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Comments Sought For New Texas Snake Regulations

Possible new Texas regulations regarding venomous snakes and constrictor snakes.

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The Texas Parks & Wildlife Commission is accepting public comment through Jan. 24 on its new regulations regarding live non-indigenous venomous snakes and five types of constrictor snakes (the African rock python, the Asiatic rock python, the green anaconda, the reticulated python and the Southern African python).

The commission estimates about half of the estimated 22,180 snake-holding households in Texas own one of the controlled exotic snakes and that half of an estimated 215 reptile-selling pet stores and about 1,000 individual dealers sell such snakes.


As directed by a law enacted last June, the commission has proposed regulations covering permits and permit fees for dealers selling and individuals owning the controlled exotic snakes.

Under the proposal, affected parties would need a commercial permit if they sought to sell any controlled exotic snakes or a recreational permit to own a controlled snake. Dealers would require separate commercial licenses for each permanent place of business where they bought, sold or kept controlled exotic snakes.

Commercial permit holders would also need to maintain daily records of all purchases, sales and transfers of controlled snakes, including name and permit number of persons from whom snakes were obtained or to whom they were sold. These records would need to be kept two years.

Department employees could seize snakes at any time, or hire snake handlers to seize snakes, from people and businesses possessing snakes without the proper permit. The party from whom the snake or snakes are seized would be responsible for costs incurred by the department to seize, remove and dispose of the seized snake.

Individuals convicted of permit violations would not be able to obtain a permit for five years.


The regulations also establish a $20 annual recreational fee and a $60 annual commercial fee.

The proposed regulations also prohibits the release, whether intentionally or not, of the covered snakes into the wild.

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