ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Exotic Animal Laws - Do They Apply To You?

Updated on February 9, 2013
A boy and his pet Burmese Python
A boy and his pet Burmese Python | Source

Exotic animal laws affect many of us in ways that we don’t realize. These laws are typically established to protect native species from invaders, but this is not always the case. More often than not these laws are formed without the input of experts who could shed light on the need to control exotic species.

Exotic Animal Laws In Action

An example: The State of Arkansas enacted what was to be a “Big Cat” ordinance. It was well accepted that an ordinance was needed as people were selling Lion cubs in grocery store parking lots. The State Game and Fish Commission passed a very broad Wildlife Breeder Dealer law that covered all wildlife in the state exotic and native. Now if your Guppies breed in the State of Arkansas, even though they are a domesticated species by definition, you need to obtain a wildlife breeder’s permit. You must track their progeny. You must keep veterinarian records for each of your Guppies insuring their health. You must also submit annual reports listing births, mortality, sales, or the re-homing of your guppies.

Sounds a bit ridiculous doesn’t it. Guppies pose no threat in the State of Arkansas, but this overreaching regulation affects all exotic species in the state. Other states such as New Jersey have passed laws to protect native reptile species. They list what species you can own vs. listing what you can’t. Georgia won’t allow the ownership of native species whatsoever while Missouri’s exotic pet laws are very unrestrictive.

Pet Hedgehog
Pet Hedgehog | Source

Research Exotic Animal Laws

When it comes down to it if you intend to own an unconventional pet, you need to verify the legalities of such pet ownership. First verify ownership with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. It they are ok with your ownership of that hedgehog you’ve been eyeing take the next step. Contact your state fish and game or department of natural resources and the state department of agriculture. You’d be surprised, but there are a few states in which hedgehog ownership is illegal, but if you’re in a hedgehog friendly state call the county animal control next. Counties and cities have the right to regulate what species you can maintain within their borders.

Exotic animal laws may affect you in ways you don't expect.
Exotic animal laws may affect you in ways you don't expect.

Choosing the Right Exotic Pet

If all is well, research your pet of choice to ensure that you can meet its’ needs and also that it will fit into your lifestyle. Most people aren’t equipped to maintain an adult Burmese Python. You need to realize that just because an animal is for sale it may not be right for you. Take your time. Buy adequate housing and the necessary husbandry equipment. Set it all up and then purchase your exotic pet. Those owners who find themselves with an unwanted Lion are the ones who create a bad name for everyone else!

Exotic Animal Laws - Conclusion

Exotic animal laws do have their place, but they need to be formed as the result of sound science not hysteria or political hype. Exotic animal regulations that protect the general public and the environment are reasonable, but when they adversely affect law abiding citizens they need to be re-evaluated. Do your part to become a responsible pet owner by verifying the regulations that apply to your exotic pet of choice.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)