Nova Scotia By-Laws

Many people are not aware that there are certain restrictions on the types of reptiles and amphibians (and other animals) that can legally be kept as pets in Nova Scotia. It is very important to ensure that you are educated about the by-laws in your area before you bring home a new pet, or before importing one into the province from another location.

Below are links to the exclusion list, prohibited list, and other by-laws for Halifax Regional Municipality and Nova Scotia as a whole.

Captive Wildlife Permit and Import Permit Exclusion List
This is the list of animals that do not require a permit to bring into Nova Scotia or to keep in captivity as a personal pet. Amphibians start on page 4, followed by reptiles on page 5.

Personal Pets Exotic Wildlife Prohibition List
The Director of Wildlife has determined that the following species, groups, and their hybrids may not be kept as personal pets or imported into Nova Scotia for use as personal pets.

Organisms that Do Not Require a Plant Protection Permit to Import
This is the list of insects that can be imported for feeders or pets without a permit.

By-Law A-300 - Halifax Regional Municipality
This by-law is known as the "Animal By-Law" and pertains to respecting animals and responsible pet ownership. Sections 9 and 10 focus on reptiles and the ownership of prohibited species.

PLEASE NOTE:  The sale, purchase, importation, and ownership of all turtles and tortoises is prohibited in Nova Scotia, however, the information regarding that matter is not currently found online. These lists are currently being updated by the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources (DNR).  If you are unsure about any species in particular, please contact your local DNR office for clarification.