Loudoun Co. considering ban on exotic, venomous animals

If you’re looking to own certain venomous animals or an exotic pet in Loudoun County, Virginia, you may have to reconsider.

The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors will consider banning the private ownership of certain types of exotic and venomous animals, such as wolf hybrids, kangaroos, scorpions, baboons, venomous snakes and other venomous reptiles, and non-native venomous spiders.

The proposed ordinance also prohibits the breeding of such animals.

The matter is set for the board’s meeting on Tuesday.

At that meeting, the board will also be discussing whether or not to let current owners of these animals to keep them through a process the county would establish to ensure first responders and others are aware of the animals in the event of an emergency.

Similar exotic and venomous pet ordinances are already in place in the town of Leesburg, Arlington and Fairfax in Virginia, as well as in D.C. and some areas of Maryland.

Virginia law already restricts private ownership of many other wild and exotic animals, such as big cats and bears.

The proposed ordinance would only impact private owners of these animals and would not impact zoos, exhibitors or rehabilitators that are licensed or permitted through the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources or other state or federal agencies to house restricted species.

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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