According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 70% of emerging infectious diseases in humans are zoonotic (zo'-uh-nah-tic), and exotic pets can be carriers of unique pathogens.

June 2024: Exotic Animals as Pets

Resolved: Owning an exotic pet would be desirable. 

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BACKGROUND:

Exotic pets are animals that are not typically domesticated and are often considered unusual or uncommon to keep as pets. These can include reptiles (such as snakes and lizards), birds (like parrots and macaws), small mammals (such as ferrets and sugar gliders), and even larger animals like primates and big cats. The ownership of exotic pets is a subject of significant debate due to various concerns, including ethical issues, ecological impacts, and safety risks for both humans and animals. Ethical concerns often revolve around the welfare and treatment of these animals in captivity. Ecological concerns highlight the potential negative impacts on local ecosystems and biodiversity. Safety concerns pertain to the risks these animals might pose to their owners and the public.

Zoonotic (Pronounced: Zoh’-uh-nah-tic) refers to diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans. These diseases are caused by harmful germs like viruses, bacterial infections, parasites, or fungi. The transmission can occur through direct contact with the animal, through the air, or by touching surfaces that have been contaminated by an infected animal.

Owning Exotic Pets (PRO)

Owning Exotic Pets (CON)

Educational Value: Owning an exotic pet can provide unique educational opportunities. These animals can teach owners and observers about different species, their behaviors, and their natural habitats. For example, observing the behaviors of a reptile can provide insights into cold-blooded physiology and adaptations.

Biodiversity Preservation: Some exotic pets are bred in captivity, which can help preserve species that might be endangered in the wild. By maintaining a population of these animals, breeders can contribute to conservation efforts and prevent the complete extinction of certain species.

Personal Fulfillment: Exotic pets can bring joy and a sense of accomplishment to their owners. The unique bond formed with these animals can be deeply rewarding and fulfilling, providing emotional benefits and a sense of responsibility.

Ethical Concerns: The welfare of exotic pets in captivity is a major ethical issue. Many of these animals have complex needs that are difficult to meet in a typical household environment. Inadequate care can lead to physical and psychological suffering, raising questions about the morality of keeping such pets.

Ecological Impact: The capture and trade of exotic animals can have detrimental effects on wild populations and ecosystems. Removing animals from their natural habitats can disrupt ecological balance, contribute to species decline, and promote illegal wildlife trade.

Public Health and Safety Risks: Exotic pets can pose significant health and safety risks. They can carry diseases transmissible to humans (zoonoses) and can be dangerous if they become aggressive or escape. For instance, certain reptiles can carry Salmonella, and large carnivores can inflict serious injuries.

REQUIRED RESEARCH (VIDEOS & ARTICLES)

Please watch all of the required videos (& take notes) before arriving at the first forensics team meeting.

Required Research (Videos):

Do Exotic Animals Make Good Pets?,
Factable, February 19, 2020 [4 min]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=es8aiDgeyM0

Tiny Baby Stoat Has The Best Reaction…,
The Dodo, February 22, 2021 [4+ min]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HFSaxIsJCE
Longer Version (27 min): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXhzNNNtkok

Required Research (Articles):

Exotic Pet Trade Explained,
National Geographic, February 20, 2019 [PDF Version]
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/article/exotic-pet-trade
Note: The video is optional, it’s a little bit long = may not be worth the time.

Keeping Exotic Pets: Weighing the Pros and Cons,
Medium.com, May 23, 2023 [PDF Version]
https://amolashoksahasrabudhe.medium.com/keeping-exotic-pets-weighing-the-pros-and-cons-5ab9b5c601fe

OPTIONAL RESEARCH (ARTICLES & VIDEOS)

Please consider watching/reading the following research areas in order to prepare for upcoming events.

Optional Research (Articles & Videos):

Exotic Pets Pros and Cons, 
Animal Fun Facts, Last Accessed: June 2024
https://www.animalfunfacts.net/pets/exotic-pets/218-exotic-pets-pros-and-cons.html

The Pros and Cons of Exotic Pets for Kids,
Metro Parent, April 15, 2021
https://www.metroparent.com/parenting/advice/the-pros-and-cons-of-some-of-the-most-popular-exotic-pets-for-kids/

The pros and cons of having exotic pets,
Dr. Dan Meakin, Clermont Sun, July 26, 2012
https://www.clermontsun.com/2012/07/26/creature-featuredr-dan-meakinthe-pros-and-cons-of-having-exotic-pets

Why Should I choose an Exotic Pet?,
Dr. Laurie Hess, Veterinary Center for Birds and Exotics, Last Accessed: June 2024
https://avianexoticsvet.com/blog/why-should-i-choose-an-exotic-pet/

ADDITIONAL RESEARCH (Evidence & Outlines)

We provide students with some sample evidence and/or outlines to help them prepare for any upcoming events. This research can be copied word-for-word, or can be modified to fit the students needs. Copying these and other outlines is proper (it’s not cheating). I hope they are useful for you.

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