It will not have escaped the attention of animal rights defenders the new bill aimed at fighting against animal abuse in France1. This law aims to advance animal rights in France, to limit abandonment and to better control animal purchases. This law is a first step for the animal defenders… But does it concern degus?
In France, the Octodon degus is considered as a new pet, but also as a wild animal. Its sale in pet shops, its breeding and the possession of a high number of individuals is subject to a certificate of capacity2.
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This new law should limit the sale of degus, especially between individuals. Indeed, the sale of pets will now be regulated on online platforms, except for exemptions for approved breeders or pet shops. Many ads will have to disappear, and by snowball effect, there will be less degus available. The shipping of animals will also be forbidden. Moreover, any publication of transfer of animals, will have to make appear: the scientific and vernacular names of the species, the race and the variety to which the animals belong, their sex, their place of birth and the number of reproductive females within the breeding and the number of litters of these females during the past year.
In addition, new buyers will be required to sign a certificate of commitment and knowledge, with a 7-day cooling-off period imposed between the issuance of this new certificate and the purchase or donation of the animal. Current degu owners will have 1 year to sign this certificate of commitment and knowledge. The details of this certificate will be specified in the decree, but it will serve as a reminder of the different costs and needs of animals, in order to limit impulse purchases. People selling a pet for a fee or free of charge will have to make sure that the future buyer is in possession of this certificate.
In addition, minors under the age of 16 will not be able to acquire an animal without parental consent, as they are not considered to be able to provide for the animals. This, of course, will affect the degu.
Associations will also be affected, with changes for no-shelter rescue associations and foster families. The details are not yet known, but the changes would allow for better foster care checks.