Ethics in Animal Keeping

Here at MorphMarket, we’re always striving to make sure all our users, buyers and sellers alike, are honest in their business dealings. We’re also keenly aware that a person’s overall ethics and morals regarding animal husbandry and conservation play a critical role in our community. It is our responsibility to take care of the animals we bring into our homes, as well as respect and care for the natural environment around us. Doing so is not only critical to the animals and the environment, but also in protecting our rights to continue keeping them.

Because this is so important, we’ve composed a document expressing not only our belief on these issues, but also a minimum standard all our users should agree to. It is on each of us, as individuals and as a community, to work together to protect the animals we love, and our rights to keep them.

Position on Ethics of Animal Keeping & Business

MorphMarket believes there is a responsibility on all keepers to uphold certain ethical standards. These ethics apply to private collections and businesses alike. As part of our efforts to maintain a healthy and responsible community, MorphMarket supports USARK and requires our users to commit to this Code of Ethics.


Conservation of wildlife and its natural habitats are the cornerstone of responsible keeping.

Our beliefs:
  • Captive breeding increases natural populations by decreasing the market for wild-caught animals.
  • Captive breeding builds a sustainable population of endangered animals.
  • Positive experiences with reptiles help more people care more about the environments they are native to and be more vocal in advocating for conservation.
  • Read more about conservation from USARK.
Our actions:
  • MorphMarket focuses on captive bred animals. (<1% of our ads are wild-caught imports)
  • We respond seriously to any complaints about ads which violate laws of conservation.


Healthy environments with thriving, diverse populations of native species are critical for the overall health of our entire planet.

Our beliefs:
  • We believe non-native species should NEVER be released into the wild. There is never a circumstance that justifies this act.
  • We believe it is wrong to collect native species from the wild without specific, government approved permits.
  • Even with permits, the collection of wild animals should only be done by those with the experience and resources to properly care for them and acclimate them to captivity.
Our actions:
  • We respond seriously to any complaints about sellers who violate local, state, federal, or international laws regarding the collection, trade, and transportation of native and non-native species.

Animal Welfare

Every living creature in our care is dependent on us for their well-being. If we cannot provide them with what they need, we should not have them.

Our beliefs:
  • We believe all keepers should commit to providing the care needed for their animals to remain healthy and thrive in their captive environments.
  • We believe all sellers should commit to finding good homes for the animals they sell.
Our actions:
  • We maintain an active community forum providing education and information from a multitude of experienced keepers.
  • We encourage communication between buyers and sellers before a transaction for a live animal can be completed.
  • We respond aggressively to any proven allegations of ongoing gross negligence or abuse.


Anyone with an interest in keeping and/or working with animals is under the microscope of those who desire to take our rights away from us. They may be aggressive animal-rights activists, people with irrational phobias, or lawmakers looking for publicity. If we cannot publicly maintain and convey ethical and responsible care for our animals and the environments they come from, we will lose.

MorphMarket continues to do all we can to support these efforts and will always have an eye toward future projects that do even more. Some long-term plans include:

  • Provide more care information per species (lifespan, care required, etc)
  • Provide a resource for animal adoptions, rescues, and veterinarians
  • Give sellers more information about the experience level of buyers

None of us can do everything, but all of us can do something. For every single individual animal keeper out there, there are actions you can take to promote ethics and responsibility. Even if it is just a small step, take it…until we are all marching in lock-step together against those who would abuse the animals we love, and those who would take our rights away from us.

As part of our efforts to maintain a healthy and responsible community, MorphMarket supports USARK and requires our users to commit to this Code of Ethics.

  • Keepers agree to be educated in order to provide for the health and well-being of their animal.
  • Keepers agree to only accept animals they are able to responsibly care for.
  • Keepers agree to use clean, well-constructed and secure enclosures for their animals.
  • Keepers agree to be aware of the lifespan and committed to caring for the animal.
  • Keepers agree that the health, well-being, and safety of their animals is paramount.
  • Keepers agree that public safety, local environmental integrity, and the safety of keepers are critical considerations in the keeping of these animals.
  • Keepers agree not to, under any circumstances, release non-native species into the wild.
  • Keepers agree to research, understand, and not violate any local, state, federal or international laws.
  • Sellers agree to make reasonable efforts to ensure the buyer has the ability to responsibly care for the animal, especially those with greater needs.
  • Sellers agree to responsible shipping and transportation procedures

This is fantastic, and a much bigger deal than it may seem. Nice job guys.


Thank you for this. This reinforces my decision to only buy and sell through MorphMarket (besides a few exceptions). I look forward to seeing the long term plans develop.


This is very well done. Thank you guys

1 Like