October 14, 2010
For immediate release
Free licensing for exotic wildlife pets
Environment, Energy & Forestry
Owners of approved exotic wildlife pets will have an opportunity to have them licensed or – if they can no longer care for them – turned over to the department at a special licensing event this Saturday, says Environment, Energy and Forestry Minister Richard Brown.
“Pet owners may be unaware they are required to license their exotic pets. In the interest of public safety and animal welfare, we are holding a special day where owners can obtain a license free of charge,” said Minister Brown. “This is also an opportunity to raise awareness about the risks of keeping exotic wildlife as pets and the risks to the public, the environment and the animals.”
The department will have a veterinarian from the Atlantic Veterinary College on site during the day and it is hoping to encourage owners of exotic wildlife to take advantage of the free licensing opportunity or turn their pets over to the department if they are no longer able to care for them.
Exotic wildlife is wildlife not indigenous to the province and whose natural habitat is usually found in the wild. Some exotic wildlife may pose a risk to public safety or the Island environment, or there may be problems with illegal capture in its native range. Those species are not allowed to be kept on the Island, and a list of such prohibited exotic wildlife may be found at www.gov.pe.ca/eef/prohibitedwildlife.
Because of the nature of exotic wildlife species, the department may refuse a license for any exotic wildlife species that poses a risk to public safety, to the ecosystem if released into the wild or taken from the wild, or to the status of the wildlife species in the wild, or if it is obtained illegally.
“Licensing exotic wildlife pets will benefit both the pets and the environment,” said Mr. Brown.
The special licensing event is Saturday, October 16, 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. at the J. Frank Gaudet Tree Nursery, 183 Upton Road, Charlottetown. For more information, contact Chuck Gallison, 902-368-5275.