He had no fear of connection from the very first moment. Once Wukk arrived, he dashed through his new home, jumped into one of the underground caves and wanted to play with his roommates. “It’s quite glossy and cheeky,” says biologist Eva Lindenschmidt.
Wukk is a small arctic fox. He had arrived a few days earlier at Maeseweiler’s Tiaret station in Rhineland-Palatinate. According to the Four Paws Animal Welfare Foundation, he had previously grown up in a small cage in a private apartment near Vienna before authorities confiscated him.
At the wild animal station – the largest of its kind in Germany – he has now found the environment he needs for species-appropriate life: in a large outdoor enclosure with caves and the chance to dig and hide. In addition to the red fox singing, Jackson also felt at home here for several years. The male silver fox comes from a breed specifically designed to market domesticated foxes as pets.
“There is a very big market – if you have money, you can take any exotic animal with you.”
The controversial business with such animals appears to be thriving: “There’s a very big market, especially trend Poland And the Czech Republic, and tons of breeders. If you have cash with you, you can take any exotic animal with you — and no one asks where it is or if you have experience or proof of expertise,” reports Lindenschmidt, vice president of Animal Art.
Funny videos of wild animals on the Internet that misrepresented themselves could have exacerbated the problem. In addition, many people seem to always need new stimuli. “Guinea pigs and guppies have had their day,” agrees Sandra Altier, project manager at Pro Wildlife. “Instead, gray parrots, turtles, snakes and venomous lions are now in demand – bigger, more exotic, more dangerous. At the same time, this trend is causing the animals great suffering.” However, in this country, the breeding of pumas and lions in particular is the exception.
According to animal rights activists, the problem is that there is no federal regulation for the private conservation of wild animals in Germany. To date, nine federal states have responded to this and have issued their own regulations on keeping dangerous or poisonous animals.
Unfortunately, lions and crocodiles can still be kept legally.
“In Baden-Württemberg, Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt, lions and crocodiles can unfortunately still be legally kept,” says Lindenschmidt. Animal rights activists are urging these countries to introduce their own comprehensive and far-reaching legislation on dangerous animals.
In Saarland, the Police Ordinance on the Protection of Residents from Dangerous Dogs applies. “No additional dangerous animal law is currently planned,” says Matthias Weber, spokesman for the Ministry of the Environment. There are currently no police regulations for keeping potentially dangerous animals or exotic animals. According to the Animal Welfare Act, keeping wild animals is not required to be reported or reported.
“From our point of view, it would make sense to put in place a regulation for the handling and keeping of dangerous animals—especially exotic ones,” Weber says. For example, legal loopholes regarding the conservation and trade of wild and exotic animals may be the result of a “positive list” entry such as in the neighboring country France Or prohibit the keeping of some species such as in Luxembourg to greet.
People in Rhineland-Palatinate are more conservative about it. “The existing laws provide a sufficient basis for regulating and, if necessary, sanctioning animal husbandry,” explains Jan Bode, spokesman for the Environment Ministry in Mainz. This applies to all kinds of animals of any origin. “Stricter laws don’t necessarily mean that some animals can no longer be kept.”
The state’s nature conservation law is sufficient in this regard and there is no need for a broad and serious animal law. Buddy: “The goal should be for every pet owner to have sufficient, verifiable experience.”
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Germany and the European Union are among the largest markets for live wild animal sales
In his opinion, the so-called positive lists are “controversial both legally and professionally”. Examples from Belgium and the Holland It showed that such lists are “difficult to reconcile with EU law and hardly effective”. One reason for this is that species are described almost every day around the world whose durability can only be determined when they are kept. Thus, such a list will expire before it is published.”
According to Pro Wildlife, Germany and the European Union are among the largest markets for live wild animal sales. According to Eva Lindenschmidt, the owners of the exotic animals lack any awareness of the problem or the wrongdoing: a private individual from Baden-Württemberg bought the home of the puma Teckam, who has been living at Tiaret station for three years, for 2,000 euros. in the Czech Republic Bought in his own country apartment detained.
When there were complaints from the landlady and the veterinary office threatened to confiscate her, he reluctantly turned the Puma in. “He didn’t understand why people were so upset about this situation,” says Lindschmidt.