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Want a pet squirrel or raccoon? City of Vancouver addresses illegal pet bylaw loophole

While the bylaw forbids a number of animals, some escape the list.
The City of Vancouver bylaw prohibits certain domestic, farm, and exotic animals from being kept as pets, but several critters escape the list. Does that make them legal?

You'd be surprised which animals are illegal to own as pets in Vancouver. 

While the City of Vancouver bylaw lists a number of domestic animals as prohibited furry companions, it also notes some specific types of animals that are forbidden to keep as pets. 

While the bylaw forbids canids (coyotes, foxes, jackals), hyenas, crocodilians, ursids (bears), felids (lions, tigers), reptiles, and venomous snakes, a few animals escape the list. 

If by chance a Vancouver local would want to befriend a pet llama, beaver, raccoon, squirrel, otter, crow, or seagull, would that be allowed?

The answer, according to the City, is no– but with one exception. 

The City's Manager of Animal Services, John Gray, tells V.I.A. that the BC Wildlife Act prohibits the ownership of wildlife indigenous to the province. "Their Controlled Alien Species Act regulates the ownership of non-native species in B.C. Per the BC Wildlife Act, all animals on your list, with the exception of llamas, are prohibited as pets," explains Gray. 

He notes that Schedule B of the bylaw, which lists various prohibited animals, was created prior to B.C.'s Controlled Alien Species Act to regulate exotic pet ownership in Vancouver. 

While llamas are not listed in Section 7.2. which names domestic animals prohibited to keep as pets (such as goats and geese), they are considered farm animals and would be restricted under land use and zoning, Gray points out.

Essentially, a Vancouverite can own a llama, just not as a pet. 


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