Gov. exotic animal permits (and an introduction)

BioZest

New Member
Hi! I'm new to the forums and joined to see if I could get into the hobby. I currently own a grand total of 0 chameleons.

I also was wondering about the laws about importing chameleons and the overall costs of owning one. According to RI law it is not legal to own and/or import a chameleon :mad: without submitting a form saying who your dedicated vet will be, A health certificate, a signed letter from a vet saying they will provide care, a written description of how the animal's needs will be acounted for, a letter from me telling about my experience with reptiles (which is limited to two leopard geckos for a few years), a signed letter from the head officer of animal control, and a whole bunch of seemingly unnecessary requirements that seem impossible to meet.

Does anyone have to deal with this?:confused:
 

Ventari

New Member
Im in MD too we have no restrictions. Im sure there is a RI reptile show and they probably have a booth for whatever you need info wise. If not ask the venders there there has to be a loop hole always is.
 

BioZest

New Member
hmmm...I'll have to check one out. Is there anyone here who actually lives in RI and cares for chams? I saw someone on craigslist selling a baby jackson's in my area. Is it against the rules for me to share the link?
 
sounds like you have almost satisfied the requirements for your area so finish it....if not I would just get one and enjoy him...not saying it is ok to break the law but how will they know??
 

KingJulian

New Member
That's crazy that RI has a law against exotics, I had no idea. I remember not too long ago a member had a chameleon illegally, not realizing it, and had to take it to the vet because it got sick. The vet threatened to turn them into the government. I would be very careful, because people find out and news spreads quick.
 

BioZest

New Member
That is terrible. Is there anyone here who actually has applied for the permits to do this? I don't want to break the law...but the law is completely ridiculous.
 

little leaf

Avid Member
here is the link on it-

http://www.bornfreeusa.org/b4a2_exotic_animals_state.php?s=ri#4-18-3

at least what I could find, but really, it is not as hard as it sounds, we used to raise Fallow Deer- and had to carry and post our permit #'s on the pen doors- I know its kinda a pain, but once you get the permit, all you do is re-new it every yr- I wish all the states had this law- it would sure save alot of chams - proving you have correct set up and knowledge - dont let the paperwork scare you :)

I would maybe contact the dep/ and just tell them you would like to consider a cham, and can they send you the ppr work, or guide you the right direction , most are very nice when they know you want to do it the correct way :)
 

Decadancin

Moderatoris Americanus
Staff member
Sounds to me like half of this you should do anyway! I would definitely want to know who my vet was going to be if I had an issue, and with some of the people out there (not saying you ;)) I'd want to know what types of animals that are going to be next door :eek:. He He He :D. Its nice to see that there is some concern over how these animals are going to be kept also! Is this for everyone or just 'cause you are a minor?
 

GlassEyez

New Member
That law says "wild animals". Not necessarily exotic but wild animals. If the chameleon was captive hatched and raised it is not a "wild animal". I think you're fine to just get one because it is a domesticated animal.
 

GlassEyez

New Member
Hmm a lil more reading and it lists "old world chameleonida" (spelling?) as a species requiring permit but I'm not sure what is classified as an "old world chameleon"
 

Chris Anderson

Dr. House of Chameleons
Staff member
That law says "wild animals". Not necessarily exotic but wild animals. If the chameleon was captive hatched and raised it is not a "wild animal". I think you're fine to just get one because it is a domesticated animal.
Here is a link to the "Rules and Regulations Governing Importation and Possession of Exotic Wild Animals": http://www.dem.ri.gov/pubs/regs/regs/agric/xotkanml.pdf

You will note that chameleons are explicitly listed as requiring a permit as Exotic Wild Animals (from page 10: "Possession of all chameleons (Chameontidae), the Gila Monster and Beaded Lizard (Heloderatidae), and all Monitors (Varanidae) requires an exotic animal possession permit."). Simply getting a captive hatched chameleon does not disqualify them from this requirement.

Here is a link to the application for the permit: http://www.dem.ri.gov/programs/bnatres/agricult/pdf/exoticapp.pdf

If you look at the application, you will note that there is a disclaimer stating: "RI DEM Division of Agriculture, Animal Health section reserves the right to waive certain requirements depending on species." The State Veterinarian decides which of the requirements to require and which he is comfortable waiving. If you are seriously interested in getting a chameleon and are willing to go through the effort to do so, you should contact him and inquire if there are any requirements from the permit application that are typically waived for chameleons or if you should provide details of all of them with your application.

Chris
 

Carlton

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thanks Chris for setting the record straight.

Remember folks, many states now restrict exotic species ownership in some way or another. It doesn't mean you can't have one, it means you can't have one without a permit. Big difference. I've had all sorts of exotic pets in various states and usually found their permitting requirements pretty easy to deal with. Sometimes the seller or shop had the applications filled out at time of sale. Most municipalities require you to license your dog...that's basically a permit. You can't drive a car without a license...er a permit.

And, BTW, anyone who suggests blowing the permit off because they think no one will find out is giving TERRIBLE advice! This is the kind of behavior that gives our entire community a bad name and feeds the AR groups' attempts to make all pet ownership illegal. Don't help them!!!

Permits are a minor hassle at most. Its the sign of the times...deal with it or change the law.
 

Carlton

Chameleon Enthusiast
That law says "wild animals". Not necessarily exotic but wild animals. If the chameleon was captive hatched and raised it is not a "wild animal". I think you're fine to just get one because it is a domesticated animal.
Wrong. Just because an animal happens to be captive bred does not mean it isn't exotic. Exotic means different things in different places. Some states define exotic as ANYTHING that is not native to their particular state. Others prefer to adopt criteria that already exists, such as USDA, USFWS, customs, etc. For example, one state may consider a parakeet an exotic bird...but another considers it so routinely produced that it is domestic livestock.
 

Carlton

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hmm a lil more reading and it lists "old world chameleonida" (spelling?) as a species requiring permit but I'm not sure what is classified as an "old world chameleon"
Some people call the south and central American anoles chameleons because they change color.

Old world chameleons are our guys from Africa, Madagascar, Yemen, etc.
 

BioZest

New Member
Wow thanks guys for all this advice...this thread grew faster than expected. @Chris Anderson thank you for this helpful advice, I must have overlooked it in the application. I will get in contact with the RI State Veterinarian and see if I can convince him to wave some of the more difficult requirements that must be made.
 

techmikef

Member
Im glad I found this thread. Its so easy to forget that these reptiles are exotic animals due to the fact that we see them so often in the pet trade. I have since investigated if there are any legal actions or requirements for my state and I have found nothing that indicates any such things. With that being said I would gladly provide proof that I have properly prepared to bring home my new pet if thats what was required of me. I only want to provide the best possible care for any pet that I bring into my home, and the includes my future cham.
 
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