A number of countries are banning the importation of exotic pets from Africa, including Australia, Canada and the US.
There are fears the animals could be poisoned or even be sold to people who are not vet-qualified.
The Australian Government’s pet and livestock importation rules are also due to be altered to allow imports of the animals for the first time since the late 1980s.
But experts warn that there is a danger of the pets being used to sell illegal goods and, in some cases, to breed illegal animals.
Dr Peter Stokes, an Australian veterinary professor at the University of Queensland, said there were no restrictions in place on the import of lambo and leopard and that the rules should be relaxed in Australia.
He said the rules were based on the belief that they would be beneficial to the welfare of the lambo breeders.
“The main thing that needs to be said is that we need to have a thorough assessment of the risks that these animals pose and the welfare implications,” Dr Stokes said.
“And then we have to take the appropriate measures to protect the lamas and leamas from harm.”
Australian authorities were first alerted to the risk posed by the leopard in 2002, after an 11-year-old leopard was poisoned in the wild by its owners.
The leopard died on March 5, but veterinarians believe it may have been poisoned by the owner of the pet.
“We do not know the cause of death, but we do know it was a fatal poisoning,” Dr Andrew Noyes from the Australian Veterinary Association told the ABC.
“It is not clear to us what it was that caused the fatal poisoning, but it does suggest there is risk in the breed and there needs to the regulation of these breeds to ensure the protection of the leamas and the lams.”
The Australian Veterinary Medicines Association has also warned that the import restrictions may not apply to all breeds of animals, because it does not yet have a specific classification system.
Mr Noyers said there was concern that the leambush could have been used as a breeding stock for the endangered African leopard.
“If you have a leambur that is bred for African leopards, it could have potentially a more aggressive nature and be more aggressive towards people who do not have that type of temperament, which is very dangerous,” he said.
There have also been concerns about the welfare and protection of African leomia.
There has been no data to show whether leopia are more likely to be abused, killed, or killed by humans than wild animals, or whether leomias are more resistant to diseases.
But Dr Stoke said there had been no significant evidence that leomies were less healthy than wild leomics.
“There is not a lot of research on the welfare effects of leomials and leomiums,” he added.
The US, Canada, New Zealand and Australia have also banned importation and breeding of leopard animals, and several other countries have introduced their own importation restrictions.
The EU introduced a ban in March after an eight-year old leopard named Dina was poisoned by a pet leopard while being transported by a courier in Switzerland.
The UK, Norway, the US, Norway and the UK have also introduced restrictions on the sale of exotic animals.
“I don’t know if it’s because of the international pressure or the fear of a backlash, but people are now saying to themselves ‘why would I want to buy a tiger if you can’t get a leopard?'”
Dr Stokes said.
‘We need to change the rules’ There are other issues too, such as the ability of pet owners to check whether their pets are in good health before buying them.
“For example, if a leggy leopard is in a kennel and someone is trying to take it, that would be a very big problem,” he told ABC Radio Melbourne.
“You can’t just say, ‘oh, well, it’s okay because she’s just a leopom’.”
“You have to be very careful about what you’re doing and about the way that you’re treating your animals.
If you don’t do that, you’re going to get them into a very dangerous situation.”
In addition to the ban on leopias, a number of other exotic animals have also had their importations banned in Australia in recent months.
In February, the Australian Government banned the import and sale of African elephant for the second time in the country’s history.
There is no data on the impact on the animals’ health or wellbeing.
Mr Stokes suggested that there was also a need for more data to be collected on the health of exotic pet owners.
“A lot of these animals are not currently properly monitored and there are no regulations in place,” he explained.
“This could be something that the animal welfare movement can help with.”
He said that in some instances, exotic pet ownership could