It is AAP's position that non-domesticated exotic animals should not be kept as pets. The law should provide in a so called 'Positive List' of animals, suitable to be kept as pets. Animal traders selling exotic animals that can be legally kept as pets should provide correct information on how to care for them.
Circuses and other forms of entertainment
Circuses and other forms of entertainment with non-domesticated (exotic) animals must be prohibited by law. The fact that going to a circus with animals is some sort of tradition does not mean that this form of animal abuse can continue. As far as AAP is concerned, the well-being of animals should never be subordinate to the fact that something is a custom or tradition. By now enough alternative, succesful forms of entertainment exist. But even if the number of circuses using wild animals diminishes, we should remain alert. Often, traditions simply change face, and the phenonmenon will suddenly pop up again in musicals, shows or adverts.
Over the years zoos have slowly developed from a collection or exhibition of animals i.e. entertainment to an educational means to raising awareness of environmental problems. By now there are zoos that can guarantee the well-being of animals and that are strong in education. Visitors of zoos should be critical as to how old fashioned or modern a specific zoo is in these respects. Also, zoos should endorse a responsible breeding policy; the breeding of certain species should not lead to surplus animals.
The well-being of non-domesticated exotic animals (primates particularly) is permanently damaged when these animals are used for testing in laboratories. AAP is not qualified to decide whether or not tests on exotic animals are necessary. In any case primates used as laboratory animals should be housed in social groups, and taken care of according to procedures and criteria agreed upon. Also, governments and laboratories should take responsibility after testings are finished, and draw up a 'retirement plan' for laboratory animals.