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ALERT: Robeson County, NC

Robeson County, North Carolina has proposed a ban on certain reptiles and “wild and dangerous animals.” Local residents should engage. A county law would apply to all unincorporated areas (those living outside of city limits) of Robeson County. The definition will include some reptiles, including those already regulated under state law.

The Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing on this ordinance on Monday, November 1. If passed, failure to remove the animals within 24 hours will be a Class 1 misdemeanor with a $500 fine for each violation. Failure to remove animals in 48 hours will allow for seizure and/or euthanization.

The current state law is North Carolina General Statute, Chapter 14, Article 55. Titled “Regulation of Certain Reptiles,” (or just “Article 55”), it can be found at

Bans do not protect the public nor serve the public interest! Sound, rational, common-sense policy that fits reality is what the people deserve. Remember that lawmakers must be educated on reptiles, reptile keeping, and the current state law! Realize that they know very little (if anything) about these subjects.

Who to contact

Email list:,,,,,,,,,,,,

You can find phone numbers at names at this link. Scroll down to find the Commissioners and their districts:

Be sure to find your district’s Commissioner, contact him/her directly, and let him know that you live in his district. Find a District map at

Contact the Board members! Please call, email, and set in-office or virtual (i.e. Zoom) meetings, if possible!

  • Remember that you MUST be professional and civil at all times.
  • Please edit/personalize your letters.
  • Please supply North Carolina addresses when completing the forms!
  • Robeson County residents’ voices and opposition are needed!
  • In-person meetings and phone calls will have the most impact.
  • Always remember that lawmakers are public servants. They are there to listen to you and there is no reason to be intimidated or fearful of meeting with them.

Talking Points for calls, letters, and communications.
These can be used to customize calls/letters.

  1. North Carolina has a comprehensive law regarding certain reptiles, including venomous species. That law is General Statute, Chapter 14, Article 55 titled “Regulation of Certain Reptiles,” and it remains an effective basis for the punishment of irresponsible keepers, and the protection of North Carolina residents.
  2. The current state law did not fail! It only fails if the violator is not charged.
  3. Article 55 regarding certain reptile species is a common-sense and rational law.
  4. A knee-jerk response in legislative action that ignores current law is inappropriate, while unjustly abolishing the right of stakeholders to engage in the legislative process.
  5. A ban on reptile keeping would rip away conservation and breeding programs from responsible reptile keepers.
  6. Robeson County needs to consider a common-sense approach by working with stakeholders and not an overreaching, knee-jerk ban lacking forethought.
  7. Robeson County Commissioners must be properly educated on this matter, and those responsible stakeholders who will be affected, rather than getting caught up in the sensationalism and limelight of an incident.
  8. There are logical alternatives to bans. Lawmakers must not turn a blind eye to doing what is right by their constituents.
  9. Rather than solving any issues, bans create new problems including incentivizing criminals through an underground, black market and the fear-driven release of non-native animals.
  10. Laws that effectively create collective punishment are bad governance. Such approaches are senseless and unjust.

Sample Messaging

subject line: NO to reptile ban

Dear Robeson County Board of Commissioners,

I ask that you do not pass a ban or similarly unjust law regarding certain reptiles. I state this as a Robeson County resident who will be negatively impacted by any rash reaction to recent events.

You must listen to responsible stakeholders rather than practicing collective punishment in response to one bad actor. Current state law, under Chapter 14, Article 55, will serve punishment for the irresponsible snake keeper who violated this law. This clearly proves that the current law works. If Robeson County wants to implement a local law reflecting the state law, local residents and responsible stakeholders should be included in the drafting of this ordinance rather than passing a knee-jerk ban that will actually create many new problems.

As a tax-paying, voting, and responsible Robeson County resident, my rights should not be stripped due to the actions of one person who violated a current law. You cannot justifiably ban such activities from responsible reptile keepers, known as herpetoculturists, who are numerous, widespread, and have remained compliant under the existing state reptile law.

A ban would be a travesty, and unexpected from my state of North Carolina. There is not the rationale nor logic to support a ban. Rather than force injustice upon responsible reptile keepers, ensure that justice is served by punishing the person who broke the existing law. Do what is right by responsible Robeson County residents who responsibly work with these animals. Have a good day.


include YOUR NAME (at least your first name) and “Robeson County resident”