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exotic pets

Some states prohibit the possession of all wild or exotic animals—but most states only limit possession to certain types of wild or exotic animals. These state statutes often make exceptions for people and organizations that possess exotic animals for exhibition or scientific or educational purposes. Most states require a permit, license, or registration to possess certain wild animals. And many counties and cities also have laws and regulations that prohibit or limit the possession of wild animals.

In Texas, the regulation of possession of wild or exotic animals is relatively lenient compared to some other states. Texas does not have a comprehensive state law that prohibits the possession of all wild or exotic animals. Instead, it regulates certain species through permits and licenses. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) oversees the regulations concerning the ownership of exotic animals, which includes non-indigenous snakes and other reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals. Individuals may need to obtain a permit for the possession of dangerous wild animals, such as big cats, bears, coyotes, and primates, under the Dangerous Wild Animal Act. This act requires owners to register their animals with their local animal control or with the sheriff, carry liability insurance or surety bonds, and comply with housing and care standards. Exemptions are made for accredited zoos, circuses, research institutions, and educational entities. Local ordinances in various Texas cities and counties may also impose additional restrictions on the possession of exotic animals.

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