American Fancy Rat & Mouse Association

This article is from the WSSF 2016 AFRMA Rat & Mouse Tales news-magazine.

Beginners’ Corner

Gambian Pouched Rats

By Karen Robbins

RE: Video posted on our Facebook page of a Gambian pouched rat playing and note saying they are illegal in California
Q Why are they illegal in CA?

A Just about everything is illegal here in California (including ferrets, there are groups that have been trying to get them legalized for years), many because of damage to the agriculture if these animals were to get out and make wild colonies. There are many states/countries that have either on accident or on purpose released non-native species that have wrecked havoc on the indigenous species. We have a couple articles telling what you can/can’t have here: Rodent Regulations In California, and Legal Species of Rodents in California. You can read more on the California Department of Fish and Wildlife web site:

According to the laws, Gambians are not to be imported or possessed in California as pets. They are a different species than the ones we find here in the wild, plus they are much bigger. They require different caging, food, and care than domestic pet rats. Just because they look like a rat, doesn’t make them the same as our pets. One unique feature they have that our pets don’t have is cheek pouches like hamsters. They are used by Apopo to search for land mines in Africa and other countries as well as detect disease. *

January 4, 2019