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【About Asian Small-clawed Otters】
First, otters are different from sea otters.
Sea otters spend most of their time in the water, but otters can live both on the ground and in water.
A few years ago, trafficking otters became a serious problem, and in 2019, CITES (Washington Convention) increased the classification of otters from CITESⅡ to CITES I, which banned international trade.
Having an otter as a pet is illegal in most countries. However, in Japan, otters can be traded, although it is limited to domestic breeds only.
Currently, severe restrictions are in place for buying and selling otters in Japan. For example, microchips need to be inserted in both babies and parents, and owners need a special permit. Circumstances of birth must also be reported in detail.
As a result, there is currently no buying and selling of baby otters in the market. There is a severe penalty for selling and buying otters with unknown birth origins without permits. This was effective in eliminating trafficking, and we don’t see otter trafficking on the news anymore.
Kotaro and Hana were both born in Japan and have permits.
It is so much work to have an otter as a pet. You need to be ready for more than its cuteness. They are loud, and they sometimes bite you. Food and water get very expensive, and you cannot keep otters in cages because they are active. Also, we never leave them at home. We always look after them closely like we do with human children, and our top priority is always them.
If you want to have an otter as a pet, you must be able to follow the law and devote your life to it. If you don’t have that resolve, you should never have one as a pet.