Just what is that? What does that word mean?
Does it mean an animal that is not native to the area in which it is living? In that case EVERY domesticated species is “Exotic” in the sense that it is not native to California.
Does it mean a species with special needs? Something the average person cannot be expected to be able to care for without making special provisions or get special training?
Private Ownership Vs. Sanctuary
Are “Exotic” cats better off in sanctuaries than in private hands? Sometimes. Sometimes not. Ever heard of a private owner with 30 dead tigers rotting on his property? After the Colton Tiger Rescue incident, a case could be made that there should no longer be sanctuaries in California.
Clearly, sanctuary owners have demonstrated that they are irresponsible as a whole and therefore they should all be shut down. The animals can join all the ones in Kansas that face certain death this spring when the laws change and they have nowhere to go.
And no, I don’t actually think that. It’s the anti-private ownership argument in reverse, and I don’t believe in that either.
ANY species that has need above and beyond what an average person could be expected to provide should require special licensing. Want to make sure that privately owned Lion is OK? Make the permit cost $1,000, require the owner to provide one full acre of double enclosed environment per large feline, and then add on quarterly health & welfare inspections by a state Veterinarian – at the expense of the owner.
Nobody is going to get a casual fad throwaway pet if they have to do all of that. And if you can afford to properly care for them – you can afford to provide all of those things.
Bans do not work. Probably the nest example of this is the 18th Amendment, which not only failed to reduce the level of alcohol consumption in the U.S, but created a thriving level of organized crime that exists to this day.
“Exotic” pets are banned in California. How effective is this? Go to a Pet Smart and look at an entire shelf devoted to supplies for pets that you cannot legally own. Why can you buy a sack of Ferret food at a retail store when those animals are illegal? Why do Veterinarians advertise openly that they accept and treat such pets?
Both happen in the town where I live – which is 22 miles from Acton. And this city has a heavy population of are police officers, many of whose children own ferrets.
Dangerous Exotic Pets
You can legally own a Rottweiler or a Pit Bull. You can get one from the pound for $25 and one sheet of paperwork. Nice domesticated pet?
I own a fascinating book entitled “Fatal Dog Attacks” by Karen Delise. It documents 454 human fatalities from dogs. But don’t look for a list of fatalities from Servals or Caracals anywhere – it’s never happened.