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Thread: Ontario Laws

  1. #1
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    Ontario Laws

    Hi, can anyone tell me which garter snakes can be kept as pets or bought and sold in Ontario,Canada? Thanks.

  2. #2
    "PM Boots For Custom Title" Odie's Avatar
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    Re: Ontario Laws

    Hi, from Oregon, Panzer13
    ammmm, not me but someone soon will

  3. #3
    Old and wise snake charles parenteau's Avatar
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    Re: Ontario Laws

    Law are not the same from one province to another you should ask to your local autority...Here in Quebec I can keep eastern garter but its illegal to sell them...the only local species we can keep in captivity.

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    Re: Ontario Laws

    Interesting ^^^. I'll assume those T.s. sirtalis (eastern garters) can be found in the wild in Quebec?

    Friggen state laws are messed up around my parts. If I were to follow the letter of the law, it would be illegal for me to keep any garter snake that can be found in the wild within this state borders. (that rules out T.s. concinnus, T. ordinoides, fitchii, and perhaps a few others) Amy (T. radix) is safe in this regard, but still. Good thing that enforcement isn't concerned about garter snakes. Oh no, they have "bigger fish to fry", and believe me, my state wildlife enforcement is concentrated on fish and big game. They don't seem to give a damn about anything else, to my relief.

    There was that one time they took my Rubber Boa (Charina bottae) but I'm OK with that. She was difficult to keep properly anyway. I'm happy to report that she was given a clean bill of health and returned to the wild where she belonged anyway.

  5. #5
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    Re: Ontario Laws

    Thanks everyone. It looks to me like I can and catch keep eastern garters but I can't sell them. More research to do. Any and all info is much appreciated.

  6. #6
    Old and wise snake charles parenteau's Avatar
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    Re: Ontario Laws

    NIce man here in Quebec we have thamnophis sitalis sirtalis and one hour trip from my home I can find Maritime garter snake and intergrade between both species...

  7. #7
    "Preparing For Second shed" Pinky's Avatar
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    Re: Ontario Laws

    As far as I was told you have to apply for a license to keep ANY animal native to Ontario. I'd definitely check with your local laws though. Non native garters might be okay since I saw some for sale a reptile shop a few months ago.
    Marc & Marie

  8. #8
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    Re: Ontario Laws

    Species native to Ontario are regulated under the Endangered Species Act, 2007 and the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1997. A licence is required to keep native species that have been designated as specially protected or game: most native reptile and amphibians are specially protected; bullfrogs and snapping turtles are game. Such licences are not usually easy to come by.
    The exceptions to the above: common garter, ribbon, brown, red-bellied and ringneck snakes; newts; mudpuppies; green, leopard, mink, pickerel and wood frogs; chorus frogs and spring peepers. However, frogs are regulated as bait, and a small game hunting licence would be required to collect even the unprotected species.


    Looks like any kind of Garter is good to go in Ontario without a license. I think its kind of funny that you need a fishing license to trap a snapping turtle and you can only have five living snapping turtles. I dont know where you would put any more than five big snappers lol.

  9. #9
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    Re: Ontario Laws

    "good to go" ? does that cover importation, or just collection/keeping native garters? What about commercial sale in pet stores? Also depends on what location you intend to collect from. Private property? National Park? What about written law as opposed to enforced law? You see, it can get quite complicated.

    I would suggest that the OP shoot an email to the local game/wildlife authority and detail exactly what it is that he intends to do. For example: collect a few garter snakes from [public, or not public] land, and keep them as pets.

    I wrote that email to law enforcement and was not surprised to find out that it's illegal to collect without an educational or research license, garter snakes (or any native wildlife) found in Washington State, USA. Also not surprised to learn that sale of any Thamnophis species (eastern ribbon snakes are an exception) is illegal in my state. I was also not surprised that the law is almost never enforced when it comes to garter snakes. However the law allows a person to kill (but not collect for pets) garter snakes on private property, since they are not endangered. Killing is legal, collection for keeping (no profiting) is not.

    I can kill as many garters as I want, on private property. If I want to catch it and keep it, it is illegal.(although enforcement is practically non-existent and only complaint or neglect-driven). Go figure.

    In the interest of resolving the OP's question, I suggest he/she contact the local authority and detail the intention behind the question. The email address is: Wildlife.Ontario@ec.gc.ca

    It's a good question. The answer should always be considered BEFORE obtaining animals and the answer should come directly from those who are responsible for enforcing the laws.
    Last edited by ConcinusMan; 03-01-2010 at 05:20 PM.

  10. #10
    Old and wise snake charles parenteau's Avatar
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    Re: Ontario Laws

    Tanks for sharing infos!!

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