Who? Paul Koene, ethologist at Livestock Research
What? Initiator of the 'positive list' for pets
Why? Last week, state secretary Dijksma presented a list specifying which exotic animals we are allowed to keep as pets and which not.
'I'm very pleased we've developed a method whereby you can measure the welfare of all kinds of animals in captivity. The reason for our study was an EU ruling that states that such lists must be objective and based on scientific knowledge. That has been achieved.'
Why is this method so important?
'Because there will always be people who keep exotic mammals, or groups defending animal welfare, who question such a list. In such cases it's good for legislators and courts to have objectively determined criteria.'
Is the worst behind us?
'That depends on how the policy is implemented. First there will need to be a transitional arrangement for the wild animals currently being kept. Then the government will have to enforce the ban on mammals that can no longer be kept. I'm not sure how they plan to do that exactly.'
There was lots of news coverage of the positive list; did you speak to the media?
'Hardly at all. I was at a conference in Brussels on wild animals in captivity when the list was presented. It was difficult to get hold of me. I only spoke to TV Gelderland but colleagues of mine spoke to more journalists.'