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Is it illegal to kill venomous or non-venomous snakes in Ga., S.C.?

Published: Jul. 13, 2021 at 9:18 AM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - An Augusta woman was shocked to find a mother snake and 17 babies inside her home. And when we shared the crazy photos on Facebook – they blew up, and it raised the question of how we should deal with snakes in our communities.

There are more than 40 different species of snakes that explore our area. And when it comes to the laws of how to handle them, it could be different depending on the state you live in.

In Georgia, it is illegal to kill any non-venomous snake. It counts as only a misdemeanor charge, but it can carry a fine of up to $1,000 and one year in jail.

It is also illegal to keep native non-venomous snakes as pets without a proper permit.

Now, you can legally kill venomous snakes in Georgia, but the Department of Natural Resources says it is best to leave them alone and call a professional.

A look at South Carolina laws shows it is illegal to kill any snake on public land – whether it is venomous or not. You must have a permit from the state to do so.

If you do kill a snake, you could face a fine of $200 or 30 days in jail.

But again - if you see a snake, it is best to call a professional to remove it. Snakes serve a big role in our ecosystem. They control rodent populations and serve as food for other animals. Certain types of snakes will even eat venomous snakes.

It can be hard to tell which ones are venomous, but the Department of Natural Resources does have photos to help and facts about each type that lives in our area.

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