More than 120 species of mammals are suitable for keeping as pets. Currently, 276 species of mammals are kept in the Netherlands by private individuals. From 1 July there are also animals that are no longer allowed to be kept in the Netherlands. These include the bison, the brown bear, and the gray giant kangaroo. Keeping these animals is prohibited because they may endanger their environment or the welfare of the animals cannot be guaranteed. A transitional arrangement will be introduced for owners of a pet that will no longer be allowed.
On the basis of expert advice, State Secretary Van Dam of Economic Affairs has now drawn up a list of 153 mammal species that can no longer be kept from 1 July. In addition, the State Secretary has drawn up a pet list (so-called positive list) with 123 species of mammals that can be kept as pets. When compiling the lists, we looked at possible risks for both humans and animals.
A transitional arrangement will be introduced for owners of a pet that will no longer be allowed. They are allowed to keep the animal until it dies. But breeding with these animals is prohibited. There will be a registration obligation for animals kept on the basis of this transitional arrangement. The National Inspectorate for Animal Protection, the police, and the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority supervise the registration.
An exemption from the ban is possible under strict conditions. To this end, an aspiring owner of a prohibited animal must be able to demonstrate that he has sufficient specialist knowledge and skills to be able to keep the relevant animal species. The prospective owner must also be able to demonstrate that the animal can be kept in a suitable manner. It is especially important that the animal can continue to exhibit natural behavior. Danger to humans must also be kept to a minimum.
Although dogs are allowed as pets, Secretary of State Van Dam has a reservation on ‘high-risk dogs’. In the short term, the Council for Animal Affairs (RDA) will issue a piece of advice to prevent biting incidents by high-risk dogs. Based on this, the Secretary of State makes a decision about any additional requirements for these dogs.