NEW YORK (WABC) -- A bill introduced in the New York State Senate would officially ban exotic animals from being imported and sold as pets.
New York State Senator Monica Martinez sponsors the bill that would expand the definition of wild and exotic animals to prohibit the sales of animals that should be kept in the wild.
"These animals have requirements, specific conditions, and habitat for survival," Martinez said.
Larry Wallach ran a petting zoo with sloths until the state prohibited the zoo from operating through an injunction.
Wallach found a way around closing his business by pivoting to retail and now sells domesticated sloths, lizards and tarantulas.
He said the bill seems to be targeted particularly at him.
"Because until I did the sloth store we never had all this craziness," Wallach said.
That may be because not too many people sell sloths as pets and Anthrozoologist John Di Leonardo from Humane Long Island said there's a good reason why.
"Sloths are tropical, tree-dwelling animals with 4-inch claws and sharp teeth," Di Leonard said.
Red kangaroos can grow to be six feet tall and can become a lot to handle for people who aren't equipped to handle the animals.
"This is gonna become a major, major issue if the state doesn't tighten up its loopholes," Di Leonard said.
The hope is that the bill closes the loophole that allows the sale of certain exotic animals based on the definition currently being used.
The definition would be expanded to say that exotic animals are defined as "a wild animal with an origin of a different continent," according to the bill.
It would then add those animals to the "non-companion" animal list that can't be bought or sold as domestic pets.
If the bill passes it will go into effect immediately.
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