Wisconsin does not do much of anything concerning the trafficking of wild and exotic animals in the pet trade. The November 2019 issue of Madison Magazine, part of Morgan Murphy Media’s large media footprint in Madison, featured a four-part article that will encourage some readers to buy exotic animals. Promoting the acquisition of wild animals is not in the community’s or the animals’ best interests.

The Alliance strongly recommends against buying animals of any sort. Nearly every animal purchased is a death sentence for an animal in a shelter. If you are looking for a companion, please visit a local shelter and give someone a home. If you are looking for a conversation piece, buy a rare coin or an antique lamp. If you tire of them, no one will be hurt. A worse case scenario played out in 2011, in Zanesville, Ohio.

The trade in exotic animals is largely unregulated and is littered with corpses and degraded ecosystems. National Geographic offers a sober look at the trade.

Madison Magazine’s articles were filled with images of smiling people posing with an animal; like models in the ads for jewelry or cigarettes, they all look happy. “You too can be happy,” the magazine seems to say, if you would just buy an exotic frog, a snake, an armadillo, or a lemur.

Exotic animals are rarely provided with sufficient space. Even zoos fail in this regard. Imagine spending you entire life in your bathroom.

Animals aren’t things, but when breeders and dealers refer to them as stock, it seems clear that to them they are. How else could one think about the animals you raise and sell to feed to snakes if you were in the business of breeding snakes to sell?


History makes it crystal clear that we become inured and calloused the more we are exposed to violence and suffering. History makes it clear that money can blind us to many things. If you can sell a baby hairy armadillo for $2000 to $3000, you might convince yourself that breeding them isn’t such a bad thing.There is no justification for romanticizing and thus encouraging participation in the exotic animal trade. You can write to¬† Ms.Karen Michel, Publisher and Editor of Madison Magazine here.