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The morality of the reptile "pet" trade

By C. Warwick

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The trade in, and private keeping of, reptiles as "pets" raises several ethical concerns regarding animal welfare (associated with handling, storage, transportation, intensive captive breeding, captivity stress, injury, disease, and high premature mortality); public health and safety (associated with zoonotic disease and animal-linked injuries); species conservation and environmental degradation (associated with wild capture); and ecological alteration (associated with invasive alien species). Also, many captive reptiles are fed other animals, raising broader ethical questions. Misperceptions about reptiles by proponents of their captivity mean that these animals are subject to conditions that would likely be considered unacceptable for dogs or cats.

Publication Title Journal of Animal Ethics
Volume 4
Issue 1
Pages 74-94
ISBN/ISSN 2156-5414
Publisher University of Illinois Press
DOI 10.5406/janimalethics.4.1.0074
Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal diseases
  2. Animal ecology
  3. Animals
  4. Animal transport
  5. Animal welfare
  6. Biological resources
  7. Breeding
  8. Conservation
  9. Environment
  10. Ethics
  11. Health
  12. Introduced species
  13. Invasive species
  14. mortality
  15. peer-reviewed
  16. Pets and companion animals
  17. public
  18. Reptiles
  19. Resources
  20. safety
  21. Social psychology and social anthropology
  22. Stress
  23. trade
  24. trauma
  25. vertebrates
  26. Zoonoses
  1. peer-reviewed