Summary of Law: No person may possess as a “pet” a wild bird, mammal, fish, reptile or amphibian unless the animal was owned prior to June 30, 1995. A wild bird, mammal, fish, reptile or amphibian is defined as any undomesticated animal that is not the product of hybridization with a domestic form and not otherwise contained in the exemption list.
Note: The animals listed within the above regulations are not a complete list of the animals regulated by the state of Massachusetts. The listed animals are merely a sampling. For more information, please contact your district office.
B = Ban on private ownership of exotic animals — non-domesticated felines, wolves, bears, reptiles, non-human primates
B* = Partial ban on private ownership of exotic animals — allows ownership of some exotic animals but precludes ownership of the animals listed
L = Requires the “owner” of the exotic animal to obtain a license or permit or to register the animal with state or local authorities to privately possess the animal (excludes states only requiring import permits)
N = The state does not require the “owner” to obtain a license or permit to possess the animal within the state, but may regulate some aspect thereof (i.e. entry permit, veterinary certificate, etc.)
The Massachusetts reptile law resources below may require you to do some searching on their site. Some of the reptile laws are general or grouped with other animals, like fish, game or mammals. If the following links don’t bring you directly to an informational page, I suggest searching for the term “Reptile” to see if they have a more comprehensive page or PDF.
- Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife Main Site
- Possession, propagation, maintenance, disposition, purchase, exchange, sale or offering for sale of fish, birds, mammals, reptiles or amphibians
- The official amphibian of the Commonwealth
- State Reptiles and Amphibians List
If your links brings you to this site, be sure to search for “Reptiles” in the top right corner. The main page may not display the info.