New Brunswick introduces exotic animal legislation after boys’ deaths

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FREDERICTON — The New Brunswick government is introducing new legislation to regulate the possession and ownership of exotic animals, four years after two young boys were killed by an African rock python.

Four-year-old Noah Barthe and his six-year-old brother, Connor, died after the python escaped its enclosure and fell on top of them while they were sleeping in a family friend’s apartment in Campbellton.

Energy and Resource Development Minister Rick Doucet says the new Exotic Animals Act will strengthen safeguards for public safety, human health, and the health and safety of native species and their habitats.

The province’s Exotic Animal Task Force recommended in 2015 that the government review existing legislation, saying it did not adequately address regulation and enforcement of exotic animals.

Doucet says the definition of exotic animal will include certain fish, wildlife and invertebrates such as scorpions and spiders.

The proposed legislation will regulate the import, possession, sale, public display, propagation, export and release of exotic animals.

A list of exotic animals that do not require a permit will be approved, and animals not included on that list will require a permit through the Department of Energy and Resource Development.

The Canadian Press

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