Many Exotic Animals Now Illegal to Have as Pets in Arlington

Hedgehogs dodged the chopping block, but a Virginia county is putting an end to residents' ability to adopt a variety of exotic animals as pets.

The Arlington County Board on Tuesday voted to prohibit keeping exotic animals as pets. Existing exotic pets are exempt from the ban, but residents will be required to register them with the local animal welfare league.

Banned species include primates, raccoons, skunks, wolves, squirrels, foxes, leopards, tigers, lions, bears, crocodiles, venomous snakes and certain spiders, including tarantulas, recluse and widow spiders.

Hedgehogs and nonvenomous snakes are permitted. Rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs and birds that have been bred in captivity are also permitted.

County officials say the new rules bring the county in line with state law and neighboring jurisdictions.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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