Hawaii is a beautiful Island open to visitors and tourists. Sadly, Hawaii doesn’t welcome all pets. If you are a guinea pig owner and you are packing your bag for a Hawaii getaway with your pet, you probably ask yourself the most important question: Are guinea pigs illegal in Hawaii?
You can relax, guinea pigs are legal in Hawaii. You can travel with your guinea pig to beautiful Hawaii. However, they belong to a list of conditionally approved animals. That means you need a permit before you can import a guinea pig. So, if you import a guinea without a permit, the presence of your pet becomes illegal in the Aloha state.
So, after following some simple rules and procedures your lovely guinea pig can travel with you to Hawaii and we will see in this article what exact things you need to verify before and why.
However, This answer might not be the same for other pets. Let’s find out what other animals are legal and illegal in the Aloha state.
What Animals are Illegal in Hawaii?
Let’s first get a glimpse to understand the logic behind these rules.
Why Hawaii have these strict laws regarding some pets? In order to protect the beautiful and natural ecosystem and to maintain a clean and healthy environment. Hamsters, for example, are prohibited and we think about it, if they escape to the wild they would establish colonies and damage some crops and native plants as well as some other animals on the island.
Hawaii has restrictive regulations placing a ban on the importation and ownership of prohibited animals. These animals are illegal in Hawaii, and you can’t keep them as pets.
As beautiful as the Aloha state is, ferrets are banned from sharing in its beauty. In fact, they are considered a threat to wildlife and people. Although guinea pigs are legal in Hawaii, hamsters, and ferrets for example are illegal. It’s true, all of them are rodents, but hamsters are considered a threat to the environment, and for ferrets, they are known to carry the rabies virus and Hawaii is well known to have rabies virus clean since 1912! so the Hawaii government wants to keep it that way.
Also, wild cat hybrids are illegal in Hawaii. These pets are considered ferocious and a threat to native wildlife. Not every state loves snakes like the Indians. Hawaii is one of those states. All species of snakes are non-domestic, and you can’t keep them on the island.
While these Monk parakeets are colorful and intelligent animals, the Hawaiian government prohibits their ownership. Instead, they recognize them as a threat to the crops and food of the state.
I added a summary list for some illegal pets in Hawaii and the reason for that:
They can escape to the wild, colonize very fast, and harm native plants and animals in Hawaii.
Like hamsters, the aloha island fears that they will escape to the wild and set a colony while harming the plants and other native animals on the island.
Ferrets are known to carry the rabies virus and Hawaii’s government wants to keep the island free from that virus.
The fear is that hybrid cats will harm the endemic bird populations in Hawaii.
They usually carry parasites, and this can harm the native crabs on the Hawaiian island.
I don’t want any alligators near my house too!
No need for snakes in Hawaii. Snakes can harm people on the island as well as the native animals.
This lizard is dangerous and a bite from it is not something a nice family wishes for a holiday.
The Aloha state cherishes the island and life in the waters. So, Hawaii protects aquatic animals from alligators and prohibits them from the island. Other pets that are illegal are dragon lizards, hamsters, snapping turtles, gerbils, alligators, bees, monk parakeets, piranhas, etc. See the list of prohibited animals in Hawaii.
What Pets Are Legal in Hawaii?
Are you still reading? Perfect! You are about to discover what pets are allowed in the Aloha state. You just learned that Hawaii pet laws are restrictive. However, the island still opens its beauty to some pets. So, if you are wondering what pets are legal in Hawaii, keep reading to find out.
Domesticated dogs are legal in the Aloha state. However, wolves and wolf-dog hybrids are prohibited. Also, if your pet is a domestic cat, you can take her along with you to the island. However, wild cat hybrids like Savannah are not allowed.
While wild rabbits are prohibited, domesticated rabbits are legal in Hawaii. Also, domesticate Swine are welcome in the Aloha state. Other common pets that are legal in Hawaii are guinea pigs, mice/rats, horses, and chinchillas.
Some birds are also illegal. However, birds such as canaries, budgerigars, lovebirds, cockatiels, parrots, and parakeets, and some types of finches are legal.
Possession of toads, frogs, and African claw frogs is permitted for research and government use. Some species of frogs, newts, fish, turtles & tortoises, and some types of crabs, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, etc, are also legal in HI.
What Exotic Pets Are Legal in Hawaii?
As strict as Hawaii pet laws are, some exotic pets are legal in the state. However, the legitimacy of the presence of such animals in the Aloha state is subject to section A-71-7. Such animals include monkeys, gibbons, apes, lemurs, baboons, chimpanzees, wallabies, and pottos. You can legally own these exotic pets only when you prove that you have the appropriate bonds for them.
While monkeys are usual pets kept in most parts of the world, baboons, chimpanzees, wallabies, lemurs, gibbons, and pottos are not. However, if you have any of these pets, you can import them so far you comply with the provision of the law.
Taking Pets To Hawaii
We understand there are some pets allowed to be in Hawaii and some are not and we understand the logic behind these Hawaiian rules. Anyhow, we should make sure we follow some rules while taking pets with us to our aloha island vacation.
I recommend you to contact the Department of Agriculture of Hawaii before traveling with any of your pets. Even if you’re sure it’s ok, do it.
In addition, to summarize the procedures and things to take care of before, make sure you have:
- Your vet health certificate clarifies your pet is parasite-free or any other disease.
- You have your pet cage or any other travel carrier with you.
- Your pet has been vaccinated at least twice for rabies in his lifetime. I suggest doing one 90 days prior to your arrival in Hawaii.
- Ask your vet to do blood samples for rabies showing it’s negative. Take into account 120 days must pass prior to arrival in Hawaii.
- Send all the documents to the Animal Quarantine Station at least ten days before you arrive in Hawaii.
- The animal inspection office is open from 8:00-17:00. Make sure your flight arrives at least 1.5-3 hours before the closing.
- Take into account the fees: 165$ for your pet release. 224$ if you’ll have to keep it under investigation for 5 days, and 1080$ if you will need to put him for 120 days quarantine.
Hawaii Pet Laws
So what laws regulate the ownership and importation of pets in the Aloha state? The Hawaii Administrative Rules make provisions for conditionally approved animals, restricted Animals, and prohibited animals.
By the provision of section 4-71-6, prohibited animals are outrightly banned. Also, section 4-71-6.5 makes provision for conditionally approved animals and restricted animals. This category includes exotic animals that require a permit to be owned or imported.
There are two types of restricted animals grouped into Part A & B. Animals in Part A can only be possessed for research purposes by institutions and the government. Moreover, you can privately or commercially own or import animals in part B only.
Are Ferrets Illegal In Hawaii? (Why?)
Ferrets are small mammals. They are one of the most loved pets in the United States. However, Ferrets are illegal in Hawaii. The Aloha State seems to be oblivious of their cuteness. They belong to the phylum Chordata of which section 4-71-6 of the Administrative law prohibits.
HI recognizes Ferrets as carnivorous animals who are carriers of rabies. The island is proudly a rabies-free state and would love to keep it that way. Therefore, it’s illegal to own a ferret in Hawaii.
If there is a report to the Department of Agriculture that you own one, your pet would be immediately seized. Also, you’ll have to pay a fine of $200,000 and serve three years in jail. That also means, whenever you are going to the Aloha state, you shouldn’t take your ferret with you.
Hawaii is one of the places you must go to in a lifetime. Although the state is open to all races, gender, and social groups, its non-discriminatory stance doesn’t extend to pets. But can you really blame them? The government is concerned with protecting the people and environment from menaces that exotic animals may cause.
So, before you think of going to the Aloha state, make sure your pet is not one of the prohibited animals in Hawaii. You definitely wouldn’t want your pet to be seized from you while you are on your vacation. While guinea pigs are not illegal in Hawaii, you would be making a big mistake if you refuse to get a permit for your pet and follow the steps we mentioned in that article.
However, if you own a ferret, you shouldn’t take your pet to the island. Even a permit wouldn’t be able to save you. The same thing applies to Hamsters. But if you are a dog or cat parent, your pet is free to enjoy the beautiful island with you in so far they are domesticated.