State Regulations Regarding Colubrids

I am wondering of any other states than mine, Tennessee, have any ridiculous laws concerning breeding and selling Colubrids. Before making a shift to Ball Pythons in 2016 we were small hobby breeders of mainly Milks and Kings for years until we got notice of being out of compliance with the states regulatory guidelines. In Tennessee, snakes are termed “indigenous” by their genus, making all Milks, Kings and others like Hognose, Water Snakes, Rat Snakes, Corn Snakes etc… indigenous by definition requiring a permit. Now a permit is not that big a deal, not that expensive, but part of it is affirming “on demand inspections of the facility” which for most of us is our home basically amounting to warrantless searches. Anyone have a state law that tops this one in stupidity?


Georgia is a little more lax but not very. We need an educators permit to keep any native non venomous but they cant be used for breeding purposes. That means no corn snakes, eastern kings, eastern or southern hogs, or anything else that happens to live here. We also need a pet traders license if we want to produce more than a very limited number of animals per year.

BUT, you can go out and catch yourself a copperhead as a pet.


GA also protect their indigenous species which means owning native species as pet is not allowed in GA and punishable by a $1000 fine.

As mentioned some permits are issued for educational purposes so stricter than TN in that regard.

Here is a list of all prohibited wildlife as pets in GA


What is the process to get the permit? I have Eastern Tennessee in my mind as where I’ll eventually end up. But if the process is crazy, maybe I’ll head over the hill to the Carolinas.


You should find all the info here

Eeesh! Looks like best-case scenario would be $100 a year. And this is just the state level. I can only imagine what the City and County ordinances look like. I’m curious is Boiga spp are even allowed, or if they’re classified as Type I (venomous.) :cry:

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In Virginia in order to own more than 5 corn snakes you must have a permit no matter the morph. Breeding is I believe included or may require a special permit as a “pet store” whatever that means. I’m guessing even if you’re not running a regular store for instance out of your home. Tbh, the fees in general aren’t that expensive and as far as I know there are no surprise inspections required. I’ve been keeping and breeding for more than six years (currently own 60+ corns) and don’t have a license or permit and have never been bothered by it however I am starting an actual business as an LLC and so I’m going to have to obtain my permits soon, especially if I do any shows (which would be only local ones) and I also would like to do some educational stuff as well since I keep several other species of reptiles. I’m going to be getting into Hognose eventually on a very limited basis as well as a few morphs of Florida kings but again on a very limited basis since I do have a medical disability which limits what I’m able to do physically. This means limiting my corn snake breeding as well if I’m going to be adding other species too my list of breedings.


Most states/counties require you to license you dogs too… I don’t know anyone that actually does that… Other than for running a legitimate business, who’s checking these permits anyways?!? LOL

As responsible pet owners and or breeders especially since there has been so much scrutiny and attempts to change the laws prohibiting people from owning reptiles, it is very important to pay attention and abide by those laws whether you agree with them or not and or whether people are checking for those permit or not. Same goes with promoting responsible snake ownership around you or on a public forum.


All you need is one nosy person to drive by, just to start trouble

I don’t think anyone read the part where the classification was by genus and not species. The issue is any colubrids from any part of the world would be considered indigenous to Tennessee, not just specific species in the genus.

This is not true.

A large number of snakes that are indigenous to N. America probably fall under the TN system but there are a huge number of genera of snakes in the world that would not be considered indigenous: Oligodon, Rhamphiophis, Euprepiophis, Oreocryptophis, Philodryas, Ptyas, Leioheterodon, etc.

I’m in Illinois. For us, permits are required for Western Hognose Snakes, because they are considered native and endangered. Permits are also required to breed and sell any native species, such as bullsnakes.

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