Recommended stocking densities for reptiles kept in a pet retail environment

Background

In line with a decision made by PIJAC Canada’s National Board of Directors, the association was asked to prepare a set of recommended stocking densities for pets kept in a pet retail environment. This document represents the sixth segment of the exercise and refers to reptiles.

The following draft is the result of some extensive research. It is expected that this document will be subject to additional consultation. At this point in its development, the document reflects the expertise identified and selected by the staff of PIJAC Canada. Through our involvement with the International Pet Advisory Council we were able to review pertinent documents referred by other sources around the world, including the State of Colorado’s published Animal Care Facilities guidelines, the European Convention for the Protection of Vertebrate Animals and the Pet Industry Association of Australia National Codes of Practice.

Assumptions

The following assumptions have been taken into account in establishing the recommendations appearing in this document:

  1. Definition of Pet retail environment. “Pet retail environment” means any place or premise used in whole or in part, whether on a permanent or temporary basis, for the purpose of retail sale, trading, bartering, or otherwise transferring pet animals to the public.In addition to the traditional pet shop or wholesaler, pet retail environments shall include the keeping for transfer or the transfer of pet animals at temporary facilities such as flea markets, mobile facilities, department stores, merchandise outlets, discount outlets, pet animal shows conducting a sale, and other types of retail outlets.
  2. “Reptile” means an aquatic or terrestrial reptile and amphibians.
  3. The minimum needs for socialization and exercise (when applicable) are met.
  4. “Housing unit” means any aquarium or other enclosure used to house a reptile but does not include housing in a container while transporting a reptile outside a companion animal establishment.
  5. Notwithstanding the other assumptions, it is understood that while this document specifically refers to stocking densities, it is assumed that all other pertinent animal welfare considerations, as outlined in other PIJAC Canada publications, are being met.
  6. The housing units shall comply with the following:
    a. Height of housing unit must not be less than 10 cm from the top of the head of the tallest reptile to the ceiling of the housing unit, as measured when the reptile is standing and must allow the animal to stretch fully upright.
    b. It is recommended that reptiles from different clutches should be housed in separate enclosures to avoid any possible cross-contamination.

In light of these assumptions, PIJAC Canada recommends the following as suggested cage stocking densities for reptiles kept in a pet retail environment.

Recommended stocking density for reptiles in a pet store environment:

Snout to Vent Length (SVL)Area (cm2)Min Width (cm)Min Height (cm)Max NumberUS Gal
Geckos

Up to 20 cm

800

20

25

1 Adult or 3 Juvenile

5

Skinks

20 to 30 cm

1800

30

20

2 Adult or 10 Juvenile

20

Over 30 cm

2500

30

35

1 Adult

33

Dragons

Up to 35 cm

2100

30

35

1 Adult or 10 Juvenile

25

Monitors

Up to 50 cm

2500

30

35

2 Adult or 10 Juvenile

33

Iguanas

Up to 90 cm

6500

45

60

1 Adult

108

Over 90 cm

10000

90

90

1 Adult

Chameleon

Up to 8 cm

500

20

40

3

8 to 12 cm

900

30

45

1

Over 12 cm

1350

30

60

1

Anoles

Up to 5 cm

800

20

25

8

5

5 to 10 cm

1200

25

30

6

10

Over 10 cm

1200

25

30

3

10

Frogs

* Small(up to 5 cm)

260

12

12

1

Small(up to 5 cm)

800

20

25

2-4

5

Small(up to 5 cm)

1200

25

30

5-8

10

Large(over 5 cm)

1200

25

30

2-4

10

Large(over 5 cm)

1800

30

30

5-6

20

Tortoises

Carapace up to 6 cm

1200

25

30

8

10

Turtles

Carapace up to 10 cm

1800

30

20

3

15

Carapace 10-20 cm

3600

45

30

3

40

Carapace over 20 cm

5400

45

40

3

85

Note: Pijac Canada exotic animal policy pertaining to lizards recommends 2 meter (200 cm) maximum

LengthArea (cm2)Min Width (cm)Min Height (cm)Max NumberUS Gal
Snakes

* Up to 25 cm

250

12

12

1

25 to 45 cm

800

20

25

3

5

45-60 cm

1200

25

30

3

10

60-100 cm

1800

30

30

2

20

100-250 cm

4000

45

45

2

40

Over 250 cm

5000

45

50

1

60

* Juvenile reptiles may be housed individually in smaller temporary holding units.
These individual units may be stored in one temperature controlled enclosure.

** SVL** Snout to Vent Length

Final draft Jan 2011