The legal status of lizard ownership in different countries

Pets law May 26, 2023

Lizards are fascinating creatures that can make great pets for reptile enthusiasts. However, not all lizards are legal to own in every country. Some lizards are endangered, invasive, or dangerous to humans or other animals. Therefore, it is important to do your research before buying or importing a lizard as a pet.

lizard lawyer

We will explore the legal status of lizard ownership in different countries around the world. We will also provide some tips on how to find out if a lizard is legal in your country and what to do if you encounter an illegal lizard.

Legal status of lizard ownership by country

The legal status of lizard ownership varies widely by country and sometimes by region within a country. Here are some examples of countries with different laws and regulations regarding lizard ownership:

  • Australia: Australia has strict laws on wildlife protection and biosecurity. Only native lizards can be kept as pets, and they require a license from the state or territory government. Importing or exporting lizards is prohibited, unless they are part of a zoo or research program. Some of the popular native lizards that can be kept as pets in Australia are bearded dragons, blue-tongued skinks, and shinglebacks.
  • Canada: Canada does not have a federal law on lizard ownership, but each province and territory has its own regulations. Some provinces and territories allow most lizards to be kept as pets, while others ban or restrict certain species. For example, Ontario bans venomous lizards and large monitor lizards, while Quebec bans all lizards except for geckos and anoles. It is advisable to check with your local authorities before buying or importing a lizard in Canada.
  • China: China does not have a specific law on lizard ownership, but it does have laws on wildlife protection and animal quarantine. Some lizards are considered protected species and cannot be kept as pets without a permit. Other lizards may be subject to quarantine or inspection when entering or leaving the country. Some of the popular lizards that can be kept as pets in China are leopard geckos, crested geckos, and Chinese water dragons.
  • United States: The United States also does not have a federal law on lizard ownership, but each state and sometimes each city has its own regulations. Some states and cities allow most lizards to be kept as pets, while others ban or restrict certain species. For example, California bans venomous lizards and large monitor lizards, while New York City bans all lizards except for anoles. It is advisable to check with your local authorities before buying or importing a lizard in the United States.
See also  Roaming cats and the law

Tips on finding out if a lizard is legal in your country

If you are interested in owning a lizard as a pet, you should do some research before buying or importing one. Here are some tips on how to find out if a lizard is legal in your country:

  • Check the CITES list: CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is an international agreement that regulates the trade of endangered animals and plants. Some lizards are listed in CITES Appendix I or II, which means they are either banned or restricted from international trade. You can check the CITES list here: https://www.cites.org/eng/app/appendices.php
  • Check the IUCN Red List: The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List is a global assessment of the conservation status of animals and plants. Some lizards are classified as critically endangered, endangered, vulnerable, or near threatened, which means they are at risk of extinction or population decline. You can check the IUCN Red List here: https://www.iucnredlist.org/
  • Check your local laws and regulations: As mentioned above, different countries and regions have different laws and regulations regarding lizard ownership. You should check with your local authorities or animal welfare organizations before buying or importing a lizard. You can also consult reputable pet shops, breeders, veterinarians, or reptile experts for advice.
  • Check the origin and health of the lizard: If you decide to buy or import a lizard, you should make sure it comes from a legal and ethical source. You should avoid buying or importing wild-caught lizards, as they may be illegal, endangered, invasive, or diseased. You should also avoid buying or importing lizards from online platforms or unlicensed sellers, as they may be fraudulent, unreliable, or irresponsible. You should only buy or import lizards from reputable pet shops, breeders, zoos, or research institutions that can provide proper documentation and health certificates.
See also  The Legality of Keeping Spiders as Pets

What to do if you encounter an illegal lizard

If you encounter an illegal lizard in your country or region, you should not try to capture, keep, sell, or release it. Doing so may be illegal, dangerous, or harmful to the environment. Instead, you should report it to the relevant authorities or animal welfare organizations as soon as possible. They will be able to handle the situation safely and appropriately.

Lizard ownership is a rewarding hobby for many people around the world. However, not all lizards are legal to own in every country. Some lizards are endangered, invasive, or dangerous to humans or other animals. Therefore, it is important to do your research before buying or importing a lizard as a pet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *