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USA State Specific Issues Issues that are specific to a particular state, or subregion within a state, should be appended to the existing relevant thread. NEW threads cannot be created in this forum.

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Old 07-08-2003, 01:38 PM   #1
Virginia state law issues

I've been trying to find current info on herp regs in Virginia.

Specifically interested in regulations pertaining to Eastern Box turtles.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks

Craig Baker
Old 07-23-2003, 09:45 PM   #2
Virginia State Links

State Homepage -

State Legislature -

State Statutes/Code -
Old 07-24-2003, 05:26 PM   #3
legislative link

the link I was given from
for the legislature was
Old 08-24-2003, 03:25 PM   #4
You need to go to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland fisheries web site
Old 11-15-2004, 04:16 PM   #5
Talking Virginia Captive Bred Native Reptiles

Sorry but I couldn't find any information with the links. anyone know what the regulations on captive bred native reptiles in Virginia?

john campbell
Old 03-13-2010, 01:18 PM   #6
I too am trying to find out info. I want to breed corn snakes and the only thing I can find is about WC not CB. And something about housing no more than 5 without a permit and not purchasing anything longer than 16". And the only permits I can find are for petstores.
Old 03-13-2010, 04:01 PM   #7
Well, here's my experience in Fairfax County, for whatever it's worth. At the time of an electrical house fire that gutted our home, I had over 40 assorted snakes. There were many corns, kings and rats (some breeding and/or gravid), ball pythons, GTPs, etc. I also had chameleons, beardies, a savannah monitor, and several frog species. FC animal control was called to the scene by the firefighters because of all the animals. The only reptile they seized was the monitor. The AC officer said these were illegal to possess in Fairfax County BUT it turned out later he was wrong. Savannahs are not in actuality illegal here (or were not at the time) but the statute apparently confuses even the AC officers. As far as the snakes, including several "native" species (all of them CB): AC had no problem whatsoever with me having these. I believe the laws pertain to the capture of wild indigenous species much more than to purchase of CB animals. And my understanding of that is that you can legally capture and keep a non-endangered, harmless species, but you can't sell it nor purchase a captured one from someone else. With particular respect to box turtles, people find and keep them all the time, and while I'm pretty sure this is still legal to do, from an ethical standpoint, why take them from the wild when their population is dwindling? But DO make it your business to read and understand the regulations for yourself; I learned the hard way that AC officers can't be relied upon to always know.
Old 03-17-2010, 08:37 PM   #8

The only reptiles listed are Eastern Kingsnake (L. g. getula) , Mole Kingsnake (L. c. rhombomaculata), and the Corn Snake (Elaphe guttata guttata) .
The only statewide reptile regulations concern natives, brown tree snakes, and crocodilians. Some localities do have other regulations. As mentioned above, the game and inland fisheries website is the real source for information on the state level, that's
I have contacted the department numerous times about a local pet store that used to violate these laws regularly. Have also contacted them with questions, both by phone and email, about keeping native species. At all times they were friendly and informative.
Old 03-17-2010, 08:49 PM   #9
I meant to put some qualifiers in there. The statewide regulations for non native reptiles that I know of right off the bat, and that I saw when glancing over the DGIF site, are about the brown tree snakes and crocodilians.
If you're in doubt always double check the actual regulations. Don't just go by what "some guy at a reptile show" tells you. And, especially, what "some guy posted on the internet" is never gospel !

Old 07-19-2011, 10:28 AM   #10
4VAC15-360-10. Taking aquatic invertebrates, amphibians, reptiles, and nongame fish for private use.

A. Possession limits. Except as otherwise provided for in 29.1-418 of the Code of Virginia, 4VAC15-20-130, subdivision 8 of 4VAC15-320-40 and the sections of this chapter, it shall be lawful to capture and possess live for private use and not for sale no more than five individuals of any single native or naturalized (as defined in 4VAC15-20-50) species of amphibian and reptile and 20 individuals of any single native or naturalized (as defined in 4VAC15-20-50) species of aquatic invertebrate and nongame fish unless specifically listed below:

4. The daily limit for bullfrogs shall be 15 and for snapping turtles shall be 5. Bullfrogs and snapping turtles may not be taken from the banks or waters of designated stocked trout waters.

5. The following species may not be taken in any number for private use: candy darter, eastern hellbender, diamondback terrapin, and spotted turtle.

6. Native amphibians and reptiles, as defined in 4VAC15-20-50, that are captured within the Commonwealth and possessed live for private use and not for sale may be liberated under the following conditions:

a. Period of captivity does not exceed 30 days;

b. Animals must be liberated at the site of capture;

c. Animals must have been housed separately from other wild-caught and domestic animals; and

d. Animals that demonstrate symptoms of disease or illness or that have sustained injury during their captivity may not be released.

The DGIF is now issuing permits to licensed pet stores and captive breeders for them to sell three species of captive-bred snakes (4 VAC 15-360-50): eastern kingsnake, mole kingsnake, and corn snake. No other snakes native to Virginia can be bought or sold in Virginia, and there are size limits as to what can be sold.

If the native snakes allowed for sale by permit were produced in captivity they may be sold at larger than 12"-16".

Check with your county as county ordinances are changing and becoming more stringent and may restrict what you can do more than the state does.

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