Every year millions of wild animals are brutally shot, trapped, poisoned and mutilated, or kept in appalling conditions just for human entertainment. Even when bought legally, wild animals, by their very nature are unpredictable and are incapable of being domesticated, ending up by living in poor conditions and too often in isolation and suffering.
Wild animals can be native to the country, or exotic (native to other countries), and the demand for them as pets has increased their depletion in their natural habitat.
In Portugal capturing and possession of wild native animals is illegal, unfortunately there are many cases of people abducting wild animals from their homes, either stealing eggs from nests, trapping small birds and capturing juvenile mammals.
If you know of someone holding wild native animals at home, please report to the legal authorities (SEPNA, ICNF) and also to associations of animal protection (e.g., GARRA - see contact), and rescue centers (see in useful links).
If you do not know how to make a complaint you can check here.
Exotic animals are wild animals that are non native to Portugal.
Many exotic animals are not allowed in Portugal to be sold or owned, such as primates, wild cats, bears and other dangerous animals (see legislation only in Portuguese), whereas other can be bought with legally.
However it is important to remind that even if you obtain a legal exotic animal, it will be extremely difficult to offer him a proper lifestyle, or one that is close to the what it would be in his natural habitat.
Exotic animals have particular needs, their food is specific depending on the type of animal, they need an appropriate veterinary care which is sometime hard to find and they should be allowed to perform their natural behaviors by giving them appropriate space and enrichment, and in some cases social interaction with animals of the same species.
The search for exotic animals as human pets for entertainment has pushed species to extinction, and is still responsible for many animals that are stripped from their mothers, send somewhere in appalling conditions, where only half of them survive.
Please help us fight this crime, make a donation to our cause and always report when you think an animal is detained illegally.