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  • Rules and Regulations on Keeping Exotic Pets
    minimum age for buying or winning a pet to 16 though children younger than this can of course still legally own a pet The new rules certainly have some serious teeth to back them up the most serious offences carry a maximum penalty of up to 51 weeks imprisonment or a fine of up to 20 000 or both This act applies only in England and Wales the Scottish Parliament having passed a similar legislation the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2006 while in Northern Ireland the Welfare of Animals Act Northern Ireland 1972 is the principal set of legal rules governing animal care Dangerous Wild Animals Act Originally brought in to curb the ownership of creatures which posed a real danger to the public the Dangerous Wild Animals Act s main contribution was to stop clueless lunatics keeping lions and tigers in one bedroom flats to the obvious relief of sane people everywhere Owners of animals which featured on the dangerous list could apply for a licence to keep their pets but were expected to be able to demonstrate that they were competent to keep the creature in question and could provide it with a proper environment in which to live This situation has persisted since the act originally came into force in 1976 While some of the species originally on the list have been taken off and others added by and large the rules seem to be working pretty well if the reduction in the numbers of crocodiles being kept in baths is anything to go by Fortunately since no reputable dealer will sell you any creature to which this legislation applies unless you have a licence to keep it you re unlikely to fall foul of the rules Other Rules and Regulations Depending on the type of animal you keep other rules and regulations also apply The Wildlife and Countryside Act for example gives protection to some of our native species which might once have been considered for keeping as exotic pets and prohibits the release of exotic species into the wild Some of the European endangered species which in the past were seen as potential pets are today afforded protection under the Berne Convention and other similar EU statutes For questions about this kind of regulations or the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species CITES DEFRA should definitely be your first call Away from the large national and international pieces of legislation there can often be other more local rules on keeping exotic pets particularly if you live in rented accommodation or a block of flats with a residents committee Not everyone is particularly open minded or welcoming when it comes to exotic pets and sometimes no amount of diplomacy or protestations about how inoffensive your snake is or harmless your scorpion will win people over Although just about everything seems to have some law or regulation attached to it for the most part law abiding responsible pet keepers aren t likely to need to

    Original URL path: http://www.KeepingExoticPets.co.uk/rules-regulations-keeping-exotic-pets.html#Newcomment#Newcomment (2016-02-16)
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  • Housing Exotic Pets: FAQ
    always the potential risk of disease fungus or parasite infestation to contend with so good hygiene is vitally important What Sorts Of Heating Can I Use To Keep My Tank Warm Aquarium tanks are well catered for with a range of purpose designed heater thermostat units of varying power There are plenty of heaters for the terrarium too though picking the right one is not quite so straightforward There are heat pads a favourite with many invertebrate keepers which sit below the tank warming it up from underneath If you opt for this type of heater it s often a good idea to make sure that it only covers perhaps half of the base to avoid the inhabitants from coming too close if they burrow Hot rocks electrically heated artificial stones can be useful especially in reptile tanks often used alongside the more typical ceramic heaters and spot lamps which are ideal for generating basking hot spots How Can I Make Sure The Temperature Stays Right Your heating system will need a thermostat Most aquarium heaters come with one already fitted but terrarium heaters generally don t so you ll have to pick something suitable from the range available Modern thermostats are remarkably efficient with some kinds able to adjust the temperature gradually rather than simply switching the heater on or off and others able to set different heat levels for day and night Of course this level of sophistication doesn t come cheap but you do get what you pay for and it s always best to pick the most reliable you possibly can Do I Need To Use Filtration In My Aquarium If I m Not Keeping Fish Unfortunately many of the most popular aquarium exotics are rather messy both in terms of eating and their own wastes which means that the water in their tanks can become unhealthy quite quickly especially if their homes are relatively small Normal aquarium under gravel or box filters can be a very useful addition but do remember that not every species welcomes fast water movement so if your pet is one of those which doesn t make sure you don t overdo the current Alternatively you can get around the need for filtration equipment by doing regular full or partial water changes though many types of pets especially amphibians are very intolerant of sudden temperature changes so you ll have to be careful if you do decide to try this Why Is It Important To Keep Heating And Lighting Separate It s important to keep heating and lighting separate principally because it allows your pets to experience a more normal day night cycle and can let you vary the length of their artificial day independently from their temperature which can be important if you hope to get some species to breed Obviously it s essential too for many kinds of nocturnal animals especially shy ones which will only feed at night to have a proper period of undisturbed darkness if they

    Original URL path: http://www.keepingexoticpets.co.uk/faqs-about-housing-exotic-pets.html#Newcomment (2016-02-16)
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  • Keeping Amphibians: FAQ
    mice Aquatic species will also often eat tubifex worms and other similar kinds of food sold for aquarists My Pets Always Wait Until The Lights Go Off Before They ll Come Out Is There Any Way I Can Watch Them Without Disturbing Them Most of the world s amphibians are nocturnal preferring to hide away from the heat and light of the day emerging after dark to hunt Obviously this makes them slightly disappointing pets in captivity since their owners never get to see most of the interesting things they do However many amphibian keepers have found that using a low wattage blue light bulb to provide a little artificial moonlight can often allow them to watch what their pets get up to without unduly disturbing them However if you do try this and find that your salamanders don t eat as well as they used to or start showing any signs of withdrawing into their hiding places stop at once not all species are as tolerant as each other of this particular trick Do I Need Vitamin Or Mineral Supplements To Keep My Amphibians Healthy In the wild vitamin and mineral deficiencies are generally uncommon since amphibians eat a wide range of different kinds of prey In captivity however over reliance on what is commercially available especially in the winter when hunting for bugs in the garden isn t so easy can sometimes lead to problems Most amphibian keepers use supplements from time to time either dusted on to the food or gut loaded within it to make sure that their pets stay in the best of health It s important to make sure that you don t exceed the recommended dose and if you re not sure check with your vet too high a dosage of vitamins can

    Original URL path: http://www.keepingexoticpets.co.uk/faqs-about-keeping-amphibians.html#Newcomment (2016-02-16)
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  • Furnishing Your Tank: FAQ
    animals too planting can add a great deal provided it doesn t hamper keeping things clean and hygienic but larger snakes and lizards can be rather rough on the plants themselves My Pets Naturally Live In Trees How Can I Give Them Somewhere To Perch In My Vivarium Firmly anchored sections of branches can be very successful though it s important to remove the bark and sand them carefully so there are no crevices left to harbour bacteria or disease Depending on the species being kept live woody plants such as fuchsias are also a very effective and natural looking way to provide a suitable climbing frame What Will Make The Best Kind Of Hiding Place For My Pet Hiding places are important features in tanks and provided they meet the obvious need to provide somewhere where the animal can feel secure without any chance of collapsing and injuring it almost anything can be used For a natural look many keepers favour large pieces of reptile bark while broken bits of well scrubbed old fashioned terracotta plant pots can also be used For larger species an up ended margarine or ice cream container with a suitably entry hole cut in it can often make the best hiding place and though it isn t particularly pretty to look at it s very effective and easily cleaned Whatever you use it s important to make sure that there aren t any sharp edges for your pet to hurt itself on or places where bacteria or parasites could breed Does My Terrarium Need A Water Dish Although some animals almost never seem to drink directly it s still advisable to give them the opportunity even if that means a very shallow dish with a little cotton wool or a pebble inside so that

    Original URL path: http://www.keepingexoticpets.co.uk/faqs-about-furnishing-your-tank.html#Newcomment (2016-02-16)
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  • Keeping Snakes: FAQ
    it can t breathe not crushing it and the size of python that could do that to an adult would need a tank rather larger than the average home would be able to accommodate That said obviously children shouldn t be left unsupervised around big constrictors but then they shouldn t be left alone with small ones or pet hamsters either for that matter Will I Have To Feed My Pet Live Food Apart from a few specialist feeders such as the Egg Eating Snake Dasypeltis in the wild snakes take living prey but many especially captive bred ones will happily accept pre killed rodents or day old chicks depending on their size My Snake Never Seems To Blink Is It Ill It doesn t because it simply can t Snakes have no eyelids their eyes being protected instead by a single transparent scale which you can see very clearly in a shed skin This inability to shut their eyes is one of the reasons why providing them hiding places and having separate heating and lighting systems in your tank is so important Is It True Snakes Smell With Their Tongues Yes it is The forked tongue picks up scent molecules from the air just like a dog does when it sniffs and then transfers them to a special spot inside the roof of its mouth known as the Jacobson s Organ and it smells things there This gives snakes a very good sense of smell allowing them to sniff out water or track prey I d Really Like To Breed Snakes Is It Difficult Captive breeding is definitely something to be encouraged not least because it removes the need for wild caught specimens and helps conserve snake species It s difficult to make too many generalisations about how hard it is to get your own to breed some kinds of snakes such as the King Snakes and their relatives breed well in captivity while others are more difficult If you want to try to breed some youngsters you ll need to do some careful research about the particular snake species to make sure you can provide all the right conditions Many snakes benefit from having the day length and temperature in their tanks adjusted to mimic their natural breeding season If you do get your animals to mate successfully and produce eggs you ll also have to be well informed about incubation needs too and then keep your fingers crossed Do All Snakes Lay Eggs Most do but in some species like our own native Adder Vipera berus the females incubate their young inside their bodies and give birth to live offspring I Bought My First Snake A Few Weeks Ago Now It s Started To Look Really Dull Its Eyes Have Gone All Milky And It s Stopped Eating Is It Sickening For Something It sounds like it s about to shed its skin Make sure it has a bowl of water big enough for it to soak

    Original URL path: http://www.keepingexoticpets.co.uk/faqs-about-keeping-snakes.html#Newcomment (2016-02-16)
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  • Ideal Invertebrates for Beginners
    also one of the best insects to keep as a pet Like the rest of its kin it eats just about anything edible with the added attraction that it really does live up to its name and the big ones sound like an angry snake Not exactly what you d call the world s most active pets Hissing Cockroaches can be kept in any suitably sized container but do make sure the lid attaches firmly While these cockroaches are nowhere near as nimble as some of their more athletic relations parents partners household pets often react badly if they find them unexpectedly running around the living room Keep their tank at a warm 25C 77F or so again a heat pad will do perfectly and provide them with two or three inches 5 8cm of leaf litter and rotten bark as a substrate add a few bits of old cardboard as hiding places and a shallow bowl of water and your cockroach home is complete Giant African Land Snails Giant African Land Snails or GALS to snail enthusiasts are really impressive molluscs the commonest encountered variety from East Africa having a shell some four to six inches 10 15cm long while its even larger Ghanaian relative Achatina achatina takes the title of the world s largest land snail with a shell 10 inches 25cm or more in length When it comes to housing these creatures think big Despite their lumbering appearance during the daytime at night they can be surprisingly active so give them some space and with a bit of luck they ll repay you with a turbo charged display or at least what counts for one if you re a snail Keep them around 25C 77F with a deep layer of moist compost or sphagnum to burrow in feed them almost any kind of vegetable matter and if you have more than one watch out for babies since these creatures breed readily in captivity Indian Stick Insect One of the most commonly encountered of its kind the Indian Stick Insect Carausius morosus is probably the easiest of all unusual pets for the beginner to keep Needing little more than a suitably sized aquarium tank or even a large jar as a home these insects thrive at room temperature and eat a range of easily collected foods such as bramble privet oak and hawthorn The only major demand they make is that it be presented as fresh as possible Like the GALS Indian Stick Insects often breed very easily so don t be too surprised if you end up with a growing population Shield Shrimps Shield Shrimps Triops longicaudatus are about as exotic and usual as it gets With a fossil history almost as long as their Latin name these strange ancient relatives of the crabs and lobsters have been around since long before the dinosaurs and they re one of the easiest invertebrate animals to keep Often sold in a kit which includes Triops eggs a tank and

    Original URL path: http://www.keepingexoticpets.co.uk/ideal-invertebrates-for-beginners.html#Newcomment (2016-02-16)
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  • Emperor Scorpions as Pets
    77F which means some form of heating is necessary to keep the temperature and humidity up to their requirements Heat mats are ideal but it s important to make sure that they only extend under part of the tank since in the wild scorpions burrow to escape excessive heat Obviously if the whole of the tank floor is being heated from underneath their best attempts to stay cool will be doomed to failure from the outset with potentially disastrous results Humidity levels are important for forest scorpions like the Emperor although it s not so critical as it is for tarantulas Adding a small water dish and occasionally misting the floor and tank with a fine plant sprayer should keep things to the animal s liking but keep an eye out for any signs of mould or fungus and change the floor material at once if it starts to rot or smell bad Feeding Emperor Scorpions Feeding exotic pets can sometimes be a bit of a worry especially with those species which have reputations for being a bit picky Fortunately this is seldom a problem with Emperor Scorpions which generally have reassuringly good appetites and can normally be expected to feed very well These active predators will happily eat any appropriately sized prey and for the most part this means locusts crickets and as many wild caught creepy crawlies as you can find Feeding them after dark fits in best with their natural habits and it s often a good idea especially with newly bought scorpions to leave them alone once you ve added the food since they are naturally secretive and tend to prefer to eat in private However it s important to keep a careful track of how well your pets are eating a loss of appetite can

    Original URL path: http://www.keepingexoticpets.co.uk/emperor-scorpions-pets.html#Newcomment (2016-02-16)
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  • Pet Cockroaches and Crickets
    experiment with red light bulbs or even black lights which should allow you to see without unduly bothering them Feeding Cockroaches Cockroaches are omnivores and remarkably good scavengers so they tend to eat just about anything Most species will thrive on a mixture of fresh vegetables fruit and cereals and some keepers add a little cat or dog food to their diet from time to time They aren t finicky eaters so unless it s starting to go off there s no need to remove uneaten food in fact they should always have something available for them to nibble on since many species will start eating their smaller brothers and sisters if an easier meal isn t on hand Crickets as Pets Although many exotic pet keepers in the UK will naturally tend to think of crickets as live food rather than a pet in their own right keeping crickets has a long history especially in many eastern countries where it is believed they bring good luck to a household Many young Japanese and Chinese children keep pet crickets so that their chirruping will act as a lullaby to send them off to sleep and the specially made cricket cages they use can sometimes be found in Oriental gift shops Two species in particular seem to make good pets the House Cricket Acheta domesticus and the Field Cricket Gryllus bimaculatus Caring for Crickets Crickets need very similar conditions to cockroaches though since they are able to jump if anything the security issue needs to be even more carefully thought through Most kinds of crickets will live happily at around 20C 68F but they always tend to sing better when they re warmer up to 30C 86F being ideal As an added bonus at warmer temperatures your pets will almost certainly

    Original URL path: http://www.keepingexoticpets.co.uk/pet-cockroaches-crickets.html#Newcomment (2016-02-16)
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