Updated Feb. 12, 2023
In some Canadian provinces, a permit is required to own axolotls, breed them, sell them, and import them from other provinces. Additionally, due to their status as an endangered species, axolotls require a CITES permit to import axolotls in or out of the country. Finally, no matter where you live, it’s your responsibility to make sure you comply with your city by-laws regarding pet ownership and pet breeding.
As of 2022, there is no limit on the number of axolotls you can keep as pets without a permit. You are also allowed to breed, sell, and rehome your axolotl. You are allowed to import axolotls from other Canadian provinces without an official notice, but only as an individual importing a personal pet. Axolotl owners and retailers have certain legal obligations, which I will detail in another article.
Source: C-61.1, r. 5.1 – Regulation respecting animals in captivity (Aug. 1st, 2022)
ON, MB, SK, AB, NL, NT, YU and NU
To the best of my knowledge, no permit is required to own axolotls as pets in these provinces and territories. My information could be outdated, so I plan on going through the text law over the next few weeks. In the meantime, if you plan on adopting an axolotl, I recommend contacting your local wildlife department to double-check.
NB, NS, BC, PEI
If you live in one of these provinces, you are not allowed to own or import axolotls without a valid permit from your local wildlife department. I strongly urge you to comply with these regulations — axolotls get seized from their owners all the time. It’s quite a traumatic experience, both for the owners and the animals. Pet stores also face expensive fines.