Do you know what exotic animals are? Are you thinking of getting one, but you are not sure if you can have it at home? This article is definitely for you. Find out what exotic animals are and what the law says, in this case in Spain, about keeping exotic animals at home.

What is meant by exotic animal?

The definition of an exotic animal can vary depending on the context. There are several definitions and common uses of the term “exotic”, but determining an exact definition is somewhat difficult. In many situations, an exotic animal is loosely defined as any animal other than a dog, cat, or farm animal. This encompasses many different species of animals, including small pets, birds, reptiles, fish, and amphibians, as well as those less commonly seen as companion animals, such as primates, Vietnamese pigs, and large felines

But, for us, the most exact definition of what an exotic animal is goes a little further… The animals that we normally call exotic are species that would not naturally be in a certain territory, but due to fortuitous or intentional circumstances, they end up living away from its natural habitat. And this last point is for us the key to the matter and why Hospital Veterinari Glòries does not recommend keeping exotic animals at home, since, outside their habitat (legally or illegally), it is difficult to offer all the care and cover the needs of the animal in question.

What does the law say about having an exotic animal at home?

The fact is that there is no universal regulation on the possession of exotic species as pets within homes. Each country is free to legislate on this matter, regarding its needs for protection of its native fauna, blockade against invasive species, protection of citizens and precautions on public health.

This means that not all countries allow the domestic possession of exotic animals. Therefore, it is possible that in Spain it is allowed to have a species as a pet, when in another country such as Italy or the United Kingdom it is prohibited.

Before making the decision to adopt an exotic animal, we advise you to think it through and find out about the species that are prohibited in your country. Also find out whether or not they can live in captivity in their own homes or if their purchase is legally penalized.

We do not recommend acquiring exotic animals, but much less doing it through the Internet or private sellers without having the necessary permits in order. You could be complicit in illegal wildlife trade.

And in Spain, how is the possession of exotic animals dealt with? What are the exotic animals prohibited as pets?

The law in Spanish territory says:

“The Natural Heritage and Biodiversity Law (Law 42/2007) provides that the introduction of invasive species in the territory of the Iberian Peninsula is considered a serious or very serious infraction.” Law (42/2007)

The Spanish laws applicable to this issue punish those who keep certain species in captivity, or facilitate their introduction into the country, and may be sanctioned with fines ranging from 600 to 2 or 3 million euros (always depending on the species and severity of the damage caused). causes to native ecosystems)

Next, you will be able to see some of the invasive species in Spain that cannot be kept as pets:

  • Bull frog.
  • Asian common toad.
  • Quail.
  • Japanese nightingale.
  • Raccoons.
  • Galapagos tortoise.
  • Argentine parrot.
  • King Cobra and several species of poisonous snakes.
  • Various species of snails.

In addition, it is important to mention that the Spanish law on exotic animals also prohibits keeping exotic animals threatened with extinction as pets. If you accidentally find an injured animal or rescue an invasive species, it is important to immediately call the corresponding authorities, which in this case would be the SEPRONA of Spain.

The list of illegal exotic animals in Spain is periodically reviewed and updated as new species are introduced into our ecosystems. For example, we know that in the latest update, approved by the Council of Ministers, new species have been included: the Vietnamese pig, the royal python or the tortoise of the peninsula.

If you have one of these pets, you must notify your Autonomous Community immediately.