STRAITS TIMES (Singapore) 28 March 03 Owners face tax on exotic pets Jakarta (AFP): The Indonesian authorities are considering taxing people who keep exotic pets as a status symbol, in an attempt to safeguard protected species. 'Imposing a tax on protected animal owners could serve as a deterrent for people intending to keep protected animals as pets,' Forestry Ministry conservation official Adi Susmianto said. He said the idea was discussed during a wildlife seminar that began on Thursday. Several members of the moneyed elite keep exotic pets ranging from orangutans, honey bears, gibbons, monkeys, turtles and even small crocodiles. The practice is illegal but prosecutions are rare. Thousands of rare and protected animals and birds are also smuggled out of Indonesia every month with the complicity of officials.