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Special treatment: The first review of the “exotic driving licence” in Vienna

Special treatment: The first review of the “exotic driving licence” in Vienna

You can only keep exotic pets in Vienna with proof of experience. How is this received?

Vienna. As of this year, anyone who wants to have an exotic pet in Vienna needs their own experience certificate, similar to the experience certificate for dog owners. “Exotic animals are animals that come from environments with different climatic conditions,” explains Eva Percy, Vienna's animal protection ombudsman.

This also means that the requirements for these animals are different from those of dogs, hamsters and cats. “It takes a lot of knowledge to deal fairly with exotic animals; contrary to popular belief, they are not easy to keep,” says Percy. If you are sick, you need your own treatments, and not every vet can work with exotic animals – “symptoms of illness vary too,” Percy points out and warns that incorrect information is often circulating on the Internet.

The bizarre cycle is well received

In order to ensure that exotic animals live well in their future homes, a certificate of experience has been available for a few months. Before you buy the animal, you have to attend a four-hour course at a cost of 40 euros. Attending the course is mandatory so that you can also report alien species subject to registration. So far, the course, available for reptiles and amphibians as well as parrots, has been very well received, says Percy: “Several hundred people have already attended the course in its short duration,” says the Ombudsman happily: “And so have many more people who have attended the course in its short duration.” “Short”. People who already own exotic cars, I have decided to take the course.” Because people who already have an exotic pet are not required to complete the course.

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What kind of pets do you have?

The most common are reptiles such as lizards, snakes, or turtles. This course is also the most popular. The parrots were once very popular, but since they must be kept in pairs, keeping them is now less frequent. Booking is not complicated: “You can choose the appropriate date and location on the online platform,” Percy explains the procedure. Providers include Schönbrunn Zoo. Finally, Percy appeals to animal owners to attend the animal care course and not because it is compulsory: “Animals can often outlive their owners. Let's make sure they have a good life.”

More information is available at

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