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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69259
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Is it legal to keep pythons as pets in any circumstances? I

Customer Question

Is it legal to keep pythons as pets in any circumstances? I know of someone who has two pythons and a 2 year old child in a small house the rent for which is paid by the DWP and which has a 'no pets' clause in the lease.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

How can Ihelp you with this please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Jo

What further information do you need?


Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

Its quite unlikely that the DWP would act against them on the basis of a 'no pets' policy. Generally speaking their interest is in pets that cause damage. However much a python is not what most people would consider to be a companion animal, they are not going to scratch work surfaces or soil carpets.

Any person in the UK is free to buy and keep a python. Snakes that are either still venomous or constricting do require licences and they are upon the Dangerous Wild Animals Act or Exotic Animals Act.

Strangely enough, even Royal Pythons do not offend.

They do have to be kept in appropriate conditions suitable to their normal environment in accordance with the Animal Welfare Act.

In terms of the proximity to a child, social services may or may not be interested. Some social workers seem to take the view that all dogs are dangerous and uncontrollable but living with drug addicted parents is perfectly normal so its anybody's guess really. I think that probably a reasonable social worker would think this is a concern if the Python is literally moving around next to the child rather than kept in a vivarium and any contact is supervised and may need to do some research upon the point.

Pythons are not venomous snakes and not generally considered dangerous to humans although large adult pythons have been known to inflict injuries upon humans. Its a very low risk though that I suspect people consider is negligible but I do see the point that they are animal that is not capable of domestication.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69259
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
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Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for the positive rating and remember that I am always available to help with your questions. For future information, please start your question with ‘FOR JO C’. You can also bookmark my profile

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