Animals not generally regarded as pets are commonly referred to as exotics. These include mammals, birds, reptiles, fish and invertebrates.
Increased prosperity and availability of more unusual species has resulted in an increase in people keeping exotics as pets. Unfortunately many of these animals are kept in inappropriate conditions with inadequate diets by owners with very limited knowledge of their requirements. Many of the traditional forms of housing for these animals are not now considered satisfactory, for instance keeping a parrot in a small cage.
The popularity of exotics has fuelled a domestic and international trade in live animals, many species are still captured from the wild and transported around the world. This trade is deeply abhorrent and unacceptable to many people.
Eastgate Veterinary Group does not encourage people to keep exotic species. It is our view that they are best looked after by knowledgeable specialist keepers or, even better, protected in the wild. We accept that there are large numbers already kept as pets and we provide a first opinion service for these animals. We have a veterinary nurse with special qualifications in exotic pets and a good relationship with specialist veterinary practices to which we are happy to refer.
Anyone with a genuine interest in exotic species should research the animals of interest and get involved in supporting, studying and conserving them in their natural environment rather than ‘owning’ one.