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Old 03-12-03, 10:07 PM   #16 (permalink)
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good luck, if you challange it hope you win. you would probably have to show the benifit to the comunity (money) and how snakes and lizards are not a danger to society (good luck)
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Old 03-12-03, 10:28 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I think it is because of cases like this that we need to educate the public much more so that stupid laws like this are not made. I would still like to know who makes the rules though and who protests the changes to this silly 2ft law... they need a good kick in the "chitther" ("bum" in punjabi)!

Its like telling people that they are only allowed to keep chihuahuas (I probably spelt that wrong) and that keeping anything the size of a collie or a Jack Russel would be illegal and dangerous! lol
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Old 03-13-03, 12:13 AM   #18 (permalink)
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That is <b>SO</b> friggin' stupid! I really hope you find some loop-hole because it would be such a shame to lose your animals over an idiotic law like that.

Let us know if there's ANYTHING we can do....
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Old 03-13-03, 12:20 AM   #19 (permalink)
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you know why this happens FEAR its the 1# fear in women and #3 in a america in a survey of only like 1000 people but still even then it shows that the general public is afraid of snakes
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Old 03-13-03, 02:02 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Yeah that's true. People think that a little constrictor will come and bite then and inject venom in them while they sleep. Frick that law is stupid. I may suggest fighting it. But if that does not work Dino does live in London too I would lay low and tell them that you sold the snakes and maybe keep them at dino's or something and then you could get them back and tell them they need a search warrant if they ever came back. Just try not showing your snakes off in say Hmmm the next 10 years. Or just move somewhere else if you're old enough.hehehe.
I dunno
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Old 03-13-03, 07:04 AM   #21 (permalink)
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You should get a copy of the actual text of the by-law. City hall can send you a copy, but they might ask why. It would be better to go in on your own and photocopy it. Then you will know what your options are regarding exemptions, if there are any, for businesses, farms, etc. Some by-laws have them, others don't.

I've never heard of a 2' limit before, but nothing about reptile by-laws surprises me anymore. There are Ontario municipalities that prohibit all snakes, or all reptiles, or worse. Who makes these by-laws? Our municipal politicians, with consultation from their animal control staff.

For now, I would do nothing. The humane society is not the city. According to the London public library website, the humane society is not responsible for animal by-law enforcement (London Animal Care Centre is). Don't do anything to officially let the city know about your animals, and hope that the humane society leaves it at that. Definitely don't let them back into your house, unless you have hidden your animals (and their enclosures!).

If the city presses the issue, they will should send you something in writing. The odds of them trying to charge you without warning you in writing are slim, unless you have a major incident (i.e. high profile escape). They will send you something saying 'get rid of your snakes or else'. At this point, you will need to decide what course of action to take. The 'or else' usually is a fine, which may be applied on a daily basis until you comply, so make sure you plan ahead and have some place to send your animals quickly if you need to.

Your options, as I see it:
1) Move. Often the easy way out, but not always.
2) Get rid of the offending animals. You can try a temporary arrangement but this may not work. Usually if the city is involved, there has been a complaint from someone nearby, who will probably find out if you get them back.
3) Fight the by-law. This means waiting for them to charge you and take you to court. They may not, if they think it isn't worth it. However, if they do, you could face a costly fight. You can defend yourself, but most people would be doomed without a lawyer. The by-law (at least as it pertains to snakes) does sound quite excessive and I think you would have a decent chance to beat it, but that is just my opinion. It is easy to say this now; harder when the legal bills start to add up.

Since you have already talked to your local politician, I would continue that dialogue (nothing in writing, unless you hear more from the city). See how he or she feels about whether the by-law could be revised. Try to round up some community support (London voters) to convince them that it would be a reasonable thing to do. Don't ask for the moon, just something reasonable and in line with what other municipalities are doing. This is the preferred way to change a by-law, without a court battle! It can be done, but don't think it will be easy...

While writing this, I started doing a search- here is the text of the London animal by-law, effective since 1994:

Overall, the by-law isn't too bad, but the reptiles part (Class 5 animals for non-venomous snakes & lizards, Class 4 for turtles) is pretty restrictive. The 24" rule is terrible, and also the possession limit of 2 applies to all animals (which includes birds and reptiles, but not fish or dogs!).

Please keep me updated with the progress of your situation, and don't hesitate to email me if I can be of further help.

Good luck,

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Old 03-13-03, 07:47 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Yikes! Even my little Rosy is longer than 2 feet. That is completely lame! I say move but good luck with whatever you decide.
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Old 03-13-03, 07:56 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Dont know if this helps, but here is Toronto's bylaw regarding reptiles, where it prohibits:

Crocodylia (such as alligators, crocodiles, gavials)
All snakes which reach an adult length larger than 3 metres
All lizards which reach an adult length larger than 2 metres.
All venomous and poisonous animals.


Also, here is Brampton's bylaw regarding:
No boids
No venomous reptiles
No crocodilians
No arachnids

They do not seem to have a maximum length limit, but by banning all boids, they have automatically set a limit of 7-8 feet.


Just like Jeff H said, perhaps these bylaws would help you show that London's bylaws are too restrictive, I cannot think of many snakes that have an adult length of 2 feet.

Hope this helps.
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Old 03-13-03, 09:55 AM   #24 (permalink)
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I think Toronto has the most sensible law out of the lot.

I would not mind having to get a permit to to keep a crocodilian or a giant snake or even a lizard larger than 2 metres. Getting a permit to keep some of these high maintenance animals would mean that you have to prove that you have knowledge on the animal in question and the ability to keep it in a suitable condition (keep the animal healthy and safe and the people of the house too).
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Old 03-13-03, 10:22 AM   #25 (permalink)
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I just checked the London by-laws online. Unfortunate, but true - 2 ft and max two pets (with a few exceptions) You can download the PDF file online at

London By-Laws

Check under Public Health - Animal Control By-law - PH3 (15 pages)

Some of the animal/pet restrictions in that city are the craziest I've ever read. If it weren't such a serious matter, I'd say it was an April Fools joke for some or the laws they have.
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Old 03-13-03, 12:57 PM   #26 (permalink)
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OK, I live in Hamilton, ON, and I spoke with a city representetive. She told me that under By-Law 84-191 the former city of Hamilton prohibits keeping of any reptiles. The good news is that this By-Law was written in 1984 and Hamilton has since amalgameted into a mega city. This means that all By-Laws will have to go under review. Hopefully when they rewrite the laws, they will make more sense.

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Old 03-13-03, 02:07 PM   #27 (permalink)
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So sorry to hear this Simon. Jeff has some very good advice that hopefully will help you sort this out and decide what to do. Best of luck, it can often be very difficult to make these kinds of changes.

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Old 03-13-03, 02:14 PM   #28 (permalink)
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you should jump on the oppertunatie to get a sensible law B4 they review it. Cause once it is there it is hard to change so if you give your point of view now they may take it into conserdiration you should talkt to grant from P.C.P.C he was helped out in the past with laws and stuff like that so I hear.
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Old 03-13-03, 02:23 PM   #29 (permalink)
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The laws are silly, but I think its a very good lesson to others. Check your local laws before you buy. For your snake and the animal's sake. :P

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Old 03-13-03, 02:47 PM   #30 (permalink)
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hmmm laws really do suck.......
people with a fear of snakes let their fear take over. 2 feet is insane. my god i cant express in words how pissed off stuff like that makes me. i hope you and ur herps get through it. and how did they find out?
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