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The experiences and observations of a zoo and wildlife veterinarian over the last 30 years highlight the changes that have occurred in human/wildlife interactions and the progress that still has to be made. In Australia the issue of native animals as pets is raised from time to time among biologists, conservationists and ecologists. Rarely are the professionals invited that are best placed to comment - practising wildlife veterinarians. In the past there seems to have been an ecological and environmental bias to the dialogue. It is imperative that the human side of the discussion is also put. A brief synopsis of the legal issues involved in the keeping of native animals in captivity in New South Wales is presented as well as, from a veterinary perspective, the advantages and disadvantages of keeping various species. The nature of the human-companion animal bond is also discussed.

Veterinarians, wildlife carers, researchers and regulating authorities need to work together to achieve the best outcomes for captive and free living native fauna.

Diamond, J. 1998. Zebras, unhappy marriages, and the Anna Karenina principle. In: Diamond J, Guns, Germs and Steel, pp 165. Norton, New York,.
Sheldrake, R. 1999. The domestication of other species. In: Dogs that know when their owners are coming home, pp 6-8. Arrow Books, London.
Hediger, H. 1969. What does man mean to the animal? In: Man and Animal in the Zoo, pp 75-95. Seymour Lawrence, New York.
Hediger, H. 1969. What does the animal signify to man? In: Man and Animal in the Zoo, pp 96-112. Seymour Lawrence, New York.
Vasquez, S. 2001. A quoll in the hand. The Veterinarian p10. Sydney Magazine Publishers, Sydney.
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References

Diamond, J. 1998. Zebras, unhappy marriages, and the Anna Karenina principle. In: Diamond J, Guns, Germs and Steel, pp 165. Norton, New York,.
Sheldrake, R. 1999. The domestication of other species. In: Dogs that know when their owners are coming home, pp 6-8. Arrow Books, London.
Hediger, H. 1969. What does man mean to the animal? In: Man and Animal in the Zoo, pp 75-95. Seymour Lawrence, New York.
Hediger, H. 1969. What does the animal signify to man? In: Man and Animal in the Zoo, pp 96-112. Seymour Lawrence, New York.
Vasquez, S. 2001. A quoll in the hand. The Veterinarian p10. Sydney Magazine Publishers, Sydney.
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