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last week I was in London for some sightseeing. In a park, I saw a lot of squirrels, and most of them were quite tame, came to other people, climbing on their trousers and ate out of their hands. I think we all can agree that squirrels are awesome and with animals so tame, the thought of taking one away with you comes to mind.

Apart from the question of whether you should do that (which I would answer with a definite no, the flight in the plane alone would propably be too much for the little guy), I would be interested if there would be a legal way to do that. I come from Germany and traveled by plane. Would it be legal to do that? I think you would at least have to take the animal to a vet and get some sort of certificate that the animal is healthy and don't has any diseases. Are there specific laws that prohibit taking a wild animal from a different country and make it your pet?

I know, it may be a funny question, and I wouldn't want that anyone would do something like this, but I'm really interested in the answer to that question.

  • Yes. You can transport non-domestic animals across international borders. You will need to familiarize yourself with the laws of exporting and importing animals, as well as the regulations that the airline has in place. – Michael May 8 '17 at 13:49
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    "I think we all can agree that squirrels are awesome": That is false. (Tame isn't the same as domesticated, by the way.) – phoog May 8 '17 at 14:35
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    "...and with animals so tame." They are not tame; that's one reason why (among others, like disease, injury to people, invasive species, etc.) there are import/export laws regarding animals moving across international borders. As well as laws regarding transporting animals by airline. – BlueDogRanch May 8 '17 at 16:04
  • @phoog yes, more like: "I think we can all agree that squirrels are vermin and would be highly damaging invasive species if moved from one country to another" – Dale M May 8 '17 at 20:14
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Squirrels do not make good pets.

If it is gray squirrel, you technically need a license to keep one, however, the airline might not check this. Therefore, you MIGHT be able to get it on the plane in a carrier. It is technically against a UK regulation (not a law) to even possess a gray squirrel. There is no telling how this might or might not be enforced. In general, if the cops in the UK somehow found out you had a gray squirrel, they would probably seize it and kill it because it is considered an invasive species.

It is a crime to possess a gray squirrel in the EU. If you land a gray squirrel in an EU airport, they will confiscate the squirrel, arrest you, then fine you and kill the squirrel.

It is illegal to capture a red squirrel in the UK. You can possess one as a pet, but you must have a certificate showing that it was legally obtainined, otherwise you will be arrested and prosecuted under the Wildlife & Countryside Act.

I don't know the law on red squirrels in the EU, however, my guess is you probably need a license to have one as a pet.

  • I accept this as an answer. I have looked up regulations regarding squirrels in Germany. You can own one, but you must not capture one, you can get one from a certified breeder. Also you have to meet some regulations about the place where you hold them. To clarify once more, I know very well that squirrels aren't good pets and that it's a terrible idea to take one out of the wild and put it in a cage. I do not want anyone to do something like this. I was just curious about the legal side of this question. – Matthias Nicklisch May 9 '17 at 12:29

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