Loudoun County bans kangaroos, scorpions, other exotic animals

Loudoun County’s Board of Supervisors passed a change to the county code prohibiting possession of certain so-called exotic animals including kangaroos, scorpions and baboons

The County says similar bans are already in place in much of the DMV, but not in Loudoun County.

"At the end of the day, we were just trying to make sure Loudoun County is safe, that Loudoun county knows what’s living in Loudoun county so everyone’s aware and can go about their business without the fear of certain animals," said Chris Brosan, Chief Humane Officer of the county.

Specifically, animals that are typically found in the wild are banned: wild cats, crocodiles, raccoons, skunks, marsupials, to name a few.

Most venomous animals are also now disallowed: poisonous snakes, spiders, scorpions are prohibited. 

Brosan said this is about safety for these animal owners, their neighbors and first responders who may have to come to their homes. 

"It’s hard to know what’s here. Certianly we’ve had situations where we’ve had alligators, we’ve had King Cobras. I’ve been in an apartment that had 13 different venomous snakes in an apartment, which is a scary proposition when you think of people living next door probably have no clue what’s living next door to them, and in the event of a fire or any other situation, if these animals get out. Obviously there’s a lot of people at risk," Brosan said.

Those who already have these animals are grandfathered in if they register the animal with the county within 60 days. 

Brosan says this conversation has been ongoing for a long time in Loudoun County, but an escaped alligator that walked onto a winery’s property helped spur this action.

The public was generally in favor of this proposal.

"We don’t have any problems with neighbors. We live in an area with wildlife that includes bears, bobcats, turkeys. I’d like to see them wild and free. I’m just glad it got codified and we have a way to check up on it," said Margit Royal, who submitted a comment.

Other nearby jurisdictions have similar ordinances banning ownership of animals that present a risk to public health and safety, such as Arlington, Fairfax and Washington, D.C. 

The ordinance doesn't impact any licensed or permitted entities such as zoos, exhibitors or rehabilitators.