Arlington County Board to Hold June Public Hearing on Exotic Pets

Published on March 18, 2017

  • Votes to re-advertise possible changes to County Code

  • Public feedback prompted additional proposed changes

The County Board agreed today to hold a public hearing in June on a proposed ordinance that would ban wild or exotic pets within the County boundaries.

The Board voted 5-0  for a new hearing after County staff received several comments, many from individuals and organizations outside Arlington, during an initial public process.

"This issue has stirred a great deal of public interest and valuable comments. Staff has incorporated enough changes into the proposed ordinance that it needs to be re-advertised and we need to give people an additional chance to provide feedback," County Board Chair Jay Fisette said.

To read the staff report and the staff presentation, visit the County website. Scroll down to Item No. 23 on the agenda for the Saturday, March 18 Board Meeting.


Arlington's County Code does not currently expressly prohibit exotic animals, except poisonous reptiles, to be kept as pets or companion animals. Neither does Virginia Code expressly prohibit ownership of exotic animals as pets. A local ban would enable Arlington Animal Control officers to enforce the law, rather than having to defer to state enforcers — which can cause enforcement delays.