Laws for breeding, selling and owning exotic pets changes every year. While most states have state laws that govern housing exotic animals as pets, there may also be local, city, and county laws that also apply. Laws are also subject to change. Here's how to find out if sugar gliders are legal in your state-
Call the appropriate government agencies in person. Using the Internet for research is a good place to start, but for current and complete information on the status of your chosen species, check with the proper agencies.
Start with your local government. Call city hall or your town or county office, and ask if there are any relevant laws against your pet.
Your local officials may be able to tell you the status of your pet locally as well as state, province, or country wide status.
If there are no local laws, and local officials are not sure about the status on a wider scale, they may be able to direct you to the appropriate agency to check with. Before going to the state/province/country, check with your local health department, as sometimes regulations fall under their jurisdiction.
Check with state/provincial agencies. Hopefully the local officials could tell you which agency has jurisdiction, but it may fall under agriculture, fish and game, natural resources, wildlife, health, etc.
If you are in the US, check with the US Department of Agriculture, as many exotic species require USDA permits for possession and/or breeding.
Keep calling until you find the right agency/person who can give you a definitive answer. Sometimes permits are required for legal species, so make sure you find out if there are any special permits or licenses required.
Exactly who to call varies from area to area, so you'll need to break out the phone book and start calling. By starting locally, you can often find out who you need to call from higher levels of government.
Your local humane society or other pet related organization, or a veterianarian's office, may be able to help you find out about current laws.
Don't assume that if you see a pet locally, it is legal (even if they are being sold in pet stores).
Ignorance of the law is not a good defense, and if you acquire an illegal pet you may face confiscation of your pet down the road, and possibly even euthanasia of your pet.
Here is the list of states where sugar gliders are ILLEGAL to own:
In all other states, it is LEGAL to own a sugar glider, with exceptions listed below:
- Georgia - must have proof that the glider originated from a source inspected and regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture (any licensed breeder)
- New Mexico - must have an exotic pet permit
- New York - legal except in the five boroughs (Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island)
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Please Note: Exotic Nutrition is not able to provide specific health and care guidelines on an individual basis. Please contact an accredited veterinarian if you have a pet emergency.