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Keeping native animals as pets has recently been proposed as a new strategy to enhance the conservation of wildlife in Australia. In this paper we critically examine the arguments put by the proponents of a native animal pet industry, discuss potential problems associated with it and cover a range of important related issues. The primary argument for a native animal pet industry is that it will generate major benefits for the conservation of Australia's biodiversity. However, the use of native animals as pets (and associated captive-breeding and re-introduction programs) will only ever focus on a small subset of species, will be unable to address larger biodiversity conservation issues, and will be unlikely to make more than a very limited contribution to nature conservation in Australia. Other approaches such as setting aside reserves and off-reserve conservation strategies such as landscape restoration will be far more important for nature conservation. Yet, a native animal pet industry has the potential to divert funds from these important activities, and may possibly even reduce public appreciation of the critical need for them.

We provide a range of reasons why native animals are unlikely to replace domestic animals as pets. We also raise concerns about animal welfare and other issues that could flow from keeping native animals as pets. These include (among others):- potential for a significant incidence of stress-related and husbandry-related diseases, problems with access to appropriate husbandry and veterinary care, and the potential for inappropriate breeding to select particular anatomical traits. Keeping native animals as pets also has the potential to:- transmit disease to wild populations of the same species, transmit disease to other species in close contact, and spread disease from animals to humans (zoonoses). These problems have major negative implications not only for wild populations of Australian native animals, but also for human health in this country. It is essential these issues are fully addressed prior to the further development and promotion of the concept of a native animal pet industry. Indeed, for the establishment of such an industry to be justified, there must be substantial positive conservation outcomes for wild populations. It must also be demonstrated that any new industry would not have any negative effect on the status of wild populations.

Allen, T. J., 1986. Evaluation of movements, harvest rate, vulnerability and survival of translocated raccoons in south western Virginia. Transactions of the North-Eastern Section of the Wildlife Society 43: 64.
Anonymous, 1990. A bridge too far. The Economist 12 May: 48-49.
Archer, M., 2000. Monstrous moggies or charming chuditches. Nature Australia 26/8: 70-71.
Barteges, J. W., 1999. Common congenital diseases of dogs. Pp. 257-65 in Reproduction and Paediatrics 99. Post Graduate Committee in Veterinary Science: Sydney.
Bellamy, T., 1994. Handrearing native animals - marsupials. Pp 7-22 in Wildlife Proceedings 233, Post Graduate Committee in Veterinary Science: Sydney.
Booth, R., 1994a. Medicine and husbandry: monotremes, wombats and bandicoots. Pp 395-422 in Wildlife Proceedings 233, Post Graduate Committee in Veterinary Science: Sydney.
Booth, R., 1994b. Medicine and husbandry: dasyurids, possums and bats. Pp 423-442 in Wildlife Proceedings 233, Post Graduate Committee in Veterinary Science: Sydney.
Bradley, M.,P., Lambert, C., Power, V., Mills, H., Gaikhorst, G. and Lawrence, C., 1999. Reproduction and captive breeding as a tool for mammal conservation: the role of modern zoos. Australian Mammalogy 21: 47-54.
Burgman, M. A. and Lindenmayer, D. B., 1998 Conservation Biology for the Australian Environment. Surrey Beatty and Sons, Chipping Norton: Sydney.
Carlisle-Nowak, M. S., Sullivan, N., Carrigan, M., Knight, C., Ryan, C. and Jacobson, E. R., 1998. Inclusion body disease in two captive Australian pythons ( Morelia spilota varieg ata and Morelia spilota spilota). Australian Veterinary Journal 76: 98-100.
Caughley, G. C. and Gunn, A., 1995 Conservation Biology in Theory and Practice. Blackwell Science, Cambridge: Massachusetts.
Cunningham, A. A., 1996. Disease risks of wildlife translocations. Conservation Biology 10: 249-53.
Diamond, J., 1997 Guns, germs, and steel. The fates of human societies. W. W. Norton and Company: New York.
Evans, D. D., 1982 The Management of Australian Mammals in Captivity. Zoological Board of Victoria: Melbourne.
Ewbank, R., 1986. Animal welfare - is an epidemiological approach possible? Pp 92-6 in Society for Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Proceedings, Edinburgh, 2-4 April 1986 ed. by M. V. Thrusfield.
Field, H., 1999. Emerging viral diseases of bats. Pp 501-13 in Wildlife in Australia, Healthcare and Management Proceedings 327, Post Graduate Committee in Veterinary Science: Sydney.
Fischer, J. and Lindenmayer, D. B., 2000. An assessment of the published results of animal relocations. Biological Conservation 96: 1-11.
Frankham, R., 1986. Selection in captive populations. Zoo Biology 5: 127-38.
Frankham, R., 1995. Conservation Genetics. Annual Review Genetics 29: 305-27.
Fraser, G. C., Hooper, P. T. and Lunt, R. A., 1996. Encephalitis caused by a lyssavirus in fruit bats in Australia. Emerging Infectious Diseases 2: 327-331.
Freeland, W. J., 1986. Invasion north: successful conquest by the Cane Toad. Australian Natural History 22: 69-73.
Garcia, S., 1994. The precautionary principle: its implications in captive fisheries management. Ocean and Coastal Management 22: 99-125.
Garnett, S., 1998. Caught on the wing. Wingspan 9 (3): 14-19.
George, G. G., 1990. Monotreme and marsupial breeding programs in Australian zoos. Australian Journal of Zoology 37: 181-205.
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Groombridge, B. (ed). 1992 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. Gland: Switzerland.
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Hooper, P. T., Fraser, G. C., Foster, R. A. and Storie, G. J., 1999b. Histopathology and immunohistochemistry of bats infected by Australian bat lyssavirus. Australian. Veterinary Journal 77: 595-99.
Hopwood, P., 2000. The case for allowing Australian native mammals to be kept as pets. Australian Association of Conservation Biologists Newsletter 19: 5-8. (web site: http://www.zip.com.au/~brittonp/aavcb/)
Hopwood, P. 2001. Pp xx-x A Zoological Revolution ed by D. Lunney and C. R. Dickman. Royal Zoological Society of NSW Mosman.
Hunter, M. L., (ed). 1999 Maintaining Biodiversity in Forest Ecosystems. Cambridge University Press: London.
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Jiminez, J. A., Hughes, K. A., Alaks, G., Graham, L. and Lacy, R. C., 1994. An experimental study of inbreeding depression in natural habitat. Science 265: 271-73.
Karesh, W. B. and Cook, R. A., 1995. Applications of veterinary medicine to in situ conservation efforts. Oryx 29: 244-52.
Kleiman, D. G., 1989. Reintroduction of captive mammals for conservation. Bioscience 39: 152-61.
Kuchling, G., Dejose, J. P., Burbidge, A. A., and Bradshaw, S. D., 1992. Beyond captive breeding: the Western Swamp Tortoise Pseudemydura umbrina recovery programme. International Zoo Yearbook 31: 37-41.
Lacy, R. C., 1993. Impacts of inbreeding in natural and captive populations of vertebrates: implications for conservation. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, 36: 480-496.
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Margules, C. R., Redhead, T. D., Hutchinson, M. F., and Faith, D. P., 1995 BioRap. Guidelines for Using the BioRap Methodology and Tools. CSIRO: Canberra.
Margules, C. R. and Pressey, R. L., 2000. Systematic conservation planning. Nature 405: 243-53.
Miller, P. S., 1994. Is inbreeding depression more severe in a stressful environment? Zoo Biology 13: 195-208.
Oakwood, M. and Hopwood, P., 1999. A survey of the attributes and requirements of quolls that may affect their suitability as household pets. Australian Zoologist 31: 365-75.
Office International des Epizooties., 1988. Resolution No. IX of the OIE International Committee 56th general session, 16-20th May 1988. Diseases of wild animals transmissible to domestic animals. Revue scientifique et technique de l'Office International Epizooties 7 (4): 1016.
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Contents

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References

Allen, T. J., 1986. Evaluation of movements, harvest rate, vulnerability and survival of translocated raccoons in south western Virginia. Transactions of the North-Eastern Section of the Wildlife Society 43: 64.
Anonymous, 1990. A bridge too far. The Economist 12 May: 48-49.
Archer, M., 2000. Monstrous moggies or charming chuditches. Nature Australia 26/8: 70-71.
Barteges, J. W., 1999. Common congenital diseases of dogs. Pp. 257-65 in Reproduction and Paediatrics 99. Post Graduate Committee in Veterinary Science: Sydney.
Bellamy, T., 1994. Handrearing native animals - marsupials. Pp 7-22 in Wildlife Proceedings 233, Post Graduate Committee in Veterinary Science: Sydney.
Booth, R., 1994a. Medicine and husbandry: monotremes, wombats and bandicoots. Pp 395-422 in Wildlife Proceedings 233, Post Graduate Committee in Veterinary Science: Sydney.
Booth, R., 1994b. Medicine and husbandry: dasyurids, possums and bats. Pp 423-442 in Wildlife Proceedings 233, Post Graduate Committee in Veterinary Science: Sydney.
Bradley, M.,P., Lambert, C., Power, V., Mills, H., Gaikhorst, G. and Lawrence, C., 1999. Reproduction and captive breeding as a tool for mammal conservation: the role of modern zoos. Australian Mammalogy 21: 47-54.
Burgman, M. A. and Lindenmayer, D. B., 1998 Conservation Biology for the Australian Environment. Surrey Beatty and Sons, Chipping Norton: Sydney.
Carlisle-Nowak, M. S., Sullivan, N., Carrigan, M., Knight, C., Ryan, C. and Jacobson, E. R., 1998. Inclusion body disease in two captive Australian pythons ( Morelia spilota varieg ata and Morelia spilota spilota). Australian Veterinary Journal 76: 98-100.
Caughley, G. C. and Gunn, A., 1995 Conservation Biology in Theory and Practice. Blackwell Science, Cambridge: Massachusetts.
Cunningham, A. A., 1996. Disease risks of wildlife translocations. Conservation Biology 10: 249-53.
Diamond, J., 1997 Guns, germs, and steel. The fates of human societies. W. W. Norton and Company: New York.
Evans, D. D., 1982 The Management of Australian Mammals in Captivity. Zoological Board of Victoria: Melbourne.
Ewbank, R., 1986. Animal welfare - is an epidemiological approach possible? Pp 92-6 in Society for Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Proceedings, Edinburgh, 2-4 April 1986 ed. by M. V. Thrusfield.
Field, H., 1999. Emerging viral diseases of bats. Pp 501-13 in Wildlife in Australia, Healthcare and Management Proceedings 327, Post Graduate Committee in Veterinary Science: Sydney.
Fischer, J. and Lindenmayer, D. B., 2000. An assessment of the published results of animal relocations. Biological Conservation 96: 1-11.
Frankham, R., 1986. Selection in captive populations. Zoo Biology 5: 127-38.
Frankham, R., 1995. Conservation Genetics. Annual Review Genetics 29: 305-27.
Fraser, G. C., Hooper, P. T. and Lunt, R. A., 1996. Encephalitis caused by a lyssavirus in fruit bats in Australia. Emerging Infectious Diseases 2: 327-331.
Freeland, W. J., 1986. Invasion north: successful conquest by the Cane Toad. Australian Natural History 22: 69-73.
Garcia, S., 1994. The precautionary principle: its implications in captive fisheries management. Ocean and Coastal Management 22: 99-125.
Garnett, S., 1998. Caught on the wing. Wingspan 9 (3): 14-19.
George, G. G., 1990. Monotreme and marsupial breeding programs in Australian zoos. Australian Journal of Zoology 37: 181-205.
Goodall, J., 1999 Reason for Hope. Warner Books: New York.
Groombridge, B. (ed). 1992 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. Gland: Switzerland.
Haila, Y., 1999. Islands. Pp 234-264 in Maintaining Biodiversity in Forest Ecosystems ed by M. L. Hunter. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.
Hale, P., and Lamb, D., (editors). 1997 Conservation outside reserves. Centre for Conservation Biology, University of Queensland, Brisbane: Australia.
Hooper, P. T., Lune, R. A., Gould, A. R., Hyatt, A. D., Russell, G. M., Kattenbelt, J. A., Blacksell, S. D., Reddacliff, L. A., Kirkland, P. D., Davis, R. J., Durham, P. J. K, Bishop, A. L. and Waddington, J., 1999a. Epidemic of blindness in kangaroos - evidence of a viral aetiology. Australian Veterinary Journal 77: 529-36.
Hooper, P. T., Fraser, G. C., Foster, R. A. and Storie, G. J., 1999b. Histopathology and immunohistochemistry of bats infected by Australian bat lyssavirus. Australian. Veterinary Journal 77: 595-99.
Hopwood, P., 2000. The case for allowing Australian native mammals to be kept as pets. Australian Association of Conservation Biologists Newsletter 19: 5-8. (web site: http://www.zip.com.au/~brittonp/aavcb/)
Hopwood, P. 2001. Pp xx-x A Zoological Revolution ed by D. Lunney and C. R. Dickman. Royal Zoological Society of NSW Mosman.
Hunter, M. L., (ed). 1999 Maintaining Biodiversity in Forest Ecosystems. Cambridge University Press: London.
Jacobsen, E. R., Gaskin, J. M, Brown, M. B., Harris, R. K., Gardiner, C. H., LaPointe, J. L., Adams, H. P. and Reggardo, C., 1991. Chronic upper respiratory tract disease of free-ranging desert tortoises ( Xerobates agassizii). Journal of Wildlife Diseases 27: 296-316.
Jiminez, J. A., Hughes, K. A., Alaks, G., Graham, L. and Lacy, R. C., 1994. An experimental study of inbreeding depression in natural habitat. Science 265: 271-73.
Karesh, W. B. and Cook, R. A., 1995. Applications of veterinary medicine to in situ conservation efforts. Oryx 29: 244-52.
Kleiman, D. G., 1989. Reintroduction of captive mammals for conservation. Bioscience 39: 152-61.
Kuchling, G., Dejose, J. P., Burbidge, A. A., and Bradshaw, S. D., 1992. Beyond captive breeding: the Western Swamp Tortoise Pseudemydura umbrina recovery programme. International Zoo Yearbook 31: 37-41.
Lacy, R. C., 1993. Impacts of inbreeding in natural and captive populations of vertebrates: implications for conservation. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, 36: 480-496.
Lindburg, D. G. 1992. Are wildlife reintroductions worth the cost? Zoo Biology 11: 1-2.
Lindenmayer, D. B. and Franklin, J. F., 1999. Managing unreserved forest for biodiversity conservation: The importance of matrix. Pp 13-25 in Nature Conservation in Production Environments: Managing the Matrix. ed by J. Craig, N. Mitchell, and D. A. Saunders. Surrey Beatty & Sons: Sydney (in press).
Lindenmayer, D. B., Cunningham, R. B., Pope, M., and Donnelly, C. F., 1999. The Tumut fragmentation experiment in south-eastern Australia: the effects of landscape context and fragmentation of arboreal marsupials. Ecological Applications, 9: 594-611.
Lunney, D., Matthews. A., Moon, C. and Ferrier, S., 2000. Incorporating habitat mapping into practical koala conservation on private lands. Conservation Biology 14: 669-80.
McCracken, H., 1994. Husbandry and diseases of captive reptiles. Pp 461-546 in Wildlife Proceedings 233, Post Graduate Committee in Veterinary Science: Sydney.
McLean, I. G., Lundie-Jenkins, G. and Jarman, P. J., 1995. Training captive rufous hare-wallabies to recognize predators. Pp. 177-182 in Reintroduction Biology of Australian and New Zealand Fauna ed by M. Serena. Surrey Beatty & Sons: Chipping Norton.
Maguire, L. A. and Lacy, R. C., 1990. Allocating scarce resources for conservation of endangered subspecies: partitioning zoo space for tigers. Conservation Biology 4: 157-166.
Margules, C. R., Redhead, T. D., Hutchinson, M. F., and Faith, D. P., 1995 BioRap. Guidelines for Using the BioRap Methodology and Tools. CSIRO: Canberra.
Margules, C. R. and Pressey, R. L., 2000. Systematic conservation planning. Nature 405: 243-53.
Miller, P. S., 1994. Is inbreeding depression more severe in a stressful environment? Zoo Biology 13: 195-208.
Oakwood, M. and Hopwood, P., 1999. A survey of the attributes and requirements of quolls that may affect their suitability as household pets. Australian Zoologist 31: 365-75.
Office International des Epizooties., 1988. Resolution No. IX of the OIE International Committee 56th general session, 16-20th May 1988. Diseases of wild animals transmissible to domestic animals. Revue scientifique et technique de l'Office International Epizooties 7 (4): 1016.
Peterman, R. M., 1990. Statistical power analysis can improve fisheries research and management. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 47: 2-15.
Pietsch, R. S., 1995. The fate of urban common brushtail possums translocated to sclerophyll forest. Pp. 239-46 in Reintroduction Biology of Australian and New Zealand Fauna ed by M. Serena. Surrey Beatty & Sons: Chipping Norton.
Plowright, W., 1982. The effects of rinderpest and rinderpest control on wildlife in Africa. Symposia of the zoological Society of London 50: 1-28.
Ralls, K., J. D. Ballou, and A. R. Templeton, 1988. Estimates of lethal equivalents and the cost of inbreeding in mammals. Conservation Biology 2: 185-93.
Rabinowitz, A., 1995. Helping a species go extinct: The Sumatran Rhino in Borneo. Conservation Biology 9: 482-488.
Reddacliff, L., Kirkland, P., Philbey, A., Davis, R., Vogelnest, L., Hulst, F., Blyde, D., Deykin, A., Smithe, J., Hooper, P., Gould, A. and Hyatt, A., 1999. Experimental reproduction of viral chorioretinitis in kangaroos. Australian Veterinary Journal 77: 522-28.
Riper, C. van III, Riper, S. G. van, Goff, M. L. and Laird, M., 1986. The epizootiology and ecological significance of malaria in Hawaiian land birds. Ecological Monographs 56:327-44.
Robinson, N. A., Sherwin, W. B., Murray, N. D. and Graves, A. M., 1990. Applications of conservation genetics to the eastern barred bandicoot, Perameles gunnii. Pp 109-29 in Management and Conservation of Small Populations ed by T. W. Clark and J. H. Seebeck). Chicago Zoological Society: Illinois.
Rolls, E., 1969 They all ran wild. Angus and Robertson: Sydney.
Rose, K., 1999. Common diseases of urban wildlife. Pp 365-427 in Wildlife in Australia, Healthcare and Management Proceedings 327, Post Graduate Committee in Veterinary Science: Sydney.
Saunders, D. A., Hobbs, R. J. & Ehrlich, P. R., (eds). 1993 Nature Conservation 3. The reconstruction of fragmented ecosystems. Surrey Beaty & Sons, Chipping Norton,: Australia.
Schuppli, C. A. and Fraser, D., 2000. A framework for assessing the suitability of different species as companion animals. Animal Welfare 9: 359-372.
Schwartz, M. W., 1999. Choosing the appropriate scale of reserves for conservation. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 30: 83-108.
Semlitsch, R. D. and Bodie, J. R., 1998. Are small, isolated wetlands expendable? Conservation Biology 12: 1129-1133.
Serena, M., (ed). 1995. Pp 1-6 in Reintroduction Biology of Australasian Fauna. Surrey Beatty and Sons, Chipping Norton: Australia.
Short, J., Bradshaw, S. D., Giles, J., Prince, R. I. and Wilson, G. R., 1992. Reintroductions of macropods (Marsupialia: Macropodoidea), in Australia - a review. Biological Conservation 62: 189-204.
Short, J. and Smith, A. P., 1994. Mammal decline and recovery in Australia. Journal of Mammalogy 75: 288-97.
Simberloff, D. A., 1988. The contribution of population and community biology to conservation science. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, 19: 473-511.
Smith, B., 1995 Caring For Possums. Kangaroo Press, Kenthurst: NSW.
Speare, R., 1988. Clinical assessment and management of the orphaned joey. Pp 211-96 in Australian Wildlife. Proceedings 104. Post Graduate Committee in Veterinary Science: Sydney.
Spielman, D., 1994. First aid and emergency care for Australian native mammals. Pp 339-70 in Wildlife Proceedings 233, Post Graduate Committee in Veterinary Science: Sydney.
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