Some people keep pets other than dogs and house cats. These “exotic” pets may be animals (fish, birds, or mammals) of non-native species or individuals of native species that have been raised in captivity and bred for sale under USDA regulations. The NAIA Trust supports private breeding and ownership of these animals under regulations that provide for their welfare and protect public safety and opposes wild capture of animals in violation of the Lacey Act and other applicable laws and regulations.

Private citizens who have acquired special appreciation and knowledge of particular species have contributed greatly to the preservation of those species by maintaining them at their own expense. Those who continue to educate themselves about the needs of their animals and keep them in a manner appropriate to the animal and society should be allowed to keep them.

The NAIA Trust encourages organizations that work to raise the level of care, handling, training of these animals, and supports the responsible ownership of exotics under well crafted regulatory mechanisms, based on need, with permit systems for certain species that pose a public safety threat. Such systems allow ownership of potentially dangerous animals if the owner demonstrates the ability to contain and care for the animals in manner that ensures that public safety is not compromised.

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