Warning: It may be illegal to keep piranhas
It is important to be aware that piranha possession is fully illegal or strictly regulated in many warm states across the United States. Numerous states have bans prohibiting members of the public from owning or importing any fish from the genera Serrasalmus, Pygocentrus, and Pristobrycon, or any fish commonly known as "piranha."
The reason piranhas are prohibited in these states is that if released or escaped into warm local rivers and lakes, they could easily establish breeding populations and reach plague-like densities since there are few native species to compete with them.
Piranhas could have devastating environmental impacts as aggressive predators in non-native waters. Therefore, it is critical that prospective piranha owners carefully check both state and local municipal laws and regulations before acquiring one.
Many counties, cities, and towns also prohibit piranha possession even if legal on a state level. No piranhas should be purchased without thoroughly consulting with all relevant local animal control authorities to ensure possession is fully lawful. Click here for Regulations on piranha ownership in Canada
Piranha bans exist in Florida, California, Texas, New York, Nevada, Hawaii, and several other states, though a permit may sometimes be granted for educational or research purposes. However, piranhas are completely prohibited for private recreational possession in these areas. Potential owners must research regulations thoroughly.
Specific state laws or regulations prohibiting the possession of piranhas may change.
It is always best to check
with your local fish and wildlife department or animal control agency to ensure that you are in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. There may be new local ordinances or restrictions on the possession of piranhas in certain cities or counties.
Are Piranhas Legal in Canada Today?
The infamous piranha conjures images of dangerous waters filled with ravenous fish, leading many to question whether these notorious creatures can legally be kept as pets in Canada. Policies governing private piranha ownership vary across the country depending on federal, provincial, and municipal regulations in place. Read more about the Legality of Piranhas in Canada
Animal Laws by State
State by State List of Statutes - Prohibit Piranha - OPEFE.com