<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1960127297600904&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
Wild animal ownership laws in Canada

Hero province

< Back to Canada map

 

* Indicates the risk to animal welfare in the region.

Protect wild animals in your province. Take action now by sending a letter to the Minister responsible for wild animal ownership.

The Problem

Wild animals are beautiful creatures that thrive in their natural environments. But many wild animals are being poached from the wild or bred in captivity to fulfill an increasing demand for non-traditional ‘pets’ in Canada.

Weak laws enable this inhumane wildlife trade. Help protect wild animals and demand they live in the wild, not in a home. Send a letter to your Minister responsible for this issue to change wild animal ownership laws.

A threat to animals and a risk to you

Wild animals like snakes, tigers, parrots and turtles not only suffer in captivity, but place their owners and the local community at risk. Wild animals can be dangerous and spread infectious diseases – even if they have been pets for a long time or born in captivity. Maulings, bites, scratches and constriction are not uncommon and can inflict serious harm and even death.

Stronger laws will help protect these animals and reduce the risks they pose to Canadians.

See if your province protects its residents from wild animals

Take action now, protect wild animals in Canada

Select your province below to see what you can do to help protect wild animals in your region.

Descriptions and risk images
Edit description: 

Alberta prohibits over 500 species of animals as pets. While this list is fairly exhaustive, the province allows far more animals than it prohibits. Additionally, Alberta’s list is driven mainly by animals that pose a public safety and environmental risk. As a result, many wild animals that suffer in captivity, like dingoes and ball pythons, are legally allowed to be owned as pets at a provincial level.


Edit image link: 

https://aaf1a18515da0e792f78-c27fdabe952dfc357fe25ebf5c8897ee.ssl.cf5.rackcdn.com/1887/Map_Gauge_MediumRisk.png?v=1565113754000

Edit description: 

Following the death of a woman in 2007 by a caged tiger, B.C. implemented new rules to ban dangerous pets. The province now prohibits 1,256 species that pose a threat to public safety. While this list is fairly exhaustive, the province allows far more animals than it prohibits. Additionally, B.C.’s list mainly focuses on animals that are a threat to public safety and doesn't take into consideration that wild animals are not suitable as pets and suffer in captivity.


Edit image link: 

https://aaf1a18515da0e792f78-c27fdabe952dfc357fe25ebf5c8897ee.ssl.cf5.rackcdn.com/1887/Map_Gauge_MediumRisk.png?v=1565113754000

Edit description: 

Manitoba's laws do not properly regulate wild animal ownership. The province only prohibits some animals as pets such as racoon dogs, wild boars and non-native deer from the province. This means there are no provincial laws preventing a range of other wild animals, such as chimpanzees or crocodiles, to be owned as pets.


Edit image link: 

https://aaf1a18515da0e792f78-c27fdabe952dfc357fe25ebf5c8897ee.ssl.cf5.rackcdn.com/1887/Map_GaugeHighRisk.png?v=1565113593000

Edit description: 

Wild animal ownership laws under review - take action now. Following the tragic death of two young boys by an African rock python, New Brunswick is reviewing their wild animal ownership laws. The review has been ongoing since 2015 and will examine the large array of animals that are currently allowed to be kept as pets. New Brunswick follows the best-practice approach to managing wild animal ownership through a positive list, but they permit 182 animals, many of which are difficult to keep humanely and are a threat to the local environment.


Edit image link: 

https://aaf1a18515da0e792f78-c27fdabe952dfc357fe25ebf5c8897ee.ssl.cf5.rackcdn.com/1887/Map_Gauge_QUE.png?v=1565113762000

Edit description: 

Newfoundland and Labrador is one of the few provinces that follows the best-practice approach to regulating wild animal ownership by listing the animals permitted to be kept as pets. However the list of almost 600 animals permitted in the province is driven largely by the need to restrict invasive species rather than consideration for the animals’ welfare or public safety.


Edit image link: 

https://aaf1a18515da0e792f78-c27fdabe952dfc357fe25ebf5c8897ee.ssl.cf5.rackcdn.com/1887/Map_Gauge_MediumRisk.png?v=1565113754000

Edit description:

Nova Scotia has a list of animals not allowed as pets and a list of animals permitted to be kept as pets. However many of the animals permitted as pets are wild animals and can suffer in captivity as well as pose environmental issues.


Edit image link: 

https://aaf1a18515da0e792f78-c27fdabe952dfc357fe25ebf5c8897ee.ssl.cf5.rackcdn.com/1887/Map_Gauge_QUE.png?v=1565113762000

Edit description:

Northwest Territories laws do not specifically address wild animal ownership. While some animals are prohibited to keep, such as bats, goats, sheep and llamas, there is no specific guidance about what wild animals are banned or allowed. This means animals such as tigers, cobras and alligators are legally allowed to be owned as pets at a territorial level.


Edit image link: 

https://aaf1a18515da0e792f78-c27fdabe952dfc357fe25ebf5c8897ee.ssl.cf5.rackcdn.com/1887/Map_GaugeHighRisk.png?v=1565113593000

Edit description:

Nunavut's laws don't specifically regulate wild animal ownership. While there are laws restricting the importation of wild animals, there are big exceptions with the territory allowing all pet reptiles and birds to be imported. This means that there are no territorial laws preventing a range of dangerous reptiles such as boa constrictors and crocodiles to be owned as pets.


Edit image link: 

https://aaf1a18515da0e792f78-c27fdabe952dfc357fe25ebf5c8897ee.ssl.cf5.rackcdn.com/1887/Map_GaugeHighRisk.png?v=1565113593000

Edit description:

While Ontario restricts the ownership of native wild animals, the province's laws do currently not address exotic wild animal ownership. This might change, a recent introduced bill is calling for restrictions and prohibitions of animals in Ontario. The revision of the existing laws is an opportunity for Ontario to adapt the best-practice positive list approach.


Edit image link: 

https://aaf1a18515da0e792f78-c27fdabe952dfc357fe25ebf5c8897ee.ssl.cf5.rackcdn.com/1887/Map_GaugeHighRisk.png?v=1565113593000

Edit description:

Prince Edward Island has some of the toughest wild animal ownership laws in the country. No wild animal can be kept as a pet without a licence. In addition, there is a list of banned animals for which a licence will not be given. Prince Edward Island is also one of the few provinces that considers animal welfare in the development of its wild animal ownership laws.


Edit image link: 

https://aaf1a18515da0e792f78-c27fdabe952dfc357fe25ebf5c8897ee.ssl.cf5.rackcdn.com/1887/Map_Gauge_PEI.png?v=1565113760000

Edit description:

Quebec has recently updated its wild animal ownership laws and has a list of animals that are restricted to be kept as pets. However, the province allows far more animals than it prohibits and these updated laws still allow for a range of wild animals to be kept as pets despite the evidence highlighting that these animals suffer in captivity.


Edit image link: 

https://aaf1a18515da0e792f78-c27fdabe952dfc357fe25ebf5c8897ee.ssl.cf5.rackcdn.com/1887/Map_Gauge_MediumRisk.png?v=1565113754000

Edit description:

Wild animal ownership laws under review - take action now. Saskatchewan is one of the few provinces that follows the best-practice approach to regulating wild animal ownership by listing the animals permitted to be kept as pets. However the list of permitted animals is broad, including all snakes other than venomous or constrictor snakes and a range of birds and amphibians. Saskatchewan is currently reviewing their laws after releasing a public survey on the issue in 2017.


Edit image link: 

https://aaf1a18515da0e792f78-c27fdabe952dfc357fe25ebf5c8897ee.ssl.cf5.rackcdn.com/1887/Map_Gauge_LowRisk.png?v=1565113752000

Edit description:

Yukon's laws do not allow any wild animals to be owned as a pet without a licence. However it does allow many domestic animals to be owned as pets and many of the 'domestic' animals listed are actually wild animals, including sugar gliders and a number of reptiles and birds.


Edit image link: 

https://aaf1a18515da0e792f78-c27fdabe952dfc357fe25ebf5c8897ee.ssl.cf5.rackcdn.com/1887/Map_Gauge_MediumRisk.png?v=1565113754000