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Countries where Capybaras are legal as pets

by Baby Capybara

Have you ever wondered where you can legally own a capybara as a pet? Look no further, as this article will provide you with a concise overview of the countries where these adorable creatures are allowed to be kept as pets. From the lush landscapes of South America to unexpected places in Europe, we will explore the diverse nations that welcome capybaras into their homes. So, if you’re a capybara enthusiast looking to bring these friendly animals into your life, join us on this journey to discover the countries where capybaras are legal as pets.

Countries where Capybaras are legal as pets

Capybaras, the largest rodents in the world, have gained significant popularity as exotic pets in recent years. These gentle, sociable creatures are native to South America and are known for their friendly and docile nature. However, before considering a capybara as a pet, it’s essential to understand the rules and regulations governing their ownership in different countries. In this comprehensive article, we will explore the countries where capybaras are legal as pets, along with the rules, popular breeds, benefits, and considerations before getting a capybara.

Countries where Capybaras are legal as pets

North America

United States

In the United States, capybaras are legal to own as pets in some states. However, the laws regarding capybara ownership vary from state to state. States like Texas, Pennsylvania, and Oklahoma have relatively lax regulations, allowing individuals to keep capybaras as pets without obtaining special permits. On the other hand, states like California and New York require permits and specific enclosure standards to ensure the well-being of these animals.

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In Canada, capybaras are not designated as “controlled” or “prohibited” animals, which means they can be kept as pets without strict legal restrictions. However, it is advisable to check with the local government authorities and animal welfare organizations to ensure compliance with regional guidelines and regulations.


In Mexico, capybaras are legal to own as pets. The Mexican government does not classify them as dangerous or protected animals, allowing individuals to keep them without significant legal hurdles. It’s important to note that despite the lenient regulations, responsible ownership and proper care should always be prioritized.

South America


Being the natural habitat of capybaras, it’s no surprise that Brazil allows the ownership of these gentle giants as pets. In Brazil, capybaras are not classified as endangered species, which makes them legally available for domestic ownership. However, it is essential to ensure proper care and adherence to animal welfare standards.


Colombia is another South American country where capybaras are legal to own as pets. These charismatic creatures can be found in various parts of Colombia, particularly in wetlands and grasslands. While no strict regulations surround capybara ownership, it is crucial to provide them with a suitable environment and adhere to responsible pet ownership practices.


In Argentina, capybaras are widely recognized as a national symbol and are even protected by law in some provinces. The country has specific regulations regarding the breeding, sale, and ownership of capybaras to ensure their well-being and conservation. Prospective capybara owners should consult local authorities and obtain the necessary permits before bringing these delightful animals into their homes.

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Countries where Capybaras are legal as pets


United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, capybaras are legal to own as pets, provided individuals adhere to strict guidelines outlined by the Government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). Capybara owners must obtain a license, which entails meeting specific enclosure and welfare requirements. It is crucial to consult DEFRA and research thoroughly to ensure compliance with all necessary regulations.


The Netherlands also permits capybara ownership as long as owners meet specific legal requirements. Prospective capybara owners must apply for a permit from the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA). The NVWA ensures that capybaras are acquired from reputable sources and that their living conditions comply with animal welfare standards.


Germany allows capybara ownership, but it requires obtaining a permit from the local responsible veterinary office (Veterinäramt). The permit ensures that capybara owners follow essential regulations related to housing, diet, and general well-being. It is essential to consult the Veterinäramt and acquire the necessary knowledge to provide optimal care for capybaras.


In Italy, capybaras are considered exotic pets that require proper legal documentation. Prospective owners must contact the Ministry of Health to obtain the appropriate permits. Additionally, following regional and municipal regulations regarding capybara ownership is essential to ensure the well-being of these animals.



In Japan, capybaras have become increasingly popular as pets in recent years. While ownership of capybaras is generally legal, certain prefectures may have specific regulations. It is advisable to consult local authorities and research thoroughly to ensure compliance with all regional requirements.

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Capybaras are legal to own as pets in China, although the regulations may differ from province to province. Potential capybara owners are encouraged to contact local authorities to understand the specific requirements and guidelines for ownership, ensuring the best care and well-being for these unique pets.


In India, capybaras can be legally owned as pets. However, it is crucial to research and consult local authorities to understand the necessary legal permits and guidelines for keeping capybaras as domestic animals. Responsible ownership and adherence to animal welfare standards are of utmost importance.

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Countries where Capybaras are legal as pets

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