Deny of the tiger: EU weighs exotic pet ban

Brussels is mulling a crackdown on Europe’s tiger kings.

EU agriculture ministers will Tuesday discuss whether to ban the trade and keeping of exotic species such as tigers, alligators or chimpanzees, following the proposition of a new EU law by Cyprus, Lithuania, Luxembourg and Malta.

In a joint paper, the countries call for a “concise catalogue of animals that can be kept as pets, providing clarity to pet owners and government officials.” The sale and keeping of a species not included on that list would be automatically banned across the bloc.

The paper estimates Europeans are privately keeping around 100 million pets that are not dogs or cats. “Many of these species were captured from the wild, depleting natural populations and leading to loss of biodiversity,” it reads.

While the move is likely to be welcomed by animal welfare activists, it will cause concern among tiger kings across the EU: According to animal welfare group Four Paws, private tiger-keeping is legal in countries including Germany, France, Spain, Ireland and the Czech Republic.

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