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Exotic Pet Trade

Born for the wild, not for your home

© Paul Hilton for Earth Tree Images

Exotic pets are becoming increasingly popular in Hong Kong. Rare species of turtles and tortoises, snakes, lizards, parrots, sugar gliders, hedgehogs, scorpions and many others, are traded as pets. Since 2000, Hong Kong has imported millions of live CITES-regulated animals, with these figures excluding fish and marine species like seahorses, corals and giant clams.

Think twice before purchasing an exotic animal as a pet.

Consider safety, suitability and sustainability before you bring it home.

© Paul Hilton for Earth Tree Images

Many exotic pets, especially birds and some mammals, are known to carry pathogens with the potential for zoonosis; while some species should not be kept as pets, for example the green iguana and alligator snapping turtle. Such species should be prohibited from being traded as pets on public health and safety grounds. In a broader sense, the large-scale extraction of exotic animals from their natural ecosystems to cater to the global pet trade is a significant contributor to biodiversity loss and overexploitation and must be regulated.

Hongkongers Support Stricter Controls, as City Dominates Global Trade in Threatened Species

Press Release
© Paul Hilton for Earth Tree Images

WWF-Hong Kong is collaborating with ADMCF to launch a campaign encouraging people to become informed and carefully consider their reasons for wanting to own an exotic animal as a pet. We are also urging the government to tighten existing pet trade regulations and establish a “positive list” that will allow importation of safe, sustainable and suitable exotic animals into the city.

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Born for the wild, not for your home

This video highlights various exotic animals, such as the African grey parrot, sugar glider, green iguana, scorpion, and African spurred tortoise, which are emblematic of various issues in Hong Kong. Its goal is to raise awareness about concerns related to the exotic pet trade, and to remind viewers that these animals are born for the wild, not for our homes.


WWF and ADMCF are working to raise awareness of exotic pet trade issues in Hong Kong.