are bearded dragons legal in the UK

Are Bearded Dragons Legal In The UK?

Keeping exotic pets in the UK has been a popular trend for quite some time now. Among the different types of exotic pets that people keep, bearded dragons have been gaining immense popularity in recent years. However, many people are still unsure about the legal status of bearded dragons in the UK and whether it is legal to keep them as pets.

To put it simply, bearded dragons are legal in the UK. They can be kept as pets as long as they are acquired legally and the necessary requirements are met. The UK government has put in place strict guidelines for keeping exotic pets, including bearded dragons, to ensure their welfare and prevent their release into the wild.

These guidelines include things like providing adequate housing, food, water, and veterinary care for the animal. It is the responsibility of every pet owner to ensure that they are in compliance with these guidelines in order to prevent any legal issues.

What Are the Requirements for Owning a Bearded Dragon in the Uk?

Bearded Dragon
Credit: Nicky Marshall

To ensure a happy and healthy bearded dragon, owners must provide a suitable habitat, maintain proper temperature control, and schedule regular veterinary check-ups. Suitable habitat includes a tank with proper lighting, substrate, and hiding spots.

Temperature control is crucial, as bearded dragons require a basking spot with temperatures around 100°F and a cooler area around 80°F. Regular veterinary check-ups are important to catch any health issues early on and ensure proper care and nutrition.

As responsible owners, it is our duty to meet these requirements and provide the best possible care for our scaly companions.

Suitable Habitat

Now that we know the basic requirements for owning a bearded dragon in the UK, let’s dive into the first topic: suitable habitat. Providing a proper habitat for your bearded dragon is crucial for their health and happiness.

First and foremost, your bearded dragon will need a spacious enclosure to live in. They are active creatures and require plenty of room to move around. The minimum size for an enclosure is 4ft x 2ft x 2ft, but larger is always better.

The enclosure should be made of glass or PVC, with a secure lid to prevent escapes. Bearded dragons are excellent climbers, so make sure the lid is sturdy and cannot be lifted.

Inside the enclosure, you will need to provide a variety of hides and basking spots for your bearded dragon to choose from. This will allow them to regulate their body temperature and feel safe and secure.

You should also provide a substrate for your dragon to walk on, such as reptile carpet or ceramic tiles, as loose substrates can be ingested and cause impaction. Additionally, you will need to provide a water dish for your dragon to drink from and soak in.

Overall, creating a suitable habitat for your bearded dragon requires careful consideration and attention to detail. By providing a spacious and secure enclosure, with plenty of hiding spots and appropriate substrate, your bearded dragon will be able to thrive in their new home.

Which Part of the Uk Does Not Allow the Ownership of Bearded Dragons?

Bearded Dragon, CaptiveLight, Bournemouth, UK
Credit: rmk2112

In the United Kingdom, there are some areas that prohibit owning bearded dragons as exotic pets due to concerns over animal welfare and public safety.

Two notable examples are the Isle of Wight and Southwark, which have implemented a ban on these reptiles. These areas have strict regulations in place to ensure that these animals are not kept in captivity or sold as pets.

Isle of Wight Ban

After learning about the requirements for owning a bearded dragon in the UK, it is important to also be aware of the parts of the country where owning one is not allowed. One of these areas is the Isle of Wight, where the local council has implemented a ban on owning bearded dragons and other exotic pets.

The Isle of Wight Council’s decision to ban these pets stems from concerns about the potential harm they may cause to the environment and local wildlife. In addition, the council believes that exotic pets like bearded dragons may pose a risk to public safety if they were to escape or be released into the wild.

Although some individuals may wish to own these fascinating creatures, it is important to respect the council’s decision and refrain from doing so on the Isle of Wight.

What Are the Penalties for Owning a Bearded Dragon Illegally in the Uk?

As we delve deeper into the topic of owning a bearded dragon illegally in the UK, let’s first provide an overview of the legalities surrounding the issue. From there, we’ll move on to an explanation of the penalties that come with illegal ownership, including potential fines and even imprisonment. It’s important to fully understand the consequences of owning a bearded dragon illegally, as this can help prevent any inadvertent violations of the law.


In the UK, owning a bearded dragon may seem like a harmless and trendy choice for a pet. However, not all parts of the country allow for the ownership of these reptiles. In fact, one specific region has banned the ownership of bearded dragons altogether.

The region that prohibits the possession of bearded dragons is Northern Ireland. This decision was made by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) due to concerns about the potential impact on the environment and local wildlife.

As a result, if you live in Northern Ireland and are caught owning a bearded dragon, it is considered illegal ownership and may result in significant penalties.

It is essential to research and familiarize oneself with the laws and regulations regarding pet ownership in your area. While owning a bearded dragon may be legal in many parts of the UK, it is important to ensure that you are not breaking any laws or putting yourself and your pet at risk.

Overall, it is important to be a responsible pet owner and follow all necessary protocols to avoid any legal repercussions.


Bearded dragons have become increasingly popular as pets in the UK, but there are certain requirements that must be met before owning one.

As a responsible pet owner, you must ensure you have the proper equipment, such as a suitable enclosure, heating and lighting, and a proper diet plan for your bearded dragon. Failure to provide the necessary care for your pet can result in serious health problems and even death.

It is important to note that owning a bearded dragon is not legal in certain areas of the UK, particularly in Scotland. If you are found to be in possession of a bearded dragon in these areas, you may face penalties such as fines or even imprisonment. Therefore, it is crucial to research the specific laws and regulations in your area before considering owning a bearded dragon as a pet.

In conclusion, owning a bearded dragon in the UK requires careful consideration and preparation. As a responsible pet owner, it is your duty to provide proper care and adhere to the laws and regulations in your area. By doing so, you can ensure the safety and well-being of your beloved pet while avoiding any legal consequences.