A wider array of snakes, lizards and other exotic pets will now available in New Brunswick after the provincial government changed regulations in February that restrict which animals can be brought into the province for sale.

Under the changes, for example, New Brunswick pet stores will now be able to sell boa constrictors and other non-poisonous snakes that are up to three metres in length.

Kevin Craig, a wildlife biologist with the province's Natural Resources department, said pet stores pushed for the change because the province's regulations were more restrictive than other jurisdictions.

"They approached the Department of Natural Resources and they said they felt, in looking at their membership and their members' concerns across Canada and within New Brunswick, that New Brunswick was quite restrictive on the number of animals it allowed in the... commercial and retail pet trade."

Craig said none of the dozens of exotic animals now approved for sale in the province would be able to survive in the wild in New Brunswick, should they get loose.

"One of the prerequisites for inclusion on the list is... that we would have a concern with how these may or may not impact indigenous wildlife species or their habitat," Craig said. "And we're talking about the ones that we have here are basically innocuous species, ones that would not be able to survive and breed and produce populations in the wild."