Research

Exotic pets

A major driver of the global wildlife trade – a growing threat to biodiversity, species conservation and animal welfare – is consumer demand for exotic pets, and there have been calls for information campaigns to combat this. We studied the effect of information on the purchasing intentions of potential exotic pet buyers – we found that showing people information about the (genuine) possible disease and legal risks of owning an exotic pet reduced their professed likelihood of wanting to buy one by about 39%. Information on welfare and conservation impacts did not have any significant effect. Our findings suggest that information campaigns aimed at reducing unsustainable demand for exotic pets should focus on human disease and legal consequences.

Moorhouse, T. P., Balaskas, M., D’Cruze, N. C., & Macdonald, D. W. (2017). Information could reduce consumer demand for exotic pets. Conservation Letters10(3), 337-345.