Virginia Laws on Exotic Pets

Regulation Chapter 10, Article II, Section 1049. “wild or exotic animals” means live monkeys (non-human primates), raccoons, skunks, wolves, hybrid greyhounds, squirrels, foxes, leopards, tigers, lions, panthers, ratites or other warm-blooded animals, venomous reptiles, non-venomous apodal reptiles eight feet or more or more or non-venomous four-legged reptiles five feet or more in length that can normally be found in the wild, or any other member of the crocodile family; including, but not limited to, alligators, crocodiles, caimans and gavials. Ferrets, birds normally purchased from a pet store (excluding ratites), non-venomous apodal reptiles less than eight feet long, non-venomous four-legged reptiles less than five feet long, domestic rabbits and domestic rodents bred in captivity and never raised in the wild are exempt from this definition. It is illegal for a person to keep or permit a wild or exotic animal or any venomous animal to be kept as a pet or for display purposes, free of charge or for remuneration, on their premises within the city limits without the permission of the Department of Animal Services. This section does not apply to zoos, circuses, animal shows, veterinary clinics, medical or educational facilities duly licensed by the federal and/or Commonwealth government. However, under no circumstances shall such wild, exotic and/or poisonous animals be exposed, displayed or kept in such a way that they may escape, walk freely or come into direct physical contact with any person, unless they are under the direct care and control of the owner, custodian or master. Violation of this paragraph constitutes a Class 2 administrative offence. In addition to any other penalty, the owner of a wild, exotic or poisonous animal found in the wild will pay the Site a fee equal to the actual cost of the Site to locate and capture or otherwise dispose of the animal. Before granting the permit, the owner is subject to an inspection by an animal protection officer.

The permit is initially $10 and must be renewed annually at a cost of $5. If you don`t want exotic animals for educational purposes or exhibitions, you can`t keep them as pets. Exotic animals include primates, bears, venomous reptiles, big cats and wolves. A permit is also required for educational and exhibition purposes. Animals you can keep without permission include llamas, alpacas, bison, European ferrets, ostriches, yaks, sugar gliders, chinchillas, and alligators. Potentially dangerous species such as primates, non-domesticated cats and bears are on New Jersey`s list of prohibited pets. The prohibited list includes some animals that you don`t normally classify in this class, such as monk and collared parakeets, axolotls, and ground squirrels. Zoos and exhibitors can apply for a permit if they meet extensive but practical requirements. Regulation Chapter 5, Article VI, extract below. Wild or exotic animals include live monkeys (non-human primates), raccoons, skunks, wolves, squirrels, foxes, leopards, panthers, tigers, lions, lynx or other warm-blooded animals, venomous reptiles, amphibians or invertebrates normally found in the wild, or any other member of crocodiles, including, but not limited to, alligators, crocodiles, caimans and gavials. Ferrets, non-toxic reptiles, rabbits and laboratory rats bred in captivity and never known in the wild are excluded from this definition.

No person may keep wild or exotic animals on their premises or cause to be kept on their premises for the purpose of exhibition or exhibition, sale, offer for sale or any other exchange, whether free of charge or against payment. Nothing in this section shall be construed to apply to zoos, animal shows, circuses, licensed rehabilitators, or veterinary clinics duly licensed by the federal government or the Commonwealth of Virginia. However, these wild or exotic animals must not be displayed or displayed in such a way that persons other than their masters can pet, pet or otherwise come into direct physical contact with these animals or be “free” in any way. It is illegal for the owner or custodian of an animal (as defined in section 574) or a non-venomous reptile to allow that non-venomous animal or reptile to move freely within the county at any time.