In a huge win for animals, Georgia has expanded rules that ban some wild animals from being bought, sold, or kept as pets in the state. This marks the first time that the list will be updated since 1994.

Source: Action News Jax (CBS47 & FOX30)/YouTube

Beginning December 4th, owners of species that were recently added to the list of wild animals have one year to meet new requirements to keep their animals. Some of these requirements include registering and tagging. For example, pet owners will need to register and tag six reptile species that were added to the list.

In addition, businesses will need to sell animals that were acquired before the changes took effect, and people that are not eligible for a permit or incense will need to find a new home for their animals.

Some animals that were added to the list of wild animals that are prohibited include all species of mongooses and birds, such as the Purple swamphens and monk parakeets. Fish such as snakeheads, African tigerfish, bighead and silver carp, black carp, lates perches, sheatfishes, and wels catfish were also added. Along with invertebrates such as dreissenid mussels, giant African land snails, and marbled crayfish. The new rule will also require liability insurance for all non-domestic species in the cat family.

The law also states that keepers of Indian rock pythons, Burmese pythons, Argentine black-and-white tegus, Nile monitors, African helmeted turtles, and softshell turtles can continue to keep them as pets without a license as long as they tag and register them with the Georgia DNR Law Enforcement Division within a year of December 4, 2022.

If the demand for exotic pets did not exist, the exotic pet trade would not exist. So, if you agree that keeping exotic animals as pets is cruel, don’t support it either. Do not buy from pet shops or dealers. Leave the wild in the wild.

Animal shelters are filled with cats and dogs who need loving families and homes. You can also support the legislation to ban the ownership of exotic animals. With over 200 million live animal trades having taken place since 1975, governments must crack down on this cruel trade to protect individual animals and threatened species. 

These animals need us to speak for them, so if you see an exotic animal living in terrible conditions as a pet (or one that is illegally owned), say something! You can report suspected abuse to local police, who can take necessary action. This small action might not make a difference for every animal suffering in the exotic pet trade, but it will make all the difference for that one creature!

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