Friday, 23 March 2018
Close to 7,000 different species are owned by pet owners across Europe, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish. Some of these pet species are imported from outside Europe and can potentially cause ecological problems if they escape or are released in the environment.
The importation of some invasive alien species is prohibited (Council Regulation (EC) 338/97) due to their invasive character and the fact that their introduction has an adverse impact on native species. Those species are: Callosciurus erythraeus (Pallas's squirrel), Sciurus carolinensis (Gray squirrel), Oxyura jamaicensis (Ruddy duck), Lithobates (Rana) catesbeianus (American bullfrog), Sciurus niger (Fox squirrel), Chrysemys picta (Painted turtle) and Trachemys scripta elegans (Red-eared slider).
In addition, the Council of Europe designed a voluntary code of conduct to raise awareness within the pet industry and among owners and keepers of pets and provide practical guidance to reduce further the chances of pet species becoming invasive in Europe.