Exotic Pet Laws in Louisiana

Because of the significant hazards exotic animals pose to public safety and health, most municipalities in the state of Louisiana have ordinances that ban the ownership of wild or exotic animals as pets.
According to these municipalities, exotic animals have specific needs that are best met in their natural habitat and keeping them as pets is detrimental to their welfare. Nevertheless, a few Louisiana municipalities permit certain exotic animals that aren't prohibited under the state's Administrative Code to be kept as pets.

Two Pygmy marmosets

Exotic Animals Banned Under Louisiana Administrative Code

Under Louisiana Administrative Code Title 76 section 115, 13, the following wild or exotic animals may not be kept as pets in Louisiana: black bears, grizzly bears, polar bears, red wolves, gray wolves, non-human primates, lions, tigers, all leopards, cheetahs, jaguars, mountain lions, and hybrids of any of these prohibited animals.

Wolf-Dog hybrids are not prohibited under Louisiana state law, but local ordinances may prohibit them. Below are exotic animal laws in some Louisiana municipalities.

Jefferson Parish, LA

Jefferson Parish bans all animals that are prohibited under state law and so do other municipalities. In addition to the exotic animals that are prohibited under state law, Jefferson Parish has an ordinance that prohibits other exotic animals from being kept as pets, including crocodiles, bats, venomous snakes, otters, opossums, hybrid wolves, coyotes, hybrid coyotes, chipmunks, kangaroos, raccoons, hawks, eagles, and owls.

However, Jefferson Parish allows certain exotic animals to be kept as pets. Some require a permit while some don't. You will need to obtain a permit from Jefferson Protection and Animal Welfare Services before keeping any of the following exotic animals as a pet in Jefferson Parish: Burmese pythons, reticulated pythons, Gila monsters, wallabies, savannah cats, and African serval cats.

The following exotic animals are legal to keep as pets without a permit in Jefferson Parish, LA: Reptiles (except the prohibited ones), amphibians, rats and mice, Guinea pigs, gerbils, ferrets, rabbits, finches, parakeets, cockatiels, lovebirds and other parrots.

For more information, please see "Legal Exotic Pets in Jefferson Parish."

New Orleans, LA

In New Orleans, LA, it is completely illegal to keep any exotic animal as a pet, as stated by Sec. 18-7 of the City's Code of Ordinances.

Shreveport, LA

In addition to the exotic animals that are banned under Louisiana state law, the City of Shreveport prohibits the ownership of the following exotic animals: African buffalos, hyenas, komodo dragons, poisonous snakes, deer, bobcats, lynxes, crocodilians, all nonhuman primates, wolves, raccoons, skunks, foxes, squirrels, ratite birds, hybrids of wolves and coyotes, jackals, ocelots, and margays.

Shreveport only has a list of prohibited exotic animals, which means that any exotic animal that does not appear under the prohibited list is technically legal to keep as a pet in Shreveport, LA.

Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge Parish, LA

Baton Rouge does not have a list of prohibited exotic animals, nor the ones that are legal to keep as pets. However, it is stated in Baton Rouge's municipality code that it is unlawful for any person to keep a wild or exotic pet in the parish without first obtaining a permit from the director of the animal control and rescue center. Furthermore, the Code states that poisonous snakes are not allowed as pets in the parish and permitting an exotic pet to escape is also prohibited.

Lafayette, LA

An annual permit is required to keep an exotic animal as a pet in Lafayette Parish, Louisiana. To obtain the annual permit will cost you $25, a fee you must be paying each year to renew the permit. However, the animal care center supervisor has been given the authority to deny any resident the permit if such resident fails to demonstrate knowledge and ability to properly care for and handle the exotic animal he or she wishes to own.

If your application for the exotic animal permit is denied, you will receive a written explanation of the denial, which may be appealed to the animal care center advisory board in writing within 10 days of the date you received the written explanation of the denial.

For your application to be approved, you need to present proof of ability to respond to damages and pass an inspection of the premises, equipment and facility where you intend to keep the animal, according to Sec. 10-78 of the Parish Code.

Calcasieu Parish, LA

The Parish of Calcasieu prohibits the ownership of all exotic animals, as Sec. 5-76 of its Code states that "it shall be unlawful to own, keep, possess, maintain, or harbor any exotic/wild animal."

Madison Parish , LA

Madison Parish does not have an exotic pet law. The Parish lists certain exotic animals that are considered Livestock, which include, imported exotic deer, antelopes, buffalos, turtles, donkeys, rabbits, and miniature pigs.

Ascension Parish, LA

Ascension Parish does not have a list of exotic animals a resident may legally own. However, Sec. 5-63 of its Code of Ordinances states that any exotic animal that bites a human shall be euthanized and the head sent to an appropriate facility for rabies testing.

Other municipalities have ordinances that ban, permit, or restrict the ownership of exotic animals as pets. In case your municipality is not listed in this article, be sure to check this list for your local municipal laws.

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