Sounds like VA definitely has it's work cut out. I agree that the majority of ACO's and ACI's wouldn't know what to look for as I've worked with several myself but that is where the exotics rescues need to step in and assist with education otherwise the legislation is only going to become worse across the country.
DId you have be licensed for exotics when you operated in NH? Who was usually inspecting you? Local or state officials?