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Monkeypox and exotic pets


Staff member
Site Owner
May 30, 2000
Obviously cephalopods do not play a role in the recent Monkeypox outbreak in the US midwest, but I thought I'd share this article because issues pertaining to "exotic pets" are certainly of interest to this community (as evidenced by recent discussion threads about the legalities of owning blue ring octopuses, etc.). In that regard I think you'll find the following articles worthwhile:

Monkeypox investigators track exotic pets

Monkeypox Casts Light on Rule Gap for Exotic Pets

Of course, Monkeypox is the national (international?) story here, but an interesting side-car to this is the spotlight being pointed at the exotic pet trade! I don't think I'd want to be Phil Moberley (of Phil's Pocket Pets) right now, or any one of his business contacts for that matter.
never heard of it!

However the name 'monkeypox' really does sound like it could be a hoax! How can anyone take that seriously with that name?
I attended a meeting last month regarding "exotic pets" (which, under the legal term here in the U.S. includes marine life) and frankly, the government is looking for ways to cut off availability of non-native animals to the general public...get ready for a number of new laws telling you how many of what you can own.
The monkeypox outbreak has hamstrung the pet trade quite severely...I talked to a local importer yesterday, and he said that g&f, and the health dept. had been by 2x already...and orders are being cancelled.
It really couldn't be much worse...the story has hit on a huge level (even on Howard Stern), one city mayor on the news was talking about passing an ordinance to outlaw all non-domesticated animals!
Time to start making those phone calls to your local governments, and talk to your local stores...if we don't defend our rights, the general public sure as h. wont!
Greg, thanks for that report. Good points. Sobering, but I guess not surprising.

Clearly there are some things in the Phil's Pocket Pets story that many will find disturbing, and to some extent owners and dealers of exotic pets are going to become scapegoats. Perhaps a slightly increased level of regulation is warranted (which could ultimately be a good thing for the trade -- eg, to give it more legitimacy), but not to the extent that it would prohibit the ownership of all exotic animals.

I can definitely see where people will be working hard to outlaw the ownership of non-domesticated animals, though, and that is disturbing in itself.

Colin, Monkeypox also sounds dangerously close to your alter-ego, Octomonkey. Did you have anything to do with this? :cyclops: :heee: Monkeypox is basically a cousin to smallpox -- not quite as deadly, but still very severe.
For a while in the eighties and early nineties, it was in vogue to make "vivarium" tanks...small microcosms almost, that included plant and animal life...I was really sorry to see that trend die off...one of the things that were stressed in keeping this type of tank, was the locality of all animals kept together. You never kept burmese pythons with boa constrictors, or hawaiian dwarf lionfish with panther groupers, etc...this is a rule most zoos adhere to also. Mixing animals from different areas together can create quite a puddle of crap, as evidenced by the pocket-pet fiasco.
African rats and prairie dogs...who would have known? It is possible for all sorts of new and interesting diseases to pop up...if you want to get really depressed, read the CDC's weekly "morbidity and mortality" report...yikes!!!! :shock:
I agree with the head guy on this one (that's you Tony)...we need to sit back and come up with some viable options for regulation in the pet trade...but such policing should come from our OWN ranks, not the officer who thinks of an exotic animal as something to be feared and euthanized...(that is what they do to most seized wildlife here)
Get involved!
hi Greg
just out of interest as to what's happening in the States, do you have any links regarding this pocket pet thing and the governing bodies you mentioned? Glad to say that poket pets are not happening here....................... yet

Tony, that eight legged monkey was tucked up in bed at half past ten last night so wasn't him LOL
Hey all of you over-the-pond! Best way to get facts and figures (and scare yourself silly) is to go to:
CDC Works 24/7
They have all the skinny (401) on monkeypox...and just announced today: A ban on the sale of certain rodents and all prairie dogs in the U.S., didn't take long huh?
A quick phone call to g&f here informed me that we are looking at blanket restrictions on ALL rodents within the next year...so say goodbye to your gerbils and hamsters everyone...and mice, and rats...and...and...
( just thought of this...if you can't have mice or rats, what will you feed your snakes....hmmm?)
Colin, each state here has its own game and fish dept, that works directly with the federal fish and wildlife dept...so each state's laws vary quite a bit (if I moved to New Mexico, I could have cobras again :D )...but they all answer to the feds...and the pressure is coming from them.
Hard to say how this will all end up...I have more phone messages than a 1-900 service!
Gotta go mow the lawn (in the 102 degree heat, yet!)
nice one! :lol:

I used to have a pet hen! Dont think I'd like one as a house pet though!
so there you are...some poor copperhead just sitting in some leaves, and some drunken ass shoves you into a box and mails you to a hot box...where you sit until some other guy opens the box, yells, and then you die.
Must suck to be a snake sometimes.

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