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Pets That Are Banned Around The World (And Why)

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From Ranker

Are some pets actually banned around the world? Unfortunately, it turns out the answer is yes. Though many exotic animals aren't banned, such as big cats, there are plenty of surprisingly banned pets that most of us probably consider domesticated; pit bulls, for example, are routinely banned with very little evidence to back up the reason for it.

Hawaii has possibly the most stringent animal laws in the world, requiring quarantines for some animals and outright banning many others, such as hamsters, gerbils, and hermit crabs. The list of pets you can't legally own knows no bounds in Hawaii. However, until 2009, Canada had lax animal laws, allowing citizens to have pretty much anything (even hippos were technically legal).

As animal attacks make news headlines, public outcry follows. Sadly, there have been all too many examples of animals that have turned on their owners - often animals that should have never been owned as a pet in the first place. If you're in the market for a pet, check your state and local laws - cities and other municipalities often restrict animals that a state does not.


Pit Bulls

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Pit bulls and their counterparts, like American bull terriers, are banned in many countries throughout the world. Many of these laws were spurred by attacks, leading to public outcry against pit bulls - or dogs that look like pit bulls. However, in some places, those laws may be changing; for example, Montreal passed breed-specific legislation in September 2016 but then overturned the law by December 2017.

Pit bulls were not a public concern until the late '80s. Prior, they had been considered good pets, family dogs, and guard dogs. However, dog fighting came back in the '80s, and with dog fighting came dogs that were bred and taught to be aggressive. Very quickly, many states and communities began passing breed-specific legislation.

Today, Montreal is not the only community that has reconsidered its pit bull ban. However, there is still a lot of breed-specific legislation out there to research before you get a pit bull.


Wolf Dogs

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Laws vary throughout the United States on wolf dog ownership; however, they are completely outlawed in Alaska, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Wyoming. Some states do treat wolf dog mixes as domestic pets just like any other dog, though; if you're curious just exactly what a wolf dog is, they're domesticated canines that have been crossbred with wolves and maintain a large percentage of wolf DNA.


Hedgehogs

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Hedgehogs, as tiny and adorable as they may be, are a surprisingly hot-button legal issue. They're completely illegal in California, Georgia, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, and Washington, DC.

The reasons behind hedgehog bans are similar to bans on other small rodents. They can harm their environment if they become established in the wild, and they can transmit illnesses like foot-and-mouth disease to humans.


Ferrets

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Ferrets are only completely banned in two states - California and Hawaii - but some cities have also banned them (e.g. Dallas, New York City, and Washington, DC).

In California, ferrets are banned due to the risk that they could start a population of wild ferrets. Hawaii bans ferrets because they can carry rabies; this is of particular concern to the Hawaiian government because the state is free of rabies (and would like to keep it that way).


Skunks

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Chances are pretty good that it's illegal to own a skunk in your state - only 17 allow pet skunks (Alabama, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming).

That being said, skunks have been kept as domesticated pets for about 60 years, so they can make good pets in the sense that they like attention and affection. However, a domesticated skunk has to have its scent glands removed as a baby, otherwise it would be spraying all over your house. Skunks are also mischievous creatures, leading skunk owners to have to "skunk-proof" their homes.


Hamsters

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Hamsters and gerbils are outlawed in Hawaii. The Hawaiian government is concerned that hamsters could easily establish themselves as an invasive species in Hawaii, given that hamsters are suited for Hawaii's climate. If hamsters were introduced into the wild, they could have a serious impact on native plants and animals.

Hamsters Hamsters and gerbils are outlawed in Hawaii. The Hawaiian government is concerned that hamsters could easily establish themselves as an invasive species in Hawaii, given that hamsters are suited for Hawaii's climate. If hamsters were introduced into the wild, they could have a serious impact on native plants and animals.


Mini Pigs

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If you follow a mini pig or two on Instagram, you aren't alone - Prissy and Pop have almost 700,000 followers. However, bans on pet pigs are becoming increasingly more common as the mini and micro pig trend continues.

In New York, a senator introduced a bill to legalize pigs under 200 pounds, but nothing came of that legislation. The health department is anti-pet pig, saying that pigs can become aggressive and get rabies. In the meantime, pig owners are often charged with harboring wild animals and forced to give up their pigs.

Though pet pigs may be legal in your state, they may not be legal in your municipality. Most governments recognize pigs as livestock, and most cities do not allow livestock within city limits.


Quaker Parrots

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The Quaker parrot (also known as the monk parakeet) finds itself on the restricted list because it could end up as an invasive species, impacting the population of native animals. Quaker parrots can be found in the wild in New York, Texas, and Florida. In states where owning a Quaker parrot is legal, there are usually some restrictions (e.g. the bird must be banded, its wings must be clipped, or a permit is required).


Snakes

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Though laws on snakes vary from state to state, a few species are completely banned in the US, meaning that the snakes cannot be imported or sold. Burmese pythons and some anacondas make the list. Florida in particular has a problem with pet snakes; pythons wreaked havoc on the Everglades.

Snakes Though laws on snakes vary from state to state, a few species are completely banned in the US, meaning that the snakes cannot be imported or sold. Burmese pythons and some anacondas make the list. Florida in particular has a problem with pet snakes; pythons wreaked havoc on the Everglades.


Hermit Crabs

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The list of animals not allowed in Hawaii is pretty long, but Carribbean hermit crabs are one of the most interesting animals that are prohibited. No reason for the ban is listed but, given Hawaii's strict regulations, it seems likely that it's a preventive measure taken so that Carribbean hermit crabs don't establish themselves as an invasive species.

Hermit Crabs The list of animals not allowed in Hawaii is pretty long, but Carribbean hermit crabs are one of the most interesting animals that are prohibited. No reason for the ban is listed but, given Hawaii's strict regulations, it seems likely that it's a preventive measure taken so that Carribbean hermit crabs don't establish themselves as an invasive species.

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