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Alaska Department of Fish and Game

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Pets and Livestock
Exotic and Prohibited

Perhaps you are thinking of importing an exotic animal into Alaska as a pet for your kids, or to sell in pet stores. Maybe you’re expecting to bring your own unusual pet with you when you move to this state. Or maybe you think it’s all right to keep a wild animal such as a porcupine as a pet in Alaska. Think again.

Wild Species as Pets? Not Allowed

The native (indigenous) fish and wildlife of Alaska are a public resource. Do not cage or fence in a wild creature and try to make it your pet, even if you think it is a juvenile that has been abandoned. It is illegal for citizens to possess or export native Alaska species as pets. However, some other forms of wildlife or fish possession are allowed with the necessary permit.

Importing Nonnative Species

The Alaska Boards of Game and Fish, seven-member bodies appointed by the Governor, adopt regulations affecting wildlife and fisheries management, including for importing or possessing nonnative mammal, bird, fish, or reptile species as pets or livestock. All mammal, bird, and reptile species that have been specifically approved for entry or possession in Alaska appear on the “Clean List” (Alaska regulation 5 AAC 92.029). If a particular mammal, bird, or reptile species does not appear on this list, it may not be possessed as a pet or livestock in Alaska, and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game cannot issue a permit allowing its importation or possession. The Alaska Board of Fish has no similar “clean list” but limits entry and possession only to ornamental species and goldfish. Be aware that Federal laws prohibit interstate transport of certain species.

Who to Contact

For questions on transport or possession of mammals, birds, or reptiles, contact the department’s Wildlife Permits Section at (phone 907 465-4148). Information on importing fish, shellfish or amphibians is found under Transport & Possession Permits. If you have questions about importing species of fish, crustaceans, or mollusks that has been identified as invasive species elsewhere in the United States, or you think might pose a potential risk of harm to Alaska’s aquatic ecosystems, please contact ADF&G’s Invasive Species Coordinator.