Sick and Wrong
- 350 million+ — number of plants and animals involved in international wildlife trade each year1
- $6 billion — annual worth of criminal wildlife trade2
- 99,939 — number of primates legally imported into the U.S. as pets or research animals between 1995 and 20021
- 80-90 — percentage of macaque monkeys (popular exotic pets) infected with Herpes B virus or Simian B, a virus harmless to monkeys but often fatal to humans1
- 18.3 million+ — number of live reptiles imported to the U.S. between 1989 and 19973
- 7 million+ — number of iguanas, snakes, lizards, and other reptiles kept as pets in U.S. homes 1
- 90 — percentage estimated to carry salmonella4
- 90,000 — number of cases of salmonellosis contracted annually by humans from pet reptiles 4
- 12 million — number of birds killed to eradicate a pet bird strain of Newcastle disease from California poultry in 1971 4
- $56 million — amount of federal funds spent on the eradication 5
- 3 — number of years since 1974 that virulent strains of Newcastle have not occurred in pet birds in the U.S. 6
- $190 — cost of endangered golden lion tamarin (Leontopithecus rosalia) in Brazil 7
- $20,000 — cost in Europe 8
- 0 — number of U.S. Department of Agriculture regulations governing importation of fish, reptiles, lions, tigers, bears, foxes, monkeys, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, mice, rats, chinchillas, squirrels, mongooses, chipmunks, ferrets, and other rodents 8
1. Humane Society of the United States, The U.S. Should Tighten Its Borders to Imported Exotic Animals, by Wayne Pacelle.
2. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Charles Seabrook, 15 Jan 2004.
3. Animal Protection Institute, The Dangers of Keeping Exotic ‘Pets,’ 26 Nov 2003.
4. USDA Agricultural Research Service, Newcastle Disease: Protecting Poultry Farmers on Two Fronts, by Jill Lee, Oct 1999.
5. Traffic, CITES At a Glance, Apr 1999.
6. Aesop Project, Primate Trade Data.
7. Humane Society of the United States, The Trade in Live Reptiles: Imports to the United States (PDF).
8. Worldwatch Institute, International Environmental Crime Shouldn’t Pay, 30 Aug 2002.