An amendment to the pet owners law means that people found to have bought certain species of exotic wild animals will face harsher punishments in future.
Elisabeth Penz, spokeswoman for the animal rights charity Vier Pfoten, said she welcomed the new law. "We have repeatedly noted in recent years that exotic wild animals are generally not suitable as pets and the owners of these animals are often overwhelmed," she said.
She urged the rest of Austria’s states to follow Vienna’s example.
Alexander Dobernig, the organizer of Vienna’s exotic reptiles fair said that "the amendment affects only about three percent of snakes and spiders. There are many so-called ‘exotic’ animals that you can continue to buy as pets – including guinea pigs!”
Monkeys, bears, and big cats are banned as are any animals and reptiles that are classified as dangerous and measure more than three meters when fully grown. Boa constrictors and non-venomous Indian pythons are still allowed.