Prohibited animals

Most of the animals that people would keep as pets are perfectly acceptable in Halifax, with a few exceptions. The Halifax animal bylaw [PDF] prohibits the following animals being kept in the Halifax region: 

  • all venomous snakes, reptiles, insects and arachnids
  • seven species of the Boid family:
    • Green anaconda
    • Yellow anaconda
    • Reticulated python
    • African rock python
    • Burmese python
    • Indian python
    • Amethyst python
  • any snake longer than 3.3 meters (from snout to tip of tail)
  • any lizard longer than two meters (from snout to tip of tail)

Exceptions to the bylaw: grandfathered prohibited animals

The Halifax animal bylaw [PDF] contains a “grandfather clause” that allows exempts prohibited animals owned prior to April 1, 2008. In order to be legal in Halifax, these animals must have been microchipped and licensed as a grandfathered prohibited animal before June 30, 2008. You must be able to prove these details. 

The rules for grandfathered prohibited animals are the same as those for other animals, or Animals that are not a dog or a cat. 

What happens if I have a prohibited animal in Halifax? 

If you find one of the animals listed above, call 311 immediately to report an animal at large. 
In Halifax, it is a bylaw violation to: 

  • be the owner of a prohibited animal
  • dispose of any prohibited animal except by releasing the said animal to an Animal Control Officer
  • sell or offer to sell any prohibited animal

The only exceptions to these rules are if one of the following conditions is met: 

  • the owner of the animal is a university, zoo, museum, or other facility for the preservation as specimens of natural history or for scientific purposes
  • the owner has authorization to be the owner of the animal under any statute or regulation of the Parliament or Government of Canada or the Legislature or Government of Nova Scotia.

Animal owners found to be in violation of the bylaw may:

  • be issued a Summary Offense Ticket of $237.50 or more
  • face prosecution in a court of law
  • have their animals taken from them by Animal Services