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Axolotl Legal States [Updated November 2022]

Axolotl Legal States [Updated November 2022]

Axolotls, also known as Mexican walking fish, are aquatic salamanders. They have become a popular pet in the United States in the past few years.

Which States Is It Legal To Own An Axolotl?

In three states and the District of Columbia, it is illegal to own an axolotl. California and Maine both make axolotls illegal because they are considered “detrimental animals” that pose a threat to native salamander species in the states. Similarly, New Jersey banned axolotls in order to prevent the chance of it breeding with the native Tiger Salamander.

Hawaii and New Mexico both allow axolotls to be owned as pets after obtaining the proper permits. All other states allow axolotls to be owned with no permits. It is important to remember, however, that cities and counties may have their own regulations regarding owning axolotls.

Do Axolotl Make Good Pets?

Axolotls make interesting pets. They are salamanders that spend most of their time in the water. They can live up to 15 years, with an average lifespan of about 10 years. It is important to understand the needs of axolotls before bringing one home.

Axolotls need a tank of at least 29 gallons per axolotl. However, the best thing for the axolotl is to have the largest tank there is space for. Keeping the water level a few inches below the top of the tank will help to stop the axolotl from jumping out of the tank. Water should be kept at 60-68 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent stress or slow metabolism. Tanks should also have plants and decorations in the tank to keep the axolotl comfortable and entertained.

Axolotls are fairly easy to feed. Earthworms and nightcrawlers provide proper nutrition for the axolotl. Owners can also give axolotl pellets and treats like frozen bloodworms.

Because axolotls have sensitive eyes, they need to be in a low-light environment. They spend much of their time sitting around their tank or walking along its bottom. They can’t be handled or removed from the water, which makes them less ideal than some more interactive pets.

Breeding Axolotls

For those looking to breed pet axolotls, it is paramount to know the laws surrounding your breeding and selling business. For example, in most states, it can easily be considered a "hobby" rather than a business if it is done locally and sales are extremely uncommon. However, if you are looking at turning a profit and using the money as one of the sources for your livelihood or investment, income must be reported to the IRS. A proper business needs to be federally registered to be regulated and avoid fines and charges of tax evasion or illegal trading. Some considerations for potential axolotl breeders prior to setting up a business are:

  • Certain states, such as Pennsylvania, require more than just a registered business to buy and sell animals. In addition to your tax number, you will need a breeder permit and a sales permit.
  • Federal income tax will need to be collected, so you will need a sales tax number. Prior to doing this, research the rules and regulations of your state and county.
  • The specific business you will be setting up is an "amphibian selling business". Make sure you are looking up the proper regulations in regards to this keyword as it will make a difference in case of an audit or granting of a permit.

Axolotl Legal States [Updated November 2022]


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Axolotl Legal States [Updated November 2022]