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Pet Snakes provides easy to understand, practical information and facts to help the new snake owner take care of their animals. At Pet Snakes we want to provide information that will help you enjoy your reptile more than ever.

Massachusetts Exotic Animal Regulations

The following is an excerpt of Massachusetts’ exotic animal regulations. This is not the complete regulation and should not be considered as such. The purpose of providing you, the reader, with this information is to encourage you to contact state authorities in Massachusetts with any further questions you might have. We are unable to provide any legal advice regarding Massachusetts laws (or the laws of any other state). Below the regulations we have included the contact information for the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife who we believe is the agency best suited to assist regarding these regulations. Please note also that the information provided is in good faith and is accurate to the best of our knowledge however we DO NOT guarantee or make claims about the accuracy of the information.

Related Code and Regulations

Code of Massachusetts Regulations (CMR) – 321 CMR 9.01

Pursuant to the authority granted in M.G.L. c. 131, 23, herewith is established a list of species which are exempt from the licensing provisions of M.G.L. c. 131, 23. This list includes wild (i.e., non-domesticated) vertebrate animals which may be imported, sold or possessed without a permit. Note, however, that listing below does not affect other licensing requirements which may be applicable under Federal, State or local laws,including special endangered species and export restrictions of other states.

(1) Purpose. The purpose of 321 CMR 9.01 is to list those species which are exempt from the licensing provisions of M.G.L. c. 131, 23, and which may be imported, possessed, maintained, propagated, bought, sold, exchanged or offered for sale without a license or permit from the Division. Species not listed, or which are expressly listed as “require(s) a permit”, are not exempt from the provisions of M.G.L. c. 131, 23.

(b) Snakes: All venomous snakes require a permit. The following snakes may be kept without a permit:

1. All species of boas and pythons (family Boidae), except those species categorically non-exempt pursuant to 321 CMR 9.01(3), and except the Emerald Tree Boa (Corallus caninus), Green Tree Python (Chondropython spp.), African Rock Python (Python sebae), Reticulated Python (Python reticulatus) and all species of Anaconda (Eunectes spp.), which require a permit.

2. Shield-tailed Snakes, Sunbeam Snakes, and others in the families Uropeltidae and Xenopeltidae.

3. Worm Snakes, Thread Snakes, and others in the families Typhlopidae, Leptotyphlopidae, and Anomalepidae.

4. Snakes of the family Colubridae, as follows:

Asian Rat Snakes (Elaphe spp. and Ptyas spp. and Zaocys spp.)

Bogetophis spp.

Brown and Redbelly Snakes (Storeria spp.)

Diadem Snakes (Spalerosophis spp.)

Garter and Ribbon Snakes (Thamnophis spp.)

Glossy Snakes (Arizona spp.)

Gopher and Pine Snakes (Pituophis spp.)

Green Snakes (Opheodrys spp.)

Ground Snakes (Sonora spp.)

House Snakes (Boaedon [Lamprophis] spp.)

Kingsnakes and Milk Snakes (Lampropeltis spp.)

North American Rat Snakes (Elaphe spp.) except the Black Rat Snake (E.o. obsoleta other than albinistic and leucistic individuals) which requires a permit.

Pseudaspis spp.

Pseustes spp.

Texas Indigo Snake (Drymarchon corais erebennus)

Tropical Rat Snakes (Spilotes spp.)

Water Snakes (Nerodia [Natrix] spp.)

Western Hognose Snake (Heterodon nasicus)


Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife
1 Rabbit Hill Rd, Westborough, MA 01581
Tel: (508) 389-6300
Fax: (508) 389-7890
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