• Petitioning Barack Obama

This petition will be delivered to:

President of The United States
Barack Obama
U.S. House of Representatives


    1. Ruth McD
    2. Petition by

      Ruth McD

      Redmond, OR

The private ownership of exotic animals represents a real danger to families, neighbors, communities, and the public at large, as well as to the animal themselves.

In many states, people are allowed to keep exotic animals in their homes and backyards, as well as collect them to display at roadside zoos and menageries without any restrictions or with only minimal oversight. The exotic animal industry is well aware of the dangers these animals pose to the public, yet continues to lobby for private exotic animal ownership.

Given the serious problems involved with the private ownership of exotic animals, it is critical that states address this issue and work towards passing strong legislation. Laws must be passed to prohibit the ownership of exotic animals as "pets" and at roadside zoos and menageries.

Currently, state laws addressing the keeping of exotic animals are inconsistent with each other — varying from type of restriction to the type of species being regulated. Strong and comprehensive laws must be introduced and passed in all the states that currently do not prohibit private ownership of exotic animals. Further, the laws that are currently in existence must at the very least prohibit ownership of the most dangerous exotic animals, such as wild felines, wolves, bears, nonhuman primates, and dangerous reptiles.

Another critical issue that needs to be addressed is that in cities and states that do have bans, partial bans, or permitting and licensing requirements, individuals often sidestep the law by obtaining a USDA license. These individuals claim to be animal exhibitors or breeders, thereby circumventing state exotic "pet" laws. State and local laws on the possession of exotic "pets" usually exempt people who hold a USDA license from the provisions of the law. This is a huge loophole that is being exploited to the detriment of the public and the animals. USDA-licensed facilities must not be exempted from coverage of legislation.

Born Free USA is a leader in the campaign to end the private ownership of exotic animals and is committed to continuing its efforts until exotic animals are protected nationwide. We have worked with state and local legislatures across the country and have played a major role in efforts to prohibit the private possession of exotic animals. We have model legislation that we tailor to each state and expertise and experience that have been utilized by states nationwide.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 1,500 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • sasha dodd ESCONDIDO, CA
      • 11 days ago

      animals belong in their natural habitat. and if we humans screwed it up then we need to fix it. not make it worse.

    • Chante Dodd ESCONDIDO, CA
      • 11 days ago

      I don't think it's right to own an exotic animal. It should be protected in it's natural habitat. There are plenty domesticated animals in shelters and pet shops that need homes. We shouldn't domesticate wild animals. To me, this is a modern day fur trade that should be illegal.

    • Brittany Rivera NORTH PORT, FL
      • 12 days ago

      Having exotic pets are bad for our native species, our health and saftey, plus the animals health and safety. Exotic animals should be in thier own habitat not in the hands of a human.

    • Ayrianna Woody WIMAUMA, FL
      • 16 days ago

      It is cruel for the animals to be taken out of their natural habitat and forced to live a domesticated life. It is also dangerous to the humans who are participating in the faux domestication of exotic animals.

    • Michelle Carr CENTENNIAL, CO
      • 17 days ago

      It is irresponsible to continue to allow the private ownership of wild and exotic animals. Law must become more strict to discourage the selfish actions of those who decide to keep a non domesticated animal.


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