they only portray the truth. If people can’…

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  • Caleb from North Carolina

    There should be more regulations concerning the ownership of exotic animals. There are dangers involved in the owning of exotic pets that are not limited to the animals as people are sometimes injured or even killed from the handling of these animals. The handling of these animals should only be done by a qualified person due to the handling being very dangerous as stated in the article Owning Wild Animals: Status on exotic pets by Live Science there have been 75 deaths due to exotic pets from the years 1990-2011.There should be more laws and regulations to protect the existence of these animals and protect them from extinction. Most of these exotic animals are from endangered species and have seen a drop in their population numbers due to people taking these animals out of the wild to use as pets. As Jani Actman, a writer for National Geographic states in her article titled Exotic pet trade, explained “Rampant poaching for the exotic pet trade is devastating animal populations worldwide. It has decimated numbers of Madagascar’s prized radiated tortoises, for example, and led to the endangered status of African gray parrots”. These unfortunate developments could be prevented with the use of stricter regulations. Such as a limit on who can take these animals out of the wild or restrictions on when they can take them out of the wild and where they are able to take these animals out of. The implementation of these regulations could be similar to a so-called “hunting season” for these animals where you would need to be licensed and have a tag in order to legally take one of these animals from the wild. This system paired with science to set bag limits and restrictions on how long the hunting season is has been able to keep commonly hunted species from going extinct such as deer, elk and turkey. Along with people being required by law to have a license to capture these animals. There also needs to be punishments for animal abuse and a set of clear-cut laws of how these animals must be treated to prevent and eliminate the animal abuse which occurs very often in this industry and is often overlooked. As the article ‘Tiger King’ memes and Joe Exotic jokes mask the Netflix doc’s most chilling takeaway by Lauren Cox states “Several moments of abuse can be seen in the fourth episode, such as Joe having a promotional photoshoot with a handful of tiger cubs that are so small their eyes aren’t even open”, the article then gives more examples of abuse seen in the reality TV show stating “Exotic and his employees use a pole to pull a newborn tiger cub away from its mother while she is still in labor and unable to defend herself or her family. The tiger cub cries out as it is dragged through the dirt and pulled underneath a metal fence. Moments later we watch Joe complaining about how loud the tiger cubs’ cries are as they are left in a playpen. The fate of the cubs is never disclosed to viewers, nor is it noted that the cubs are likely crying out of extreme distress”. There should be laws and regulations set inplace to prevent this abuse from happening as it should be unacceptable to treat animals in this manner just as people go to jail for animal abuse with dogs and cats there should be laws implemented along with strict punishment to prevent these horrific actions from happening.

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    There should be more regulations concerning the ownership of exotic animals. There are dangers involved in the owning of exotic pets that are not limi…

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  • Rachel from Indiana

    As someone who has lived around animals my entire life, and even owned some that could be considered exotic, I take a stance for more regulation on the ownership of exotic animals for several reasons. First of all, these are not pets. They are wild animals that haven’t been domesticated and may be ill-suited for a habitat with humans. Secondly, many exotic animals, such as tigers, snakes, and other species, are very dangerous. Tigers are not house cats -they are predators with years of
    evolution geared toward becoming a more efficient killer, and they require large territories, larger than what any owner could provide. Bottom line- wild predators cannot be treated like pets. Without regulation, these exotic animals end up mistreated such as in the case of Joe Exotic’s zoo.
    However, I am not taking a stance against exotic animal ownership. That would be illogical considering that most exotic animals like tigers no longer have enough habitat to survive in the wild. As of now there are more tigers in captivity than in the wild, so to ban ownership would mean to significantly reduce the population of an already endangered animal. Regulations on ownership, however, need to be put in place. If someone wants to own an exotic animal, they need to have the proper facilities to do so. They must have safety measures as well, especially when it comes to predators like large cats. I believe that, with proper precaution, exotic animal ownership can be legal and beneficial for endangered species.
    But the illegal animal trade and hoarding of animals exhibited by Joe Exotic must come to an end. If proper regulation is not put in place, these exotic animals will suffer, and horror stories depicted on Netflix’s Tiger King will continue to play out.

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    As someone who has lived around animals my entire life, and even owned some that could be considered exotic, I take a stance for more regulation on th…

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  • Lucy from Virginia

    Animals are just like humans and need a safe environment to live in. Many exotic animals require special living conditions, and their owners cannot provide for the animals in question.

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    Animals are just like humans and need a safe environment to live in. Many exotic animals require special living conditions, and their owners cannot pr…

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  • Colin from California

    While I acknowledge that wild animals should not necessarily be kept in captivity, we must also realize who is buying and keeping these types of animals. The persons buying these animals as pets have millions, if not billions of dollars in their bank account and thousands of acres of land on their property. This means that they not only have the land to build a suitable home for these animals where they can freely roam, but they can afford to buy the expensive foods of some of these animals like the hundreds of pounds of meat a tiger will need every week.
    Take for example Pablo Escobar: this man brought hippos into Columbia but he sustained them and they were fine, it was not until the government let them go that it became an ecological problem of invasive species. Before that, they were healthy, had other hippos, and had plenty of domain to roam.
    Overall, in many cases, these animals are not in danger of harm. They are kept with animals of their same species, have plenty of room to roam and plenty of game to hunt/eat. I acknowledge that those individuals who do not treat them with respect should not be allowed to own “exotic” animals, and even those who do own them should have permits to show that they are responsible adults who will provide for the animal as it needs.

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    While I acknowledge that wild animals should not necessarily be kept in captivity, we must also realize who is buying and keeping these types of anima…

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  • Paige from Iowa

    There should be regulations regarding wild and exotic animals, who are we to take them from their homes? It is a right to own what you choose and can afford, but owning a life? A life of a dangerous and potentially fatal animal that has been uprooted from their habitats, and now know nothing of their former way of life? We claim to preserve these animals in the name of humanity and protection, but shouldn’t protection come from regulations on ourselves and not these animals? Shouldn’t we have instilled rules to protect these animals from us? As part of the human race, we know where we stand in the animal kingdom, we control the whole planet. Do these animals know where they stand? These animals being locked in cages will no longer have the instinct or drive to hunt, when their food is given to them. If their life is so completely controlled by humans, wouldn’t it make sense to attack those who control you? Are we training these animals to attack humans based on how we exert control over every aspect of their lives? No wild animal should become tamed for the sake of money, just as no free person should become a slave for the sake of free labor. Animals have the ability to show emotions, just as people. Why don’t we start treating them as a separate entity in society? We pave the way for ourselves, but how will these animals stay and protect their habitats against our brute force and modern technology? Instead of taking, breeding and selling these creatures, we should be providing a way to reinforce their natural way of living. Our ideas of protection are corrupt. We must protect these species by protecting their homes and co-existing.

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    There should be regulations regarding wild and exotic animals, who are we to take them from their homes? It is a right to own what you choose and can …

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  • Layahna from Virginia

    To me, there is no problem that will occur in my community.

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  • Noelle from North Carolina

    Recently, there has been a dramatic increase in the regulation of exotic pets. I feel these regulations are justified and should continue to develop due to the concerns regarding public health and safety and animal welfare.
    When considering the threats to human health, exotic pet ownership contributes to potential epidemiological risk. During a time where there is a pandemic spreading rapidly, it is only right to wonder there this deadly disease originated. Most scientists have agreed that it came from some sort of exotic animal, as seen by the Swine Flu in 2009 and the Bird Flu in 2004. Moreover, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has found that over 90% of reptiles carry salmonella and that almost every year, more than 70,000 people will develop this nasty disease from pet reptiles. Researcher Matthew G. Liebman from Michigan State University explains that “the risk of zoonotic diseases (those that can be transmitted from animals to humans) from exotic animals is of special importance because of the fact that they are non-native. While the diseases may be somewhat harmless in their natural context, their introduction into populations that have not evolved to be resistant poses special dangers”. These exotic pets are also more likely to contract diseases as most live in small and dirty living conditions. In order to keep the human population safe from harmful zoonotic disease, there should be an increase in the regulation of exotic pets. Additionally, the ownership of these exotic pets holds many risks relating to public safety (attacks). The United States Department of Agriculture has explained that exotic pets become agitated when in unfamiliar situations. This brings about great worry when pet owners bring their exotic pets to schools or public events as there have been many reports of exotic pets injuring and killing children. Exotic animals are extremely unpredictable and increased regulation of such pets would be keeping the public safe.
    Although exotic pets do potentially put the public’s health and safety at risk, the neglect and abuse suffered by these animals should not go unheard. For example, in 2004, wildlife workers discovered dozens of big cats that were “malnourished, underweight, and generally in poor condition”. Exotic animals need a lot more attention than most pet owners realize, contributing to the vast number of under cared for exotic pets. It was discovered that the daily expense to care for an exotic animal was roughly 500$ a day, a price that most pet owners cannot bear to handle. In order to care for the life of these exotic pets, stricter regulation regarding exotic pet ownership should be upheld.
    In order to protect both the human population’s health and safety and also the exotic animal’s safety, there should be more regulation regarding exotic pet ownership.

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    Recently, there has been a dramatic increase in the regulation of exotic pets. I feel these regulations are justified and should continue to develop d…

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  • Jackie from New Jersey

    There is a legitimate problem with endangered species, and allowing the private ownership and abuse of these exotic species, such as tigers, is not the solution. Conservation and protection efforts in our country need to be improved, with a shift in focus from breeding to protecting the species and their habitats throughout their life and future generations. While increasing the population of endangered species is important, if owners are allowed to breed only to turn around and mistreat or end the life of animals, it is not a true conservation effort. Allowing unrestricted and unregulated ownership of exotic animals has opened the way for abuse and cruelty under the guise of protection, and the government should step in to make sure these animals receive humane treatment. There are regulations on other property, from owning and operating guns to cars, and there is no logical reason why we shouldn’t regulate animal ownership as well.

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    There is a legitimate problem with endangered species, and allowing the private ownership and abuse of these exotic species, such as tigers, is not th…

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  • Mackayla from Colorado

    Wild animals are not for our entertainment, especially not inside an actual house or a cage 20 feet from your house. Exotic animals are not pets not only is it not safe, but people have no control over these animals. They are wild animals they will always have that wild side of them they cannot be tamed. Even if you are taking precautions, accidents happen, people make mistakes, so if an animal gets loose the public will be defenseless against the animal, and there is no telling who the animal will go after. Wild animals are to territorial, and they will always have their natural instincts. Wild animals are meant to STAY IN THE WILD!

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    Wild animals are not for our entertainment, especially not inside an actual house or a cage 20 feet from your house. Exotic animals are not pets not o…

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    • Chrislye from Illinois

      Imagine if you We’re an Animal kept in captive taken from your family and Deprived from your freedom how would that make you feel Or even Being forced and drugged to perform entertainment how would you feel? Evidence have shown that animals kept in captivity are prone to depression ,weight loss , abuse and even more so should animals really be in captivity

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      Imagine if you We’re an Animal kept in captive taken from your family and Deprived from your freedom how would that make you feel Or even Being for…

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  • Ginger from North Carolina

    I believe that a special permit should be required to regulate the ownership of exotic animals in the United States. “Exotic” animals are any species of animal that would be deemed unusual to function as a household pet, or are not normally from the country where they preside. Some of the most commonly owned exotic pets include birds, rodents, reptiles (like snakes, turtles, or lizards), amphibians (frogs), insects, and many other random species, like hedgehogs or pigs. Although they are not as commonly owned as some other species may be, tigers are also an exotic pet. At first glance, owning exotic animals seemed very unethical to me. Holding them in captivity with potential negative living conditions for the animal seemed harsh; however, then I came across a number of statistics, regarding tigers specifically, that suggested otherwise. According to the World Wildlife Fund, growing human populations pose an issue for tigers in the wild, as many areas within their natural habitat are being taken away. Poaching and retaliatory killings are also reasons for the rapidly declining rates of tigers in the wild. While there are ways this habitat loss and poaching problem can be regulated, it would be much more efficient and effective to regulate these issues from a different perspective entirely: raising tigers in captivity in an effort to preserve their currently endangered species. This would be one way of managing all of the issues posed for tigers living in the wild, rather than managing multiple other aspects individually. Tigers in captivity have been known to live 5-10 years longer than those in the wild, because of their protection from natural threats, as well as regular access to food supply and medical care. According to an article from Newsweek, The United States Fish and Wildlife Service ensures that organizations that breed tigers in captivity are doing so in support of conservation goals. This further supports the fact that breeding tigers in captivity is beneficial to the well-being of their species, which is why this should continue to be allowed. However, it is also important to ensure that while in captivity, these animals receive the best and most ethical care possible, which is why a federal permit should be required for the ownership of exotic animals in the United States.

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    I believe that a special permit should be required to regulate the ownership of exotic animals in the United States. “Exotic” animals are any spec…

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  • Ana from New Mexico

    Wild animals are not pets, let them live the life that they are meant to! In the wild.

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  • Derek from New Jersey

    Owning exotic animals in the first place I feel is unjust since it puts the human and animal in danger. Exotic animals aren’t domesticated like other pets are. This means that exotic animals will have a higher chance of using natural instinct which in turn could end a human life or itself. Having an exotic animal can also be deciding factor of the decline of wild population since the animals are brought to an environment that they can’t adapt to and instead die. With these wild exotic animals brings other problems like diseases that could potentially hurt humans. There is a reason why some animals are exotic while others aren’t.

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    Owning exotic animals in the first place I feel is unjust since it puts the human and animal in danger. Exotic animals aren’t domesticated like other …

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  • Amata from Utah

    In my opinion, it is very difficult to create conditions for keeping an exotic animal (ex.: the tiger), whether it is kept in circuses or in a zoo. Difficulties range from temperature to the area where an animal could move and an adequate amount of water. Just bathing in the bathroom may not be enough for an animal. In addition, not all zoos can afford to keep the same tigers because it is necessary to create conditions in which they can live otherwise the animal will simply die. Keeping a wild animal is dangerous not only for the owner but also for neighbors because there is a possibility that the animal can escape. Therefore, these animals must have special regulations. Moreover, almost all people who buy exotic animals do it thoughtlessly, they don’t know how to keep them, what to do with them, or how to feed them. And when the owner is bored with the animal, he wants to get rid of the animal and gives it either to the zoo, shelter or to a rehabilitation center. However, even in special institutions, not all specialists know enough about certain types of animals. Thus, in light of the foregoing, the regulations concerning the ownership of exotic animals are justified.

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    In my opinion, it is very difficult to create conditions for keeping an exotic animal (ex.: the tiger), whether it is kept in circuses or in a zoo. Di…

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  • Sullivan from Alabama

    I believe that regulations on ownership should be stiffer and special licenses should be required. The ownership of these animals are preserving these animals and the display of them could provoke people to donate and possibly contribute to saving the wild animals.

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    I believe that regulations on ownership should be stiffer and special licenses should be required. The ownership of these animals are preserving the…

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  • Grant from Michigan

    I believe there is a concern that a person is allowed to own over 200 tigers. With no question on if those animals are being treated well. At least add an animal inspector to inspect the house and the animal cages to insure safety to the owners and the animals.

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    I believe there is a concern that a person is allowed to own over 200 tigers. With no question on if those animals are being treated well. At least ad…

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  • Kailyn from California

    Yes, there should be regulations concerning the ownership of exotic animals. Exotic animals are known for being wild and unique, that’s what grabs people’s attention. Sadly, there is already enough animals going extinct because we humans want them as fur coats or fancy carpets, which isn’t right. Besides, humans slowly washing animals away, animals play a big role in all of this too. In a 2013 documentary, “BlackFish” about orcas, it details that a man was killed by his best friend, an orca. Tilikum, was the name of the captured killer whale who took many lives, including the man who feed and took care of him. We will never understand how an exotic animal could react to situations in matter of seconds, this is why it’s important to leave nature alone and not question it. However, humans are also aggressive and tend to react to things also. For example, when a baby disobeys we get caught up in the moment of anger and give them a little slap. Now, imagine if we were to replace that baby with an exotic animal, we truly won’t know how the animal will react and that is the danger. As humans, we should learn to leave nature be if we don’t want to get hurt. We should learn to love animals from far away, not up close.

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    Yes, there should be regulations concerning the ownership of exotic animals. Exotic animals are known for being wild and unique, that’s what grabs p…

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  • Rose from Ohio

    Some people buy exotic pets as cubs, but realize they are a handful once the cubs are grown and release them. This is dangerous for the citizens and bad for the animals as they are released not in a safe area for them. We need more regulations on behalf of citizens and the animals themselves.

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    Some people buy exotic pets as cubs, but realize they are a handful once the cubs are grown and release them. This is dangerous for the citizens and b…

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  • Elizabeth from Texas

    Exotic animals, such as tigers and leopards, for example, tend to be more dangerous than household pets, whether that pet is a dog or a cat. Too many times, these exotic animals are purchased for the purpose of popularity (especially on social media) and displaying one’s status. However, what most don’t realize is how much work goes into maintaining the needs of exotic animals as well as being aware and educated about their behavior.

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    Exotic animals, such as tigers and leopards, for example, tend to be more dangerous than household pets, whether that pet is a dog or a cat. Too many …

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  • PRISCILLA from New York

    THERE SHOULD BE MORE REGULATIONS CONCERNING THE OWNERSHIP OF EXOTIC ANIMALS BECAUSE THEY ARE A MIND IMPORTANT PART OF OUR LIVES AND OUR ENVIRONMENT.

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  • Melanie from Texas

    Exotic animals may seem intriguing, and they’re beautiful, but they’re not meant to be kept and confined to a small space. Many of these animals require a large amount of space to be themselves. Keeping an exotic animal requires much more maintenance, and may also be dangerous.

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    Exotic animals may seem intriguing, and they’re beautiful, but they’re not meant to be kept and confined to a small space. Many of these animals r…

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  • Tolulope from Texas

    Yes. Animals that are not supposed to be confined to a small space, should not be. Some animals are required to have thousands of square feet in order to live, and keeping them trapped in a cage is not acceptable! If they are sick, they should be nursed to health and returned to their natural habitat to live in peace.

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    Yes. Animals that are not supposed to be confined to a small space, should not be. Some animals are required to have thousands of square feet in order…

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  • Kyla from Oklahoma

    Should there be more regulations concerning the ownership of exotic animals? Yes, there should be more regulations. Animals should be free rather than owned by humans, the animal may suffer from trauma, and they are hard to take care of.
    You may look at a tiger cub and think you want one as a pet, however, animals such as tigers, leopards, and cougars should be in a zoo or in the wild. According to bornfreeusa.org, these animals are the most common exotic animals to find owned as a pet. When they are young they’re adorable and cuddly, however, when they are older they have the potential to kill or harm you or other animals.
    According to National Geographic, “there are between 5,000 and 10,000 tigers are in captivity in America. Meanwhile, there are less than 4,000 left in the wild.” That is a big number, animals taken away from their family may suffer from PTSD, Some people might argue that by taking care of the endangered exotic species they are saving lives, however, there are many places in the world today that have trained workers who know how to take care of and save these animals. If you don’t know how to properly take care of these animals it could be fatal.
    Exotic animals are much different than your everyday house pet. They require specific care to stay healthy and happy. Exotic animals have different diets and different needs. If you don’t have the proper supplies, enough money, and even enough space for them it could be detrimental to the animal. According to clermontsun.com “Many people that own exotic animals don’t understand their needs.”
    Animals should be loved not tortured, and by keeping them isolated with not their proper needs it can hurt them in the long run. If you love these animals so much you want one for yourself, go volunteer at a shelter or even get a job at a zoo, it may not be the same as owning one yourself, but gives you almost the same experience without hurting the animal.

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    Should there be more regulations concerning the ownership of exotic animals? Yes, there should be more regulations. Animals should be free rather than…

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  • Osarumen from Texas

    Yes their should be regulations concerning ownership of exotic animals

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  • Jadyn from Kansas

    Many exotic animals are getting sold illegally everywhere. There needs to be more basic and specific laws about the requirements for these beautiful and exotic creatures. People do not realize the basic needs these animals need; certain food requirements, the correct area to roam about, adequate temperatures, and many more! Along with the basic needs, animals take time and money to be able to take care of them. Many people do not have the money or time to take care of these animals.

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    Many exotic animals are getting sold illegally everywhere. There needs to be more basic and specific laws about the requirements for these beautiful a…

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  • Brooklyn from West Virginia

    I know that many people like to have the thrill of owning an exotic animal, but what many people don’t know is that they still have their own instincts. You may have raised them since they were a cub, but have you ever notice that when you play with them, they get a little too aggressive? They start to bite a little too hard? That’s because they don’t know how to be gentle, it isn’t in their nature. They don’t let anyone “own” them, they aren’t domestic. I’m not saying that people aren’t allowed to own exotic animals but there have been many reported accidents involving exotic animals and many deaths. In a case of a death, that animals has to be put down. That isn’t my rule, but people assume since the exotic animal killed their human, then they are considered dangerous. There needs to be stricter guidelines people have to follow in order to protect their safety and the animal’s safety.

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    I know that many people like to have the thrill of owning an exotic animal, but what many people don’t know is that they still have their own instinct…

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  • dallon from Virginia

    While exotic animals do seem like they would be nice pets, lots of people don’t realize the work they have to put in. Exotic animals require a lot more than your regular dog or cat, and is a lot more expensive. If the animal doesn’t have everything it needs, it can become stressed out and violent. Today, it’s a little too easy to be able to get an exotic animal, and often times, they’re given to the wrong people.

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    While exotic animals do seem like they would be nice pets, lots of people don’t realize the work they have to put in. Exotic animals require a lot mor…

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    • Ana from New Mexico

      I do not think that people should keep wild animals as pets. They should be able to love the life that they were meant to! To live free in the wild, not in a cage.

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    • Victoria from Connecticut

      Life is a precious construct. While humans seemingly have a higher superiority where life is concerned, that does not give one the right to take away life from another species. The obtainment of an exotic animal, whether or not there is documented or even sheltered abuse involved, does not take away the notion one is ripping away an animal’s right to a fulfilled life that is not given via imprisonment. Merely because humans have further developed cognitive abilities concerning but not limited to speech, does not mean said animals shouldn’t have a voice. It is us who must voice our concerns on their behalf. Change starts now, and life must be taken seriously on all accounts, for this change to occur.

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      Life is a precious construct. While humans seemingly have a higher superiority where life is concerned, that does not give one the right to take away …

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  • Brianna from Texas

    More regulations would ensure the safety and well-being of the animals

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  • Lexi from North Carolina

    Recently the Netflix series Tiger King has grown in fame, but so have the many moral dilemmas it covers. As the series follows Joe Exotic, an exotic tiger breeder and zoo owner in Oklahoma, the legality of owning exotic animals, especially as they face extinction, comes into question. Animal rights activists, such as Carole Baskins, have been fighting adamantly against breeders like Exotic and Doc Antle. The lobbying power of these activists has become evident; in early 2019, Congress introduced The Big Cat Public Safety Act (H.R. 1380) to end the private ownership of big cats. However, despite any state or federal laws in place, Exotic continued to breed, sell, and showcase his big cats to continue making a living.

    Based on the personal accounts in the series Tiger King, along with external research, private ownership of exotic animals should not be governed for four main reasons: 1) private ownership has the capability to revive endangered species more effectively than current conservation methods, 2) the exotic animal trade is worth billions of dollars, with consumer demand rampant, 3) the rights of exotic animals should not precede the rights of humans, and 4) the United States was ultimately founded off of laissez-faire economics and individual rights to property.

    Many exotic species are endangered, so conservation is of huge concern to animal rights activists. Criminalizing the ownership of exotic animals strains the effort to conserve such species. In 1995, Swedish Zoologist Torjörn Ebenhard conducted a study of over 3000 endangered animal populations in which he concluded that “conservation breeding may be the only possible way to avoid extinction.” In the case of Tiger King, Exotic was a breeder with hundreds of tigers at once. Conservation facilities, like Baskins’ Big Cat Rescue, house big cats in similar ways. The issue derives from the intent of each facility and how they make money; in Exotic’s case, illegal wildlife trade was the most profitable and realistic option. Had his private ownership of exotic animals been legally acceptable and supported, Exotic and other breeders could easily contribute to conservation rather than the black market. The breeding of other domesticated pets, like dogs, has ensured a safe population size, so it could be logically reasoned and hoped that exotic animal breeding would have similar results. However, for that to be possible on a grand scale, private ownership would need to be legalized with very few restrictions besides licensing.

    The current illegal wildlife trade makes it so that the national economy cannot reap the economic benefits of exotic animals. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service states that the illegal trade of exotic animals is a multi-billion industry. However, the individuals making profit in this industry (and fueling it) commonly evade taxes to continue their breeding services. A study done by three professors from Texas A&M University reported that wildlife bans encouraged “crime units to find avenues of bypassing these regulations.” In regards to taxes, the IRS reports and acknowledges that individuals in the black market do not pay taxes — Exotic was imprisoned in part for tax evasion. This could be easily corrected by legalizing the work of exotic animal owners and breeders. Decreasing regulations would create a new stream of federal or state funding — the funding could be used for conservation and awareness efforts to ensure the efforts of activists are reflected. The profitability of exotic animals derives from consumers’ high demand. According to a 2013 survey done by the American Pet Products Association, 19.4 million households in the United States have exotic pets. With that, there are more big cats in households/captivity than in the wild. Banning the ownership of exotic animals does not address how many exotic animals are sought out illegally nor does it mitigate the disturbing statistics of endangered species. It is clear that exotic animals are viewed by consumers as products worth buying and by breeders as products worth selling. The current economic view of exotic animals, even with legal limitations in place, depicts that the focus should be on ensuring ownership is safe rather than preventing something that is inevitable, even if there is moral gray area.

    While the prevention of owning exotic animals would ensure the most natural path to conservation, and put animal rights first, laws — which are made by the people, for the people — are meant to protect the interests of humans first and foremost. From a legal standpoint, animals do not have the same rights as humans nor were they ever intended to. In a lawsuit against SeaWorld, PETA argued that orcas were being enslaved which violated orcas’ 13th amendment rights. The San Diego judge of that case dismissed it, proclaiming that the rights established in the Constitution do not extend to orcas. For the majority of states, animals are still legally viewed as property, so long as they are not abused. Animals have no concept of laws, making it questionable that so many resources are spent debating the rights of animals when many humans are still lacking their rights. Animal have gained rights quicker than some minorities, which sends a questionable message to the U.S. constituency. Animals should be treated with respect, but laws should first address those that are actually voting and legally being represented.

    The philosopher John Locke, who was influential in early American ideals, viewed that humans had certain natural rights and that “ no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions.” From Locke came the principle of the right to “life, liberty, and property” that is seen in the 5th Amendment and parodied in Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence. At this time, and still today, animals were viewed as property. Knowing that the Founding Fathers fought for the right to private property highlights its significance as an American pillar. Thus, if the government were to infringe on citizens’ property rights due to animal lobbyists, it is likely that the Founding Fathers would roll in their graves with disappointment. Along with the principle of unalienable rights, the United States was founded on laissez-faire economics. As seen by the illegal trade of exotic animals, the free market continues to do as it wishes despite government intervention. Government intervention on the free market proves itself to be futile in the case of exotic animal ownership. In the end, the government hurts itself the most by eliminating a source of economic growth and taxable income, while also encouraging unsafe practices by not supporting the inevitable animal trade to join in on conservation.

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    Recently the Netflix series Tiger King has grown in fame, but so have the many moral dilemmas it covers. As the series follows Joe Exotic, an exotic t…

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  • Jacob from Massachusetts

    Less than ten years ago, an Ohio man released all 48 of the animals in his private exotic zoo from their cages before committing suicide. As the state police methodically tracked down and captured or shot the freed lions and tigers, a debate was stirred that challenged regulations and laws that had stood for years concerning exotic animals. Today, that debate has returned with the popularity of a Netflix series, and I believe our response should be the same as it was ten years ago. Yes, there will always be exceptions and irregularities, but if one man abuses a system, should all other citizens suffer stricter regulations as a result? It is because I agree with the age old maxim that ‘criminals will always be criminals’ that I believe increased regulations concerning exotic animals would only constrict the harmless majority, while being ignored by the abusive minority, and therefore should not be pursued.

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    Less than ten years ago, an Ohio man released all 48 of the animals in his private exotic zoo from their cages before committing suicide. As the state…

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  • Patrick from Massachusetts

    Government ought not be bigger than is necessary. It should, in my political view, only regulate to prevent either non-consensual harm (murder, theft, etc.) or externalities within consensual agreement. Given as regulation on exotic animals doesn’t fit into either of these categories, I deem it to be unnecessary. Given as government ought not be bigger than necessary and the proposed regulation unnecessarily makes government bigger, it ought not be instated.

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    Government ought not be bigger than is necessary. It should, in my political view, only regulate to prevent either non-consensual harm (murder, theft,…

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  • taylor from North Dakota

    No, because as long as the tigers are happy I feel like everything is pretty good. But if they dont want too be in captivity they shouldn’t have to be.

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  • Kai from California

    In my opinion, the ownership of exotic animals is a very versatile and complicated issue in which more positive outcomes come forth than negative. First, it is essential to acknowledge the vagueness of the term “exotic animals”. To an unversed eye, this could entail big cats, exotic birds, endangered animals, or even less domesticated rodents. In fact, the definition of these terms varies from state to state, a prime example of this being the ferret that is legal in forty-eight out of the fifty states. Because of the size of this category and the many varied animals that this includes, imposing stricter laws on an equally general basis will lead to confusion and could harm conservation efforts for endangered “exotic animals” in the attempt at curtailing others. This brings me to my second point: conservation. The excess red tape laid down by unnecessary government control would hinder private conservation efforts. Understandably, such conversation efforts can be a personal liability if being conducted by the inexperienced hands, but overall the push for more restrictive laws masked as “conservation” in actuality juxtaposes everything conservation stands for. Even in the less glamorous cases of self profit such as Joseph Passage’s (also known as Joe Exotic) commercial breeding of tigers, the population of possibly endangered or threatened species are being increased. In the case of animals such as the eastern elk, Merriam’s elk, and the passager pigeon, legal domestication would’ve allowed them a greater potential to be in existence today. Allowing people to own exotic animals as private property, despite sounding cruel and objectifying, allows for conservation for many species that will otherwise die off in their natural habitats (ex. tigers). In addition, many people who own pets classified as exotic understand the responsibility and have a prior interest in animals, and those who do not suffer the consequences of their own doing through a grim self-inflicted form of natural selection. In sum, the onus of the responsibility is solely on the owner of the animal, many times owning an exotic animal can aid with conservation, and lastly, private ownership of exotic animals differs minimally from zoos and actually offers more comforts to such animals that are given the experience closer to common domestic animals (cat, dog, etc).

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    In my opinion, the ownership of exotic animals is a very versatile and complicated issue in which more positive outcomes come forth than negative. Fir…

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  • Andrea from Texas

    No, I believe that more regulations regarding the ownership of exotic animals should not be done. Although there are the people who don’t take care of the animal well, there are many more people who are very responsible and take care of the exotic animal incredibly well. No matter what type of situation there will always be the responsible people and the irresponsible and cruel people. When wanting to become an owner of an exotic animal, one must first be able to get some type of permit, which are not handed to just anyone. Personally I believe that the situation of owning exotic animals is being well taken and just because there are a small amount of people who don’t know how to take care and be responsible of the animal doesn’t mean that it should affect the people who are amazing pet parents and are incredibly responsible and caring for their pet.

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    No, I believe that more regulations regarding the ownership of exotic animals should not be done. Although there are the people who don’t take care …

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  • Ryan from North Carolina

    I do not believe the government should place further restrictions on the ownership of exotic animals for two reasons. Those being that the government has already placed an absurd number of regulations on most everything, and that these regulations on ownership would hinder the conservation efforts. First of all, the sheer amount of rules and regulation passed by the government is cause for worry. According to the Office of the Federal Register, there are anywhere from 3000 to 4500 federal rules published each year(Congressional Research Service, 2019). That may not seem so bad, but remember that these laws are being passed each year, and that is just the Federal Government. Taking into account the number of regulations states and local governments pass, there is no way of knowing all the regulations one may be required to follow at one time. Also the question must be asked, does the government have the right to regulate some minor aspect of life such as animal ownership. We already have animal abuse laws, which have been used to prosecute certain Exotic animal owners already, thus are new regulations even needed (Wynne, 2020)? With the absurdity of the number of federal regulations in mind, and the question of right of government intervention in this situation one should be extremely cautious when considering the passing of new regulations on exotic animal ownership. That being said, regulations in themselves would achieve a goal opposite that of their intention. If the main goal of regulations is conservation of endangered animals, than the less regulation the better. If exotic animal owners are tied down less red tape, then the easier it is to profit from the ownership of such animals. If it is easier to profit from endangered animals, there is a greater incentive to protect and propagate the future of the species. This incentive, although purely from the self interest of profit, is the best way to incentivize the protection of species. As is commonly the case, the owner of property has the greatest respect for that property and the greatest incentive to protect it. By allowing individuals to own exotic and endangered animals more easily, conservation exceled by the self interest of exotic animal owners.

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    I do not believe the government should place further restrictions on the ownership of exotic animals for two reasons. Those being that the government …

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  • TJ from Kentucky

    I don’t think anyone should be able to own any type of animal if they do not supply the animal with everything they need to thrive. However, if someone is able to do that, they should be able to own exotic animals. Right now, the ability to possess an exotic animal and the laws relating to this up to the states. In my opinion, this power should be kept in the hands of state officials or even be given to the cities to regulate. For example, in New York City, it would be very difficult to give an exotic animal everything they need to thrive because of the limited property to them to reside in. However, in many rural places, there are an abundance of the resources required to give an exotic animal the resources to thrive. In conclusion, regulations should be drawn up based upon an area’s ability to give exotic animals what they need to thrive but that’s what he have right now with the states having most of that power and I do not think that this needs to be changed.

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    I don’t think anyone should be able to own any type of animal if they do not supply the animal with everything they need to thrive. However, if someon…

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  • Marina from Texas

    Since for owning an exotic animal you need to obtain first a permit, and these permits are given carefully to make sure the person who wishes to buy the animal knows how he/she should treat it and what type of things would put him in danger. Also, the person should have some kind of “space” for the animal, where he can rest, run, exercise… stay healthy.

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    Since for owning an exotic animal you need to obtain first a permit, and these permits are given carefully to make sure the person who wishes to buy t…

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  • deanna from North Dakota

    i think that having those kind of animals in a zoo because people don’t get to see those types of animals if they just look outside also when little kids go to zoos they can learn about those animals and having exotic animals like that at zoos bring in a lot of money and with that money sometimes they put it towards animal organisations to help those animals.

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    i think that having those kind of animals in a zoo because people don’t get to see those types of animals if they just look outside also when little k…

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  • Susanna from Missouri

    People make decisions everyday, many of them I disagree with, but that’s that. Their decision. I don’t think certain exotic animals should have regulations on them, but then again, some exotic animals are better in their natural habitats. Take a kinkajou for example. This cute and furry bear-like creature resides in the Amazon Rainforest. The Amazon rainforest has a very unique climate, much different than Missouri, and very different than the other 49 states in the United States. So, I don’t think the government should put restrictions per se, but many exotic animals are endangered species, and the US climate is not suitable for many animals. Therefore, the government should be able to make sure the animals are being treated well, and not allow just any animal. If someone wants a gorilla, that should be their choice, but the gorilla has specific needs as well.

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    People make decisions everyday, many of them I disagree with, but that’s that. Their decision. I don’t think certain exotic animals should have regula…

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  • Asher from North Dakota

    Tigers and other exotic pets have a mysterious allure to them. Its not something you see in the norm. Netflix’s recent documentary has brought a darker side aloof to the public about keeping these exotic pets. Its fun and all to see them at the zoo but they can be dangerous. I think it is a good reminder that not everyone with the will to own a tiger should have one. I recognize the dangers of people that are not suited to having exotic pets having them. At the same time I don’t think everyone should lose their property rights. I don’t think everyone should have the opportunity ruined for them just because of one bad person.

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    Tigers and other exotic pets have a mysterious allure to them. Its not something you see in the norm. Netflix’s recent documentary has brought a dar…

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  • Vijay from Michigan

    Exotic animals are not domesticated enough to become pets, like dogs, cats, and other pets are. They need to be cared for in a special manner, which only zoos would be able to do. Additionally, some exotic animals can be invasive, and if the owner no longer wants them, then they may be able to multiply, resulting in an infestation of these species.

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    Exotic animals are not domesticated enough to become pets, like dogs, cats, and other pets are. They need to be cared for in a special manner, which o…

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  • Brad from Missouri

    If someone wants to own an exotic animal and they have the resources and LOVE to give them an environment and area to fulfill the needs of the animal, I don’t think we need more regulations. Regulations should be enforced for any animal owners who do not take care of their animals whether exotic or domestic.

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    If someone wants to own an exotic animal and they have the resources and LOVE to give them an environment and area to fulfill the needs of the animal,…

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  • elizabeth from Missouri

    I don’t think we should have regulations on owning an exotic animal. Classifying an animal as exotic is confusing because it is an animal that wouldn’t normally be kept as a pet, for example rats, I own two rats yet people don’t normally try to tame and keep a rat as a pet or something that can show affection. If you can train an animal as a baby it can be tame and they wont have the normal habits as the same animal that lives in the wild.

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    I don’t think we should have regulations on owning an exotic animal. Classifying an animal as exotic is confusing because it is an animal that wouldn’…

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    • Lelah from New Jersey

      I think there’s a lot of convoluted points I disagree with. Obviously, exotic animal is one that isn’t sold in a pet store, is extremely expensive, and usually foreign. These creatures deserve to live freely in the wild. We can’t surmise the “could” and “would” haves. It’s kind of like when people said Africans would be better off while enslaved, when colonization hurt those enslaved and those left behind for generations to come. Present selfishness is not an excuse to exploit someone (or in the instance of animals, something), because it “could” be harmless. The animals fed on unnatural diets will probably never be able to hunt or digest its traditional food or survive in the wild, the same way that people who have experienced a great genocide will have a hard time getting back to their roots.

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      I think there’s a lot of convoluted points I disagree with. Obviously, exotic animal is one that isn’t sold in a pet store, is extremely expensive…

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  • Carter from Arkansas

    Animals will always be a part of Human life. Animal ownership has been around for thousands of years and I see no reason why people should have to regulate the animals they own. Many of the people figting for these regulations run “Santuarys.” that are not as bad or worse than some private ownership. I know there can be bad actors but for the most part excessive regulations will just make smuggling more and more common. Just like weed or anything else if you make it illegal people will still smoke it they just will do it in shady unhygienic ways.

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    Animals will always be a part of Human life. Animal ownership has been around for thousands of years and I see no reason why people should have to re…

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  • Brooklynn from Missouri

    I for one don’t think there should be regulations that people can not own exotic animals. What technically classifies an animal as exotic? An exotic pet is a rare or unusual animal pet: an animal kept within human households which is relatively unusual to keep or is generally thought of as a wild species rather than as a pet. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exotic_pet) Way back when,before humanity was civilized we had wolves and wild horses as pets. In my eyes if you can tame an animal then why not keep it as a pet? Now i do believe there should be some rules such as making sure they have a safe home, and you are able to care for them.

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    I for one don’t think there should be regulations that people can not own exotic animals. What technically classifies an animal as exotic? An exotic …

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  • Drew from North Dakota

    No, i don’t think people should have regulations. Going to the zoo and whatnot is fun for families who want to see exotic animals. Most of the time. the zoo keepers and people who have these animals are caring and treat them well. Its a neat experience to see them and you only live once so why not have a exotic pet or go to the zoo to see an exotic animal.

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    No, i don’t think people should have regulations. Going to the zoo and whatnot is fun for families who want to see exotic animals. Most of the time. t…

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  • Melanie from California

    It may seem counterintuitive that a person should be allowed to own very dangerous animals, and potentially abuse them, however, this is the only logical course of action that the government could take. Although this is a dramatic topic, this is only an extreme application of the role of government. The argument here is not at all whether a person SHOULD own this kind of animal, but rather does the government have the authority to decide who can and cannot do specific things. Our nation was founded on the idea of natural law; that the government does not decide morality, but rather enforces it. The government recognizes that there is a higher law, and that it too must play by the rules. However, the founding fathers were very careful to mention that the government’s job is not to enforce all morality, but only the parts of morality that have to do with one person infringing on the rights of another person. Although I believe that it is stupid for a person to own an animal that could kill them at any time, I am not in a position of authority to say that no one can do something like that. And yes, if people are allowed to have animals, there is always the rare case that someone will abuse that freedom. But these rare and extreme cases should not set the standard. The government should interfere as little as possible in matters that do not have anything to do with one person harming another person. There is another way, however, for discouraging the ownership of exotic animals: public disapproval. If everyone around a person says that it is not cool to do something, the person is much less likely to do that thing, and in this instance, would probably achieve the desired effect. I am all for people being safe, and would gladly advocate likewise. However, it is not the government’s place to do this for the people. The government is the servant of the people, and if it is allowed the authority to restrict things as simple as owning specific kinds of animals, it will soon require the service of the people instead.

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    It may seem counterintuitive that a person should be allowed to own very dangerous animals, and potentially abuse them, however, this is the only logi…

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  • William from California

    While the popular new Netflix show ‘Tiger King’ does demonstrate the problems concerning wild animal ownership, one thing the program doesn’t demonstrate is the necessity for increased regulations. In fact the current regulatory framework, which includes the 2019 Big Cat act along with the Endangered Species act is sufficient. This is not to say that these regulations are impeccable, as there’s always room for improvement concerning regulations, as noted by the Cato institute. Instead, what is necessary is additional enforcement of current laws surrounding exotic animals. Joe Exotic for example, was arrested for killing tigers, but only AFTER being arrested for tax evasion. Add all the laws you want, but without sufficient resource or impetus, regulations are an afterthought. Pro might argue that Exotic’s case demonstrates why there an extra row of teeth(regulations) would be needed, but reality shows that it’s time to put in some real teeth on existing regulation and make violators face the bite of the real tiger king.

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    While the popular new Netflix show ‘Tiger King’ does demonstrate the problems concerning wild animal ownership, one thing the program doesn’t demonstr…

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  • Geovanni from Texas

    There should not be stricter rules regarding the ownership of exotic animals due to the fact that it defeats the whole purpose of ownership. If we compare this to the Gun debate, there are the Democrats who want stricter laws (some even going as far as banning guns) and then there are the Republicans who want to conserve the traditional laws in regards to gun ownership. If the governement decided to add more laws in regards to ownership of an exotic animal, then the inevitable thing will come and ownership of exotic animals will be banned completely.

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    There should not be stricter rules regarding the ownership of exotic animals due to the fact that it defeats the whole purpose of ownership. If we com…

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  • Marina from Texas

    It is unlawful for a person to hold custody of exotic animals without a permit. A person can possess exotic animals (always with a permit) for educational purposes. The permits, however, should be regulated. Even more if the species of those exotic animals are in danger of extinction.

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    It is unlawful for a person to hold custody of exotic animals without a permit. A person can possess exotic animals (always with a permit) for educati…

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  • Maryanne from Texas

    As the Tiger King documentary continues to gain popularity, it has raised many questions among Americans such as should people be allowed to privately own exotic animals and should there be more regulations? I believe that the regulations in place have been sufficient in protecting the public from animals that can be potentially dangerous. According to Animal Law Info, only 14 of the 50 states even allow private ownership of exotic animals, not to speak of the strict regulations and permits one must obtain in order to even own one lion, tiger, or bear. If the state government can prove someone is mentally well, has ample land for the animal to roam, and will treat them with love and kindness, then that person should be allowed to keep whatever animal they would like. And if states do all this properly, we can avoid instances like Zanesville from ever happening again.
    Additionally, as many people know, due to big game hunting, exotic animal populations in the wild are rapidly declining causing many of these animals to be considered endangered. According to figures from the WWF (World Wildlife Fund), there are 5,000 privately owned tigers in the United States compared to the 3,200 in the wild. With all the tigers being bred and raised in the US, the tiger population has been sustained. I believe private owning of exotic animals is actually saving these wildlife populations better than conservationists. These reasons among many others are why it isn’t necessary for there to more regulations concerning the ownership of exotic animals

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    As the Tiger King documentary continues to gain popularity, it has raised many questions among Americans such as should people be allowed to privately…

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  • Jack from North Carolina

    Locking up Americans in their homes and telling them to not leave their houses unless it’s an emergency is just asking for something on the internet to go viral. The winner of the viral sensation of the first weeks of quarantine is none other than the documentary Tiger King which debuted on Netflix on March 20th. Aside from the insane shenanigans that take place in the show a serious question is raised about the private ownership of exotic pets like the tigers featured in the show. Many people like Carol Baskin (owner of Big Cat Rescue in the show) advocate for more restrictions on owning exotic pets. I believe that there shouldn’t be any more restrictions on owning exotic animals because of the impact that a personal connection between the animals and people have and the laws that are already in effect can be used to shut down the dangerous people who own them.

    Everyone knows animals like tigers and cheetahs are on the brink of extinction due to habitat loss from human development. Habitat destruction is a huge problem that is facing all wildlife and everyone says they are against it but never take measures to stop it. If you polled people at random in the street almost all of them will tell you that it needs to be stopped but if you ask who has donated money to help the prevention of habitat loss many would drop out of the picture. The private ownership of these animals allows people to get up close and personal with some of the most majestic creatures on Earth and establish a connection with them. Holding a tiger cub in your arms makes people feel terrible that people want to destroy their home and separates their money from their wallet towards the preservation of the animals. Money is one of the basic needs for trying to preserve these animals in the open so getting people to spend that money is a good thing.

    Secondly, there are plenty of laws already in order that can help someone shut down a private owner of these animals if they are dangerous. The Endangered Species Act is just one example where it prevents anyone from taking the exotic animals from their natural habitat and selling or buying them. This law can be used to easily remove animals from people’s possession if the person is dangerous to others with the pet. Also there are plenty of animal abuse charges and you can easily make the case that the animal is being abused which can also take them out of the ownership of someone dangerous.

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    Locking up Americans in their homes and telling them to not leave their houses unless it’s an emergency is just asking for something on the internet…

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  • Aidan from North Carolina

    I do not think that there should really be more strict regulations on owning exotic animals. I just think that to own one legally someone should be required to get a permit or license just to prove that they know how to care for the animal and make sure that it won’t die due to lack of knowledge of what to do for the animal. I think that if the animal is raised its whole life ina cage and as a pet it knows nothing else so it won’t feel neglected as if it was used to roaming an African safari its whole life. It is basically the same thing we do with dogs and normal cats. Some breeds of dogs like boxers for example could run for a really long time and have lots of energy and are only recommended to get one if you have lots of space outside for them to play because of how much they love the outdoors. But people still buy them and keep them indoors their whole lives and they aren’t considered cruel by the public in my opinion. On my source A it says that Alabama does not require a license or permit to own an exotic animal in its state. This I would say is more likely to cause problems because people get their hands on very dangerous animals and have no idea what they are doing. It ends up with people dead or the animal dead and neither had to happen. All they would have to do is take a little class and gain some knowledge on the animal. I do think that getting an animal without knowledge of how to take care of it is basically abuse because it is ruining the animals life and setting it up to fail in its environment
    Source a: https://www.bornfreeusa.org/campaigns/animals-in-captivity/summary-state-laws-exotic-animals/.

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    I do not think that there should really be more strict regulations on owning exotic animals. I just think that to own one legally someone should be re…

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  • Will from North Carolina

    There should not be more regulations on the ownership of exotic pets. There are already many state, federal, and even global laws that restrict the exotic pet trade, according to Animal Planet. These include the Captive Wildlife Safety Act that makes it illegal to move big cats across borders or state lines unless you are exempt, the Wild Bird Conservation Act that makes sure exotic birds are not harmed by international trade, and the Endangered Species Act that seeks to protect and recover endangered species. The Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna also globally regulates the import and export of endangered species. With this many regulations and how much they already restrict the exotic pet trade, it is pointless to make more regulations if a large part of the exotic pet trade is done illegally. These illegal dealers already don’t follow the laws, so why would they follow them and give up their income if there are just simply more laws? Exotic pets also include animals that are seen more regularly than animals such as lions, tigers, or leopards. When looking on a pet selling website, I mostly saw under the exotic animals category animals such as hedgehogs, chinchillas, and sugar gliders all of which can be found in any pet store. Adding more exotic pet regulations could potentially make it illegal to own any of these relatively common exotic pets. Finally, the popular belief as to why there should be more regulations is that the animals may not do well in a climate or situation that is different than their natural habitat. It may be easy to say this in support of exotic animals, but the claim is refuted because there are also many common pets that are often owned in climates that they are simply not built for. Common examples of this are huskies or St. Bernards being found in warm climates. If the well-being of an animal and its rights are forefront to human property rights, then why are exotic pets being prioritized over much more common pets that have the same problems? Overall, creating more regulations would be ineffective because there are already many far reaching regulations and it would be difficult to draw the line as to what exotic animals should be allowed to be kept as pets.

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    There should not be more regulations on the ownership of exotic pets. There are already many state, federal, and even global laws that restrict the ex…

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  • Hannah from Texas

    Our economy is a capitalist economy. If you want to buy an exotic animal that is not from the wild to make money, go ahead! People confuse the word “exotic” with “wild.” Exotic animals just means that the animal is not from where the owner of the animal lives. Many of the exotic animals in the US are not wild. As long as the animals are being treated with respect, why take a money making opportunity away from the American people?

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    Our economy is a capitalist economy. If you want to buy an exotic animal that is not from the wild to make money, go ahead! People confuse the word …

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  • Drake from California

    Ingrained in the founding of our nation is the notion that individual property rights must be protected. The Fifth Amendment states that “No person shall be … deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” Without individual property rights, our ability to call ourselves a free nation of free people would no longer apply. Constitutionally and fundamentally, the government should not infringe on individuals’ property rights, even pertaining to exotic animals. There is, of course, the commerce clause in the Constitution, which grants Congress the power “to regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with Indian Tribes.” Through this authority, Congress can restrict access to exotic animals before ownership even occurs. While the commerce clause is a central tenant in the Constitution and has repeatedly been used throughout history, we must be careful in using it at the expense of preserving individual property rights. By sacrificing the merit behind property rights, we risk losing the foundation for why we have property rights in the first place: to allow individuals to partake in the economy, to protect from government overreach, and to raise the overall standard of living. We have also already seen how effective federal regulation is when attempting to protect wildlife through the Endangered Species Act. One of the flaws with this act is that the burden falls on a few individuals, causing resentment and hatred toward the law and its principles. Instead of regulating the ownership of exotic animals and thereby reducing property rights, we should incentivize individuals to better care for exotic animals. Through a system of private ownership, individuals will have a convincing reason to preserve wildlife, including exotic animals, as it will benefit both themselves and a greater good. In doing so, we will protect the livelihood and health of exotic species and biodiversity in general, as well as preserve the individual property rights that make us a successful free country in the first place.

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    Ingrained in the founding of our nation is the notion that individual property rights must be protected. The Fifth Amendment states that “No person sh…

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  • Michael from Kansas

    I don’t think so because exotic animals needs better care and a lot of people might not treat the animals right or won’t feed the animals right and follow there diet. I think a lot of people would abuse this law use them for bad things,and use them for something they have like tiger skin. A lot of exotic animals need different types of habitats and people would ignore that and not treat the animal right.

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    I don’t think so because exotic animals needs better care and a lot of people might not treat the animals right or won’t feed the animals right an…

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  • Jack from Virginia

    I do not see this problem occurring in my community.

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  • Luke from Oregon

    In a democracy, the legislature is supposed to act in the best interest of the people. The regulations around owning exotic animals are not really applicable to most Americans, because they could never afford any, or have no interest in owning them.
    Further more,exotic animals would become more of a burden on zoos, thus making zoo entry more expensive. Paying more money to enter the zoo would be a negative effect of these regulations. Because an increase in the zoo entry cost effects so much more of the American Electorate than regulations around owning exotic animals, making it not in the best interest of the American people. For this reason, there should not be more regulations around owning exotic animals, because it is not in the best interest of the American people.

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    In a democracy, the legislature is supposed to act in the best interest of the people. The regulations around owning exotic animals are not really app…

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    • Florence from Florida

      Your points are remarkable and applicable to our current time and the priorities of the nation. However what can we say for the the many people, neighbors, families, friends, acquaintances that suffer violence at the hands of unregulated exotic animals in close proximity. Last year there were 200 incidents of injury by exotic animals with many injuries being sustained by people who were NOT the owners of the animals. If having a pet tiger leaving in the flat above yours is a danger to your well-being you as an American citizen have the right to advocate for regulations to be pushed to ensure a safer environment for yourself and for others.

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      Your points are remarkable and applicable to our current time and the priorities of the nation. However what can we say for the the many people, neigh…

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  • Kaci from Ohio

    In my opinion, there shouldn’t be more regulations that are, for example, ensuring their safety. I say this because there are many states that have already put into place laws covering the well-being and prevention of animal abuse/harm. Moreover, these pre-existing laws should just be given stricter enforcement and upkeep to make sure no one is violating them and harming exotic animals.

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    In my opinion, there shouldn’t be more regulations that are, for example, ensuring their safety. I say this because there are many states that have al…

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  • Samia from Illinois

    Although exotic animals may seem dangerous to some, the reality is that all animals pose a certain risk to our health, whether it is through the pathogens they carry or the dangers of the animal wreaking havoc on its owner. Why should we be able to classify some animals as safe pets, while others are regarded as dangerous and “too much work?” All animals require care and time commitment. Just because some animals are defined as exotic does not mean they do not deserve to be loved by human owners. By adding regulations and making it more difficult for people to own exotic animals, people are not being punished, but the animals. Exotic animals are being stripped of the love their owner would give them if it were easier for them to be adopted.

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    Although exotic animals may seem dangerous to some, the reality is that all animals pose a certain risk to our health, whether it is through the patho…

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