Winnipeg’s New Proposed Rules for Exotic Pets in Jeopardy

Exotic animal owners campaigning against better protection for animals

The City of Winnipeg is conducting a review of their Responsible Pet Ownership (RPO) Bylaw and has proposed a number of ideas for improving and modernizing it. If adopted, those ideas would make Winnipeg a national leader in the protection of companion, exotic and wild animals.

Since the ideas were proposed, exotic pet keepers have launched a major campaign against them.

New protections for exotic pets

Included in the proposed ideas is a new list of allowable animals to replace the current prohibited exotic animals list. Right now, thousands of animal species can be kept without any kind of assessment or review to determine whether or not they are suitable or safe for keeping as pets. That doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Allowable animal lists contain animals that have been reviewed to ensure they meet certain criteria, such as being able to be kept easily and humanely and that they don’t pose a threat to human health and safety, local environments or native wildlife. Animals proposed for allowable lists have to satisfy the required criteria or they don’t get added. It’s a simple, fair, effective way of regulating exotic animals.

Allowable lists are a tried, proven and scientific method of regulating and protecting exotic animals. Many municipalities in Canada and dozens of other jurisdictions around the world already use them.

Allowable lists are precautionary and mitigate or eliminate animal welfare and other problems before they surface, as well as protecting both people and animals. They are also easier to understand, more scientific and objective, efficient to enforce and save taxpayer dollars.

Since the ideas were proposed, exotic pet keepers have launched a major campaign against them, even though their own animals would be grandfathered and new animals that satisfy the criteria could be added.

Please take a moment to add your voice in support of Winnipeg’s progressive proposals regarding exotic animals. Send a short email saying you support the Allowable List concept, greater controls over the keeping of exotic animals and that you look forward to it being passed.

YOU ARE IMPORTANT: Please don’t think your one letter or email won’t make a difference. We can tell you with 100% certainty that your communication (even if it’s just one sentence) will make a difference. In fact, it is critical to this effort.


You can also let Winnipeg’s Mayor and Members of Council know that you support the proposed changes to the Responsible Pet Ownership (RPO) Bylaw. Send an email to the Mayor and Members of Council through their own feedback forms on the City of Winnipeg website.