Exotic species get claws into pet market

By Yang Wanli | China Daily | Updated: 2019-08-22 07:32
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Exotic pets at a store in Beijing:an African hedgehog. WANG JING/CHINA DAILY

According to the annual report on China's pet market published by Goumin, the country's largest pet website, the market value rose from 14 billion yuan in 2010 to 170 billion yuan ($24 billion) last year.

Although the report didn't provide specific statistics about the exotic pet market, it showed that 36 percent of China's 73 million pet owners keep reptiles and rodents.

In 2000, only about 20 shops on Taobao, China's largest online shopping platform, sold exotic pets. Now, a search using the keywords "exotic pets" brings up details of more than 1,000 retailers.

Also, the number of registered members of pxtx, one of China's biggest online forums for lovers of turtles, lizards and snakes, has risen from nearly 1,000 in 2002 to more than 400,000.

This year, about 30 pet exhibitions will be held in China, 26 of which will feature lizards and rare birds, according to World Animal Protection, a global nonprofit group.

A report released by the group shows that the global trade in exotic pets has "flourished", with more than 500 bird species and 500 reptile species traded worldwide, and the Chinese market has seen rapid growth in recent years.

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