Ownership laws for Leopard geckos in South Africa

Ownership laws for Leopard geckos in South Africa

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Recently, new legislation regarding the ownership of exotic, including potential invasive, animals has seen the light. Leopard geckos are not naturally found in South Africa and are considered 'exotic' or 'alien'. Although they are not listed invasive, government is attempting to control the numbers of Leopard geckos in South Africa by means of permits.

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Recently, new legislation regarding the ownership of exotic, including potential invasive, animals has seen the light. Leopard geckos are not naturally found in South Africa and are considered ‘exotic’ or ‘alien’. Although they are not listed invasive, the government is attempting to control the numbers of Leopard geckos in South Africa by means of permits.

Keeping permits for Leopard geckos in South Africa

In South Africa, non-invasive ‘exotic’ animals, including Leopard geckos, are regulated differently in each of our nine provinces. Some provinces require permits for owning a Leopard gecko.

For all practical purposes, Leopard geckos are allowed to be kept without a permit in the Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. Keeping permits are required in Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, Western Cape and North West provinces. The legislation is unclear about Limpopo province.

In most cases, permit application forms need to be accompanied by a risk assessment for the species in question. Permit applications are done through the Department of Environmental Affairs in the respective province.

References

  • Alien reptiles and amphibians in South Africa: Towards a pragmatic management strategy, 2008. Nicola J. van Wilgen, David M. Richardson and Ernst H.W. Baard.