What are the arguments against the introduction of a "positive list"?

The view of the Czech representatives of captive animal breeders.

Thanks to historical circumstances and especially the inability to travel abroad between 1948 - 89,
the Czech Republic became a breeding superpower. After the collapse of the National Front, the
membership in which used to be more or less obligatory for the majority of breeders, today we have
no record of the number of breeders. From the available data, literature and attendance at fairs we
estimate that tens of thousands to lower hundreds of thousands of people are involved in hobby
animal breeding (not including breeding dogs, cats, guinea pigs and hamsters). The extremely limited
possibility of importing animals from the wild has in the past led to the successful permanent
breeding of hundreds of exotic species, which in turn has had very positive effects on biodiversity in
the countries of origin - there is little demand for animals from the wild. The issue of import and
trade in wildlife is covered by many years of application of the CITES regulation at EU level. Control
and enforcement of CITES regulations is at a high level in the Czech Republic; violations do occur, but
mainly in the area of smuggling animal derivates used in traditional Chinese medicine or ivory, not in
the area of imports of breeding animals. The Ministry of Agriculture's welfare regulations are strict
and their implementation is regularly monitored, both in terms of the species of so-called dangerous
animals and in terms of breeding conditions (prescribed dimensions and conditions of facilities for a
number of species). The risk of introducing invasive species does not exist in our climatic conditions.
The argumentation about the risk of transmission of zoonoses to humans from farmed species is
completely untrue - only cats and dogs are proven zoonotic agents in our country; in the case of
birds, wild birds are the species at risk (but so far, transmission of avian influenza to humans from
the wild has never been proven); transmission of zoonoses from farmed animals has not been
recorded in our country - despite the huge scale of captive breeding. Finally, the activists' final
argument that agreeing on positive lists and reducing the number of permitted species to a minimum
would significantly reduce the burden on officials is rather amusing: the proof of its absurdity was
already convincingly given 100 years ago with the introduction of Prohibition in the USA - the shift of
sellers and consumers underground did not really reduce the workload for the authorities.

From the Czech Republic's perspective, we believe that the introduction of positive lists at EU level is
not justified for the following fundamental reasons:

Conclusion: we are convinced that the issue of positive lists is a completely artificial problem, created
by activists for emotional reasons. Most Member States are little or not at all concerned by the issue.
Existing EU legislation is more than sufficient, but implementation (or lack thereof) in some countries
may be a problem. Some countries are probably trying to cover up their failure to meet their
obligations in other areas (with demonstrable negative impacts on biodiversity) by promoting
positive lists.

It is precisely because the situation in each Member State is quite specific for historical and cultural
reasons, and where EU and national rules are actually complied with, the alleged problems described
by activists do not arise, that EU positive lists have no justification. The current 'negative' approach,
whereby the captive breeding of certain species outside zoos is regulated or even completely
banned, is entirely sufficient.