There are many reasons for this, depending on the animal, and the area, and the law makers.
When my husband asked why Fennec Foxes could not be kept as pets here in Alberta, he was told by somebody at the Fish and Wildlife department that it had something to do with a stripper having a tiger at a bar and people petitioned for a blanket type law against all exotic pets. Over time a few exotic pets (such as wallabies) have been allowed, and people have been able to apply for zoo permits to own other certain exotic pets. This may, or may not, be the real story, but this is what we were told by somebody who should know.
It is easy to understand why some areas would not allow dangerous exotic pets, but what about the seemingly harmless exotic pets, ferrets, hedgehogs, chickens?
Many exotic pets are not allowed due to the risk of them escaping and destroying native species, or due to the considers of them spreading disease to native species, or the risk they pose to humans. In most areas keeping animals that are native to the area is not allowed as it is hard to determine if an animal has been legally bred - or illegally snatched from the wild.
The livestock industry has been held to blame for protesting against allowing city people from keeping pet chickens. Indeed if people could raise their own eggs, a whole industry would suffer. This is a pity, since pet hens would have better lives than battery hens, and some chicken breeds make terrific pets!
In some areas it is simply too hard to enforce proper care of certain animals, so it is easier for law makers to ban the animal all together.
The public holds a large role in creating bans for exotic pets. Public outcry is even held to blame for bans on certain breeds of dogs.
If you are in an area where a certain exotic pet is banned, you will have to apply for a special permit, lobby to have the laws changed, or move. Keeping a pet where one is not allowed, not only puts you at risk for getting a fine, but the animal may be removed and euthanized immediately according to the laws in your area.
Are you Ready to Own an Exotic Pet? Click here to find out!
Read about Concerns when Keeping a Pet Illegally.
This does give me the idea for writing something in regards to How to Lobby Against Exotic Pet Bans in Your Area.