From Iceland — Roaches And Millipedes: Now As Pets

Roaches And Millipedes: Now As Pets

Published March 22, 2012

At one pet store in Reykjavík, you can buy cockroaches, millipedes and grasshoppers as pets, despite a law which forbids the importing of insects.
The store in question, Furðufugla og fylgisfiska, is located in downtown Reykjavík and owned by Ingólfur Tjörvi Einarsson. This store primarily sells pet supplies, but also has other items for sale.
Speaking to DV, he said that people can buy cockroaches, red and yellow millipedes from Africa, and grasshoppers. “People do buy cockroaches as pets, but not many,” he said.
All told, Tjörvi has some 270 types of living things in his store. Cockroaches sell for 1,300 ISK, and he said that three or four people have bought roaches specifically as pets, which are presumably easy to care for.
By Icelandic law, importing insects is forbidden, but Tjörvi’s store was granted an exemption. Gísli Jónsson, a veterinarian at the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority, and granted the exemption, explained that it was a matter of cause and effect – when the importation of frogs as pets was allowed, it became also necessary to allow the importation of things frogs eat.
This exemption opened the way for Tjörvi to get creative with what insects are imported and sold, branching out to more exotic types of insects.

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