Exotic Pets - The Trade in Endangered Species and CITES Regulation

If you're planning on purchasing an exotic pet, you must check whether it's listed on the CITES list (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora). This is an international agreement controlling trade in endangered species.

According to Gov.UK the agreement aims to help ensure that the international trade in more than 2,500 species of animals and 25,000 species of plants doesn't threaten their survival.

The list is split into Appendices I, II and III. In the European Union the Appendices have been replaced by Annexes A, B, C and D.

Pets listed under Annex A will need to be accompanied by an Article 10 Certificate when sold. Common pets listed on Annex A include the Hermann's Tortoise, Spur-Thighed Tortoise, Marginated Tortoise and Scarlet Macaw. To check whether your chosen pet is listed click here.

My chosen pet is on the Annex A list - what should I do?

Don't panic. If you're purchasing from a reputable breeder or retailer, they should already be aware of the requirements, and should hold an Article 10 Certificate.

What is an Article 10 Certificate?

Article 10 Certificates are issued to authorise the sale, offer for sale and display for commercial purposes, Annex A species. There are two types of certificates that the seller may hold in relation to the pet, depending on which set of guidelines the pet meets. These are a Specimen Specific Certificate or a Transaction Specific Certificate.

A Specimen Specific Certificate accompanies the pet for the rest of its life, and will be passed to you by the seller. You should store it in a safe place.

In contrast, a Transaction Specific Certificate will not be passed to you. You should however ensure that you see it, as its proof of the lawful acquisition of the pet. Its also recommended that you take a copy of it, ensuring the reference number is visible. Prior to purchasing your pet, you should check the latest CITES regulation and guidelines, as these can change.

My pet is on Annex B!

Pets listed under Annex B do not need to be accompanied by an Article 10 Certificate. However, you must be able to provide documentary evidence that the pet was lawfully acquired, should you be required to do so.

And finally...

if you're planning on breeding an Annex A pet in order to sell the offspring, you will need to ensure you hold an Article 10 Certificate for both the parent pets and the offspring. The parent pets will also need to be permanently and uniquely marked, unless exempt. You can find more information on the Gov.UK website.

Information correct on 15th September 2015

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