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Axolotls are illegal in California - here are the relevant laws

This is a discussion on Axolotls are illegal in California - here are the relevant laws within the Laws/Legality and Ethics forums, part of the Herpetological Science & Politics category; Legally then it's a Federal issue I believe....

Laws/Legality and Ethics Discussion of the laws affecting herpetology around the world. Species legalities in different jurisdictions, import/export of animals, the legalities of species collection and the ethical considerations of all of the above.

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Old 20th January 2010   #21 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotls are illegal in California - here are the relevant laws

Legally then it's a Federal issue I believe.
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Old 3rd May 2010   #22 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotls are illegal in California - here are the relevant laws

Quote:
Originally Posted by pete View Post
Just for clarity purposes. Ambystoma were ultimately banned as a result of fishermen releasing their bait in the state. Not from pet owners abandoning their pets.
Great point! Honestly, I've heard of lot's of misinformed people who dump their goldfish in the river. And goldfish, being a type of carp, are enormously invasive, but not illegal. They basically survive in all temperature, ph, and salinity ranges that permit life!

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Not until they ban the whole family. For now only the genus Ambystoma is banned. Maybe it's coming though. If it happens, perhaps I'll give up exotics and take up a traditional pet like a cat, which has no environmental impact on native species when they're released....
Ahh, cats having no environmental impact!? Every day these days I see birds in my neighborhood picked off by cats. And usually they're left to rot and gather flies. Not even eaten.

It seems incredibly ambiguous as to what is banned by this law. I'm also curious about the mention of permits. I wonder if this is a wholesale ban, or a more reasonable limitation where someone of reasonable integrity and knowledge can apply for a permit, then import axolotls? This would make so much more sense, as permit holders would be required to educate themselves, and would be held accountable for their practices.

I'll look this up in the rest of the code, and possibly speak to someone in DFG and post back here if in fact there are such things as axolotl permits.
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Old 4th May 2010   #23 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotls are illegal in California - here are the relevant laws

So I read into the matter, and it appears you can get a permit to keep a restricted species in California, granted that you keep it humanely, and keep it contained (supervised via inspections or a vet's signature), and pay the $50 application fee.

But because axolotls are on the even tighter "detrimental" species list, you could only get a permit to keep one if you've had it legally since before January 1992 and you pay the $426 fee. So for those with 18 year old axolotls and gobs of money, you can keep them in California.
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Old 5th May 2010   #24 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotls are illegal in California - here are the relevant laws

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Ahh, cats having no environmental impact!? Every day these days I see birds in my neighborhood picked off by cats. And usually they're left to rot and gather flies. Not even eaten.
I just saw this post and wanted to clarify that the "winking-smiley" after my "cat" statement was to indicate the irony. Of course feral cats can have a tremendous effect on local rodent and bird populations. They'll even kill the endangered ones. No one will ever try to ban cats and that's the irony. Good luck with your search.
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Old 5th May 2010   #25 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotls are illegal in California - here are the relevant laws

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Originally Posted by pete View Post
I just saw this post and wanted to clarify that the "winking-smiley" after my "cat" statement was to indicate the irony. Of course feral cats can have a tremendous effect on local rodent and bird populations. They'll even kill the endangered ones. No one will ever try to ban cats and that's the irony. Good luck with your search.
Yep, I got the winking-smiley. I was just vehemently agreeing with you, and throwing in my own personal experiences.

People keep lots of environmentally "detrimental" pets (cats, goldfish, bunnies that could hybridize with the indigenous jack-rabbits, etc.) but those pets aren't banned or even reasonably restricted sometimes. It's too bad.
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Old 2nd October 2010   #26 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotls are illegal in California - here are the relevant laws

Here in Australia, axolotls are as common as muck. I just bought mine, and have already got the attention of not one, but two axolotl owners down the street.

In reply to Swayman, I disagree with those saying euthanasia. Regardless of what the law says, I'd rather do what's moral. Get a permit if you can, but they are an endangered species in the wild, and I guess the survival of this species is in the hands of captive owners/breeders and those willing to preserve their natural habitat. Killing them off seems just wrong .
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Old 11th April 2011   #27 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotls are illegal in California - here are the relevant laws

I agree that killing them off is wrong. I would suggest finding someone out of the state to take the babies off your hands. Consider driving them out if you are worried about getting caught shipping them.

As for the adults, that is a harder choice, because I imagine that you've built up a bond with them. At that point, it is up to you, but keep in mind that, if you are caught with them, they will most likely be euthanized. And, since you admitted to having them on a public forum, you may have already made yourself a target.
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Old 12th April 2011   #28 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotls are illegal in California - here are the relevant laws

It'd be interesting to see what the court precedents are. Here, the wildlife law SAYS that scientific names take precedence, but the courts have consistently ruled that BOTH names must apply. If the California courts ruled similarly, then the most likely result would be that ONLY those Ambystoma which are normally called "tiger" would be prohibited, and at worst they might expand it to include the entire subgenus [ie, all the Mexican and western species apart from A.gracile and the A.macrodactylum complex].

For example, the law here prohibits the sale of the following:
Thamnophis sirtalis red-sided garter snake
Thamnophis elegans wandering garter snake

For both of these, the common name ONLY refers to a portion of the taxon [the native portion] and not the taxon as a whole. The result is that the non-native subspecies CAN be sold. A further consequence is that regulations on the exotic species have to be looked at more closely - Notophthalmus viridescens red-spotted newt is prohibited, but by this precedent, that can ONLY refer to N.v.viridescens, as only that subspecies has that common name. There are several other such examples, although there is at least one where the situation is reversed: The native Ambystoma macrodactylum krausei is only referenced to the species level in both names, rendering all subspecies potentially protected [even though non-native taxa are unprotected]. I'll have to go back and do another reading, because I know there are a couple examples of wording which have the effect of completely changing status for some animals.

I would note that the likely reason the Alberta courts have ruled in this way is because the two names are not in conflict - one is simply a more specific example of the other. In law, that has the effect of acting as an adjective, and the law can ONLY be applied to the full definition. To clarify, if the law says that "tiger salamander" is prohibited, that CANNOT be taken to mean "salamander" is prohibited - only salamanders which are tiger salamanders. The clause must be interpreted in its entirety. It appears to me that the California law falls into this exact situation and would thus be open to a court challenge on that basis. The common name and scientific name are not in conflict, so the scientific name cannot take priority - the law should apply when BOTH names do, and not when only one does.
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Old 12th April 2011   #29 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotls are illegal in California - here are the relevant laws

Drugs and murder are also illegal in california, As well as almost anything else you can imagine. That doesn't seem to be stopping anyone. It would be hard for me to imagine anyone keeping an ambystoma species in california would run out and "euthanize" their pet. By making a big deal about it i would imagine more people are likely to release them into the wild for fear of prosecution. Its kinda like on the show cops: they throw the gun out the window because they don't want to be caught with it. I know there are many responsible owners out there, But this isn't fox news so don't start a panic. By the way, don't let peta hear about the euthanizing part, it is california after all.
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Old 12th April 2011   #30 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotls are illegal in California - here are the relevant laws

Ferrets are also illegal to own in California, but it's estimated that there are thousands of ferret owners there. This forum isn't trying to create panic, we just want people to aware. There won't be any axolotl raids of California homes, but people who have them should not expect to be allowed to sell them, nor to buy them from legitimate online vendors.
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Old 12th April 2011   #31 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotls are illegal in California - here are the relevant laws

That's what I'm saying, in my own sarcastic way. I just wouldn't expect anyone to listen to it from a "noob" like me. (haha). I have much more to learn about caudates, and very little left to learn about human nature. Thanks Jenn for coming out and saying that.
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Old 12th April 2011   #32 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotls are illegal in California - here are the relevant laws

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There won't be any axolotl raids of California homes, but people who have them should not expect to be allowed to sell them, nor to buy them from legitimate online vendors.

Maybe not California but I do know or people in NJ. that had their axolotls confiscated.
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Old 13th November 2013   #33 (permalink)
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Is it illegal to bring them to California for a trip? I have to present a speech on them at Stanford and I don't know if I can bring Stanley..

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Old 13th November 2013   #34 (permalink)
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Does anyone have a link to get a permit? Do you know if I can travel with my axolotl in California? I have a speech event at Stanford on axolotls and i would typically bring him

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