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January 5, 2017
City of Toronto removes more than 20 venomous snakes from home
The City of Toronto's Municipal Licensing & Standards (ML&S) executed a search warrant and seized 20 live and 18 dead snakes from a home in North York on Tuesday, January 3. The snakes seized are extremely dangerous and venomous, and are prohibited in Toronto.

The City received information from the Canada Border Services Agency that a quantity of venomous snakes had been imported from Asia and were destined for a Toronto address. This information was used to obtain and execute the search warrant. The warrant was executed under the direction of ML&S, with assistance from the Toronto Police Service, the Toronto Zoo and Toronto Public Health.

The snakes, which include a variety of vipers, puff adders, hundred pacers (a type of viper), cobras and rattlesnakes, are in the custody of Toronto Animal Services.

The person in possession of the snakes has been charged with 20 counts of keeping prohibited animals, contrary to the Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 349, Animals, and is scheduled for a first appearance on January 27 at 2700 Eglinton Ave. W. Each of these offences carry a maximum fine of $5,000. The final disposition of the animals will be decided through the judicial process.

There are currently no federal or provincial laws or regulations that prohibit entry and/or require a permit for the importation of these snakes into Canada. In Toronto, all venomous and poisonous snakes, as well as all snakes that reach an adult length larger than three metres are prohibited.

The City is seeking the public's assistance in identifying locations where prohibited animals are kept. Should any resident of Toronto suspect that there are prohibited animals in their community, they are encouraged to report it by calling 311.

During the next few months, the City will be conducting public consultation on prohibited animals in Toronto. More information will be made available in the coming weeks.

A complete list of prohibited animals in Toronto is available at

Toronto is Canada's largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world's most livable cities. In 2017, Toronto will honour Canada's 150th birthday with "TO Canada with Love," a year-long program of celebrations, commemorations and exhibitions. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us on Twitter at and on Instagram at

Media Contact
Bruce Hawkins
Strategic Communications



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