17th Apr, 2015

Law Prohibits Most Exotic/Wildlife Pets on Colorado Ranches

Law Prohibits Most Exotic/Wildlife Pets on Colorado Ranches

Be forewarned. It is often illegal to raise wildlife or exotic animals on Colorado ranches. Abandoned or ailing species – such as raccoons, baby elk, and deer – must stay in the wild. Unlike Texas, where exotic animals are raised on hunting ranches, Colorado’s laws prohibit most wildlife and exotic animals and require licenses for others.  On the other hand, it is permissible to own a long list of domestic animals, including, of course, horses.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife department weighs in on the subject in great detail. Native wildlife species are potentially dangerous. They can also spread diseases to domestic animals and people. Imported and exotic species are regulated primarily to prevent the spread of disease but also to protect the animals from cruelty.  However, some animals are considered Unregulated Wildlife and may be owned, imported, and sold without a license.

All wildlife belongs to the state of Colorado and the citizens. For this reason it is not appropriate to adopt wild animals from the forest or even animals that have been stranded in a neighborhood.

Domestic Animals Allowed on Colorado Ranches

If Colorado landowners agree to regulations from the state agriculture and health departments, then they may keep domestic animals on their ranches. Some of these are also found in pet shops. The list of animals includes alpaca, ass, donkey, bison, camel, cats, cattle, chickens, chinchilla, dogs, ducks, emu, European ferrets, guinea fowl, geese, gerbils, goats, hamsters, horses, long, mice, mink, ostrich, peafowl, guinea pig, pigeons, European rabbits, rats, rhea, reindeer, sheep, swine, turkeys, and yak.

Exotic Wildlife Raised for Commercial Purposes

In Colorado, the law is very specific about which animals are allowed and others that require licenses. Non-mammals and mammals in the Unregulated Wildlife category may be kept if the owners comply with other federal, state, and local laws “dealing with importation, disease, and other issues.” The non-mammal species are generally those found in that shops. They range from birds and fish, frogs and snakes to turtles and lizards.

Legal mammals surprisingly include elk and fallow deer. These are classified as alternative livestock and are licensed by the Department of Agriculture. Additional species include the red kangaroo, African pygmy hedgehog, short-tailed possum, sugar gliders, wallaroo, and the Bennett, swamp, and Dama wallaby.

Denver Colorado Real Estate Agents

For more information about Colorado ranches along the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, please call Michael Paul of Realty Oasis in Denver, Colorado at 303-814-9546.

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