Washington: You may have to avoid keeping those reptiles and amphibians like turtles, snakes, lizards, tortoises as pets as 75 per cent of them die during their first year, warns a recent study.
Consultant biologist and medical scientist, Clifford Warwick, with his colleagues, highlighted the severity of welfare problems, pointing out that 75 per cent of reptiles die during their first year at the home.
The researchers stated that reptiles kept at homes display at least 30 behavioural signs of stress and owners often do not know how to care for pets adequately.
They review issues such as disease transmission to humans, welfare problems associated with poor care and the ecological implications of trading wild animals.
Gordon Burghardt, at the University of Tennessee said that the issues of health, best practices for keeping captives and preventing disease transmission to humans “are important for veterinarians to address.”
But others argue that such views on captive reptile health and welfare are “unsustainable” and say tougher measures are needed to mitigate the destructiveness of reptile trading and keeping.
Objective evidence demonstrates the need for bans and ‘positive lists’ – species impartially determined suitable by scientific evidence, they write.
Evidence-based consumer awareness protocols “may also prevent irresponsible pet advocacy and acquisition,” they explained.
Adele Waters, the editor of Veterinary Record, stated that there was a growing concern about the welfare of reptiles.
“Earlier this month, the RSPCA [Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals] published a research showing they are often neglected, and not because their owners don’t care about them, but because they are unsure about how to care for them,” Waters added.
The research conducted for the charity found a lot of online advice is contradictory, inconsistent and variable in quality and this does not encourage responsible reptile ownership.
“It is important for reptile owners to get information from a reliable, credible source – their local vet,” they concluded.
The research appeared in the Veterinary Record journal. (ANI)