Bearded dragon legislation

Bearded Dragon Legislation in South Africa
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Credits: Image from alldigi.com

The legislation, or the laws surrounding the keeping of these lizards, have not changed drastically over the last few years. The main questions I get asked often surrounds the keeping of Bearded dragons in specific provinces, i.e. the necessity of having a permit and importing Bearded dragons into South Africa.

The legislation surrounding Bearded dragons are the same for any exotic (i.e. those that are not naturally found in South Africa) animal species. This probably includes birds, fish etc. As of the late 1980’s it is illegal to own any exotic reptile species that was not imported into the country by that time. Bearded dragons are one of those. They’ve been in the country before the prohibition of exotic importation of exotic species and are thus legal in South Africa.

I am not aware of any permit system incorporated in South Africa.

How do I import Bearded dragons into South Africa?

The legal importation of new Bearded dragons into South Africa is a different story. You will probably find no permits to do so making it, strictly speaking, illegal.

Is it legal to keep a Bearded dragon in my area?

Although Bearded dragons are a legal species in South Africa, they are illegal to keep in the Western Cape due to the strict protection on their fragile fauna and flora. The escape of one or two Bearded dragons into this highly evolved environment probably will put a lot of strain and danger on plants and other animal species.

I am not aware of any restrictions from other provinces.

If you know anything more on Bearded dragon legislation, please comment below.

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About the author
Renier has a keen interest in the welfare of pet reptiles. He has been keeping and treating Leopard geckos for many years and has written various forms of literature on them and other fascinating reptiles.

Renier Delport is also the author of The Advanced Bearded Dragon Manual and other Bearded dragon related eBooks.