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1 Market Overview

1.1 Definition and presentation

An exotic animal is defined as any animal of which there are no living populations permanently or temporarily in a state of natural freedom[Chamber of Commerce]. The Teramo Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute defines exotic, i.e. domestic, pets as all those unconventional pets whose area of origin is not from the Italian national territory.

The exotic animal trade was one of the first to develop on the planet, even before gold, and there is nothing to indicate that it has lost its intensity over time. On the contrary, it represents a growing and evolving market with a strong fashion effect that can quickly push certain species to the top of the sales charts. Demand for exotic animals is very heterogeneous around the world; the United States and China are the main importers, followed closely by the European Union. By 2021, 17.5 million exotic pets live in the homes of Italians. This is followed by Germany and France with about 12.5 million and Spain with 11 million.

The exotic pet trade is a tricky business as many exotic species are traded illegally, despite the safety concerns and the damage the market can cause to other species in the wild and human health. An opinion poll conducted by Savanta ComRes for Eurogroup for Animals and some of its member associations provides very strong support to guide future decisions on the trade and conservation of exotic animals as pets. The overwhelming majority of respondents in all countries involved in the survey (87%), agree that exotic animals should not be kept as pets, further, that trade should be better regulated (92% European, 89% Italian) and that the EU should play a leading role in this area as part of the EU market rules (88% European, 82% Italian).

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Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Istituti zooprofilattici sperimentali
European Board of Veterinary Specialists - EBVS
Maxi Zoo Italia S.p.A.

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the exotic animal market | Italy

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