Legislature considers microchipping snakes

A Georgia senator is proposing a law requiring owners of certain reptiles to obtain a wild animal license and to microchip the animals.

Senate Bill 303, proposed by Republican Sen. John Douglas, would amend the Section 27-5-5 of the Georgia state code relating to wild animals that require permits. Animals that fall under that section of the code are “considered to be inherently dangerous to human beings.”

The United States Association of Reptile Keepers (USARK), a reptile industry advocacy group, is opposed to the bill.

“The bill … would require a cost prohibitive permit system and micro chipping provision that could put reptile farmers out of business and take away the ability of people to own animals that are currently legal to own in Georgia,” the group said in a news release. “Penalties for violations of the statute could bring fines of up to $1000 and a year in jail.”

Under the proposed measure, owners of the following reptiles to obtain permits and microchips:

  • Indian or Burmese python
  • reticulated python
  • African rock python
  • Amethystine or scrub python
  • green anaconda

These snakes would join a long list of restricted wild animals including baboons, bears, snow leopards, rhinoceroses and alligators.

The bill will be heard for a second time before the Senate Natural Resources Committee this week.


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