New Saskatchewan Exotics Legislation

It’s a frustrating day in Canada. On June 1st the province of Saskatchewan introduced new rules for prohibited species. Government regulation that is ill informed and heavy handed, as is tradition I suppose.

In short, there’s three lists of species, Allowed, Division 1, and Division 2. Division 1 means the animal is illegal overnight and must be removed/euthanized. Division 2 means the animal may be grandfathered for the rest of its life as long as the province is notified. Keepers have until November 30th to comply in both cases. If it’s not on any list, and there are quite a few common species missing, it’s likely illegal and even requesting a species to be categorized would likely result in it being explicitly restricted.

Examples of Division 2 animals which must receive a permit to grandfather or else be declared illegal:

  • Various Varanidae (Nile, Water, Savannah monitors)
  • Various Leaf-Tailed geckos
  • Red-eared Sliders
  • Various box turtles
  • Various Uromastyx
  • Western Hogs
  • Bullsnakes
  • Eastern Indigo snakes
  • and more!

If you were breeding these species, or would like to sell them to keepers in the province then you’re just out of luck.

Division 1 includes gems such as:

  • The usual “scary” pythons, Burmese, Rock, Reticulated etc.
  • Green and Yellow Anaconda
  • Crocodiles and Alligators
  • Boa Constrictor and Boa Imperator
  • Kokoe, Black legged, Golden Dart Frogs
  • Venomous reptiles

Both lists also have a number of birds, mammals and amphibians that are also banned. In fact I was first made aware about this from a parrot breeders group. It seems that it was expected for a couple years that the provincial government was working towards some form of regulation but this seems to have taken everyone by surprise. To me, that seems to speak volumes as to how much public input was considered, i.e. practically none.

That’s the most frustrating part of this. There doesn’t seem to be any reasoning behind any of this given, other than generic “public safety and wildlife conservation.” I’d love to have a chat with one of the “experts” on what way someone’s BCI somehow poses a threat to public safety, or how breeding captive bred albino Western Hognose will deplete the native population. On top of all this, I’ve heard that the province of Manitoba was waiting for Saskatchewan to regulate before attempting the same. I’m not a resident of either province, but I have no doubt if this isn’t fought it will find its way here.

But at least they are allowed to keep Ball Pythons I guess, whoopie.

Link for more info, for your reading displeasure.

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I’m from Toronto Ontario and have chosen Uromastyx to be my first ever reptile in the future. I hope they don’t try any of that bs here.

I can see the increase in underground reptile keeping and selling all the way here in Texas…

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It’s sad to see many SK keepers actually thrilled that their species positive list now allows them to keep ball pythons :woman_facepalming:

I’ve had to resend sales receipts/hatch certificates to SK customers, so they’re able to apply for permits for Division 2 animals. The amount of fear this poorly thought out regulation has caused…

You may want to see what Evolve Reptiles is working on with regards to bill 136.

As for the rest of us Canadians in other provinces, it’s a great time to support our local herp societies. CanHerp is still actively working on fighting for our rights, not as vocal as USARK, but they’re our loudest voice :slight_smile:


Evolve Reptiles?? Bill 136?? I will look both of those up. Several of the species of herps I wanna keep are already forbidden due to being mildly venomous and I bet they think dart frogs are still deadly in captivity so they are likely still forbidden as well.

I was hoping on trying to get the bylaw in Toronto altered for things like dart frogs, T’s (or at least some species of em anyway), snakes that are considered mildly venomous like hognoses, FWC’s (both snake species are among those I wanna keep at some point) and others once people stop focusing on stupid Covid bs.

If Uros become forbidden here in Toronto it may take away my shot and getting into the hobby as my options in terms of what I would enjoy keeping are already sorta limited. I mean starting out a corn snake would be my only “classic beginner” option. I consider Uros to be a bit closer to intermediate lv like beardies.

Im kinda scared now that I might lose my chance to become involved in/enjoy this hobby. I mean aside from dogs there really isn’t much mammal wise for me to enjoy (I kinda wish I could have other K9s like a fox or coyote or wolf or something–all my fav mammals aside from your typical dog/cat are wild and predatory (and usually in order Carnivora although some bats are adorable like flying foxes)). I guess I could go bird but then I’d either want a macaw (which live way too long) or like a crow/raven which I can’t have to my knowledge.

I hope they dont ruin this for me before I can even officially enter the hobby.


It’s all so tiresome. I wish the people that are happy their species aren’t prohibited would wake up and realize if all the other keepers are forced out then there won’t be anyone left to advocate for Ball Pythons, Bearded Dragons or Leopard Geckos. It doesn’t matter if it’s not your species or your province.

I’m a member of USARK but I doubt they can help us here with everything going on in the States. It’s up to us to form our own advocacy groups, and I know there’s a few people much smarter than me who have been working on that over the years.

I normally follow the laws, even if they are stupid. For instance, I got a permit for my dwarf retic and tegus here in Alabama (I give to USARK monthly) but if they were on the list to be destroyed, I would make up a good untraceable story about what I did with them and work on some good hiding places in case the “snake police” ever came calling.(hypothetical, I. Don’t currently have any unpermited restricted reptiles…)


If you can find the text that says that these are illegal I can try to find a way around this. There’s a difference between venomous and poisonous and if it says the actual animal (not species) is venomous/poisonous then there is likely a way around it for some animals (eg. dart frogs), hopefully you can still get a herp or at the least an amphibian.

This is crazy, the dangerous red-eared slider poses a great risk to public health and wildlife. How about a Uromastyx. :man_facepalming: You can tell that animal rights groups (again) were the ones that “educated” these lawmakers. Well, I’m going to research this. I don’t think there’s much I can do in the states but I might be sending out a few emails.


There isn’t much distinction between poisonous and venomous to legislators, the amount of brain-dead in these kinds of regulations should be a good indicator the kind of blunt force trauma approach these things are enforced with. Many use outdated info, species names or classifications etc. At the end of the day when the officer comes to euthanize your pet on your driveway you can’t really argue semantics.

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Last time I checked the Toronto bylaw said all poisonous and venomous animals are prohibited. It didnt specify any creature or any level of toxicity in particular. Just grouped everything together and said its forbidden.

All I know is I want my Uromastyx already and I wanna own dart frogs, hognose, a FWC and other stuff in the future.

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Darts aren’t even poisonous in captivity! That’s the most ridiculous thing about it. With this particular provincial regulation they specifically banned Golden, Tricolor and Kokoe dart frogs. What do you see when you look these species up? They are the three most deadly in the wild.

They read a wikipedia page.

That’s how much research they did.

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And they clearly didn’t read the wikipedia page well because if they did they would read how the frogs lose their toxicity in captivity. I knew the golden was one of the most deadly dart frog but I dunno much about the Tricolor and Kokoe ones so I will look em up. I feel like I will like how they look…bet their pretty.

You should be able to take it to court and if you have testimony from an experienced keeper that’s reputable then you can easily prove that they, as an animal, aren’t poisonous. However they don’t know the difference between a tree frog and a dart frog, so why tell them.

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