Pittsburgh Councilman Aims To Change Recently Passed Reptile Ordinance

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Pittsburgh Councilman Aims To Change Recently Passed Reptile Ordinance

The ordinance should be more humane with regard to enclosure requirements.

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The city of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania recently passed a reptile ordinance that restricted the possession of alligators and venomous snakes, but a city councilman wants to revisit the ordinance to totally ban the possession of crocodilians and red-eared sliders but wants to lift the regulations with regard to venomous snakes. 

Leucistic alligator


A leucistic alligator.

"The main opposition to the bill as it was originally put forward was that you could own the alligator or the turtle as long as you kept it trapped in a box, which was the main opposition that Humane Action Pittsburgh had with the bill, which I would have to agree. It's an inhumane way to keep an animal,” Councilman Bruce Kraus told the Post Gazette.

According to the Post Gazette, the reptile regulations that were passed at the end of last year required that crocodilians and venomous snakes be kept in a sturdy and secure enclosure that would enable the reptile to move about unimpeded. 


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Kraus voted against the original bill as written saying it was pushed too quickly and he wasn't sure if it met certain requirements. The Post Gazette wrote that neither Kraus nor Natalie Ahwesh, Humane Action Pittsburgh’s vice president, had any idea as to why the venomous snake regulations would be removed. This would apparently allow the keeping of venomous snakes in the city.  

Violators of the current law would face $300 fine per reptile for the first offense and $1,000 per reptile for additional offenses. The city passed the law due to a spate of loose alligators around the city.