Tynwald has agreed a new Schedule to the Wild Animals (Restriction on Importation etc) Act 1980. This specifies animals which may only be imported and kept on the Isle of Man under a permit available for zoos, circuses and filming. The Department of Environment Food and Agriculture requests that anyone with an interest in exotic species or hybrid animals such as wolf-dogs and wild cat hybrids, consult the new list and if necessary, get in touch with the Department for advice.
The change follows a public consultation on the species lists and the criteria for listing. Previously species were listed mostly as potentially dangerous to the public, but also for rabies control. The list lacked many species now not deemed suitable for private keeping. The new Schedule adds species on the basis of public safety, animal welfare and ecological risk, though invasive species will be the subject of a fuller consideration in the future. The status of hybrids, such as wolf – domestic dog crosses and wild – domestic cats, was not clear under the previous list. This has now been clarified under a separate listing for mammal hybrids.
Primates have been listed for welfare reasons and though there are species not listed, for which there are serious concerns regarding their welfare as pets, this was not necessarily deemed a reason to prohibit private keeping.
Mrs Brenda Cannell MHK, Member for Forestry Amenity and lands said, ‘I am pleased that this Schedule has now been reviewed and brought up to date, taking account of more up to date information regarding the captive keeping of various wild animals. There are plenty of delightful animals that can be kept as pets without raising some of the problems that we see in the news.
I hope that people take proper note of the new list and look at all of the welfare requirements of any animal before taking on a new pet’.