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Updated Rules Governing Live Wildlife In Arizona Now In Effect


January 1, 2016

The Arizona Game and Fish Department, as part of its regular five-year review rulemaking process, has updated its Article 4 (Live Wildlife) rules. The new provisions became effective Dec. 5. The updated rules were recently approved by the Governor’s Regulatory Review Council. The new provisions include some notable changes including the following:

Removal of hedgehogs from the restricted live wildlife list to allow them as pets,

Prohibitions on possession of any non-human primate species (including orangutans, chimpanzees, gorillas, macaques and spider monkeys) by private individuals without a special license, in an effort to protect public health and safety,

Prohibiting a person from allowing native desert tortoises to reproduce in captivity in an effort to reduce the number of unwanted captive desert tortoises,

Improved consistency between federal and state rules, for example, listing all birds under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act as restricted live wildlife,

Inclusion of red shiner, certain species of tilapia, paddlefish, sturgeon, Chinese mystery snail, and false dark mussel as restricted live wildlife as all are non-native to Arizona and pose significant threat to native species,

Clarification of definitions and language, consolidation of some rules, and updating of references.

For more detailed information on the Article 4 changes, visit


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