Statutes / Laws


Full Site Search


The navigation select boxes below will direct you to the selected page when you hit enter.

Topical Explanations

Primary Legal Materials

Select by Subject

Select by Species

Select Administrative Topic

World Law

Secondary Legal Materials

Great Apes and the Law

Great Apes and the Law

Maps of State Laws

Map of USA

South Carolina

Statute Name Citation Summary
SC - Assistance Animal - Assistance Animal Laws   Code 1976 2-7-35; Code 1976 47-3-910 - 970; Code 1976 43-33-10 - 70; Code 1976 56-5-3200 - 3220; Code 1976 43-26-80   The following statutes comprise the state's relevant assistance/service animal laws.  
SC - Bite - 47-3-110. Liability for attacks by dogs, provoked attacks, trained law enforcement dogs.   Code 1976 47-3-110  

This South Carolina statute provides that if a person is bitten or otherwise attacked by a dog while the person is in a public place or is lawfully in a private place, including the property of the dog owner or person having the dog in the person's care or keeping, the dog owner or person having the dog in the person's care or keeping is liable for the damages suffered by the person bitten or otherwise attacked. If a person provokes a dog into attacking him then the owner of the dog is not liable.

SC - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes   Code 1976 47-1-10 - 210; Code 1976 16-15-120   This South Carolina subsection comprises the state's anti-cruelty laws.  The term "animal" under this subchapter includes all living vertebrate creatures except homo sapiens (but see the exclusion section where fowl are specifically excluded).  Animal cruelty occurs when a person knowingly or intentionally overloads, overdrives, overworks, ill-treats any animal, deprives any animal of necessary sustenance or shelter, inflicts unnecessary pain or suffering upon any animal, or by omission or commission knowingly or intentionally causes these things to be done.  The statute also has a felony provision for the torture, tormenting, needless mutilation, cruel killing, or infliction of excessive or repeated unnecessary pain.  
SC - Dog - Consolidated Dog Laws   Code 1976 16-13-60; Code 1976 23-1-100; Code 1976 1-1-655; Code 1976 47-3-10 - 970; Code 1976 47-5-10 - 210; Code 1976 47-7-10 - 170; Code 1976 50-11-65, 50-11-770, 50-11-780, and 51-3-145   These statutes comprise South Carolina's state dog laws.  Among the provisions include laws concerning damage done by dogs (especially to livestock), rabies control provisions, and registration requirements.  
SC - Dogfighting - Chapter 27. Animal Fighting and Baiting Act.   Code 1976 16-27-10 - 80   This South Carolina section comprises the state's Animal Fighting and Baiting Act.  Under the Act, any person who owns an animal for the purpose of fighting or baiting, is a party to any fighting or baiting of any animal, or obtains the use of any structure for the purpose of fighting or baiting any animal is guilty of a felony and upon conviction must be punished by a fine of $5000 or 5 years imprisonment or both.  The section also provides for seizure and forfeiture of animals used in fighting operations.  
SC - Ecoterrorism - Chapter 21. Farm Animal and Research Facilities Protection Act.   Code 1976 47-21-10 - 90   The set of law comprises South Carolina's Farm Animal and Research Facilities Protection Act. A person commits an offense if, without the effective consent of the owner, the person exercises control over an animal facility or the property located there, or if that person damages the facility or its property. A person also commits an offense if he or she enters a facility without the effective consent of the owner and remains concealed with the intent to disrupt or damage the enterprise conducted at the animal facility. Violation for disruption or damage to a facility or its property is a misdemeanor with a fine of up to $10,000 and/or 3 years imprisonment. Violation for illegal entry is a misdemeanor with a fine up to $5,000 and/or 1 year imprisonment.  
SC - Endangered Species - Chapter 15. Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation Act   Code 1976 50-15-10 - 90   These statutes comprise the "South Carolina Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation Act."  Included in the provisions are definitions and criteria related to the listing of endangered species.  Interestingly, while funds for investigations into endangered species come through the general fund and appropriations, additional funding is secured through permits from the Alligator Control and Management Program.  Violation of the provisions constitutes misdemeanors of varying penalties as well as forfeiture of equipment used in the illegal takings.  
SC - Equine Activity Liability - Article 7. Equine Liability Immunity.   Code 1976 47-9-710 - 730   This South Carolina section provides that an equine activity sponsor or an equine professional is not liable for an injury to or the death of a participant resulting from an inherent risk of equine activity.  The statute also requires the visible displaying of warning signs that alert participants to the limitation of liability by law.  Failure to comply with the requirements concerning warning signs and notices provided in this section prevents an equine activity sponsor or equine professional from invoking the privileges of immunity provided by this article.  
SC - Exotic Pets - Chapter 16. Importation of Wildlife.   Code 1976 50-11-1700 - 1950; 50-16-10 - 70   This South Carolina law states that it is unlawful for a person to import, possess, or transport for the purpose of release or to introduce or bring into this State the following live wildlife: a furbearer which includes but is not limited to, red and gray fox, raccoon, opossum, muskrat, mink, skunk, otter, bobcat, weasel, and beaver; a  member of the family Cervidae, a nondomestic member of the families Suidae (pigs), Tayassuidae (peccaries), Bovidae (bison, mountain goat, mountain sheep), coyote, bear, or turkey (genus Meleagris); or a non-native species of fish, crustacean, mollusk, or invertebrate. A permit may be granted only after the investigations and inspections of the wildlife have been made as the department considers necessary and the department approves the possession, transportation, or importation into the State. § 50-11-1765 provides that it is unlawful to sell live wolves or to ship, import, or possess live wolves into this State without a permit.  
SC - Exotic Pets - 47-5-50. Prohibition on sale of wild carnivores as pets; sale of domesticated ferrets.   Code 1976 47-5-20, 47-5-50   This South Carolina law provides that no carnivores, which normally are not domesticated, may be sold as pets in this State. A carnivore kept by an individual must not be allowed to run at large and then returned to confinement. A normally wild animal indigenous to this State, if held captive for a period of time, may be released to the wild. This section does not apply to domesticated ferrets. Each business that sells ferrets must also display a notice about the potential danger of unprovoked attacks against humans.  
SC - Fur - Article 12. Trapping Furbearing Animals, Regulation of Dealers, Buyers, Processors, and Transporters of Furs or Similar Products or Articles.   Code 1976 50-11-2400 - 2575   In South Carolina, a state hunting license and a commercial fur license are required to sell or take   furbearing animals for commercial purposes. Trappers may only set traps during trapping season, must show proof of ownership of property or permission to use property where traps are set, must visit his traps daily, and remove any animals caught in the trap. A violation of these statutes is a misdemeanor, which may result in a fine, imprisonment, and/or revocation of a license.  
SC - Hunting - Article 13. Fox and Coyote Hunting Enclosures   Code 1976 50-11-2600 - 2650   Under these South Carolina statutes, it is unlawful to buy, sell, transfer, possess, or release a live coyote or fox except as permitted. Foxes and coyotes obtained to stock hunting enclosures may be obtained only by the enclosure owner or operator from a South Carolina licensed trapper. A violation of any provision is a misdemeanor; the first offense is punishable by a fine of $50-500, and/or imprisonment up to 30 days.  
SC - Hunting - Bald Eagle Penalties Increased   Code 1976 50-11-852   This statute prohibits the killing of any bird of prey, resulting in a misdemeanor conviction .  If the bird is a bald eagle, the individual faces a maximum fine of up to $1,000 and one year in jail in addition to the revocation of hunting privileges for five years.  For discussion of federal Eagle Act, see Detailed Discussion.  
SC - Hunting - 50-1-137. Impeding or obstructing hunting, trapping, fishing, or harvesting of marine species unlawful; penalty.   Code 1976 50-1-137   In South Carolina, it is unlawful for a person wilfully to impede or obstruct another person from lawfully hunting, trapping, fishing, or harvesting marine species. Any person violating the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor.  
SC - Hunting, Internet - 50-11-95. Computer-assisted remote hunting and remote hunting facilities; penalties; exceptions.   Code 1976 50-11-95   This statute makes it illegal to establish or operate computer-assisted remote hunting facilities in South Carolina. It is also illegal to engage in computer-assisted remote hunting if either the animal hunted, or any device, equipment, or software to remotely control the firearm is located in this State. A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and may be fined at least $5,000 and/or imprisoned for up to one year.  
SC - Impound - 47-3-750. Seizure and impoundment of dangerous animal.   Code 1976 47-3-750   This South Carolina statute provides that if an animal control officer has probable cause to believe that a dangerous animal is being harbored or cared for in violation of Section 47-3-720 or 47-3-740 or 47-3-760(E), or Section 47-3-730, the agent or officer may petition the appropriate court to order the seizure and impoundment of the dangerous animal while the trial is pending.  
SC - Impound - 47-3-40. Impoundment or quarantine of cat or dog running at large; release to owner.   Code 1976 47-3-40   This South Carolina statute provides that the county or municipal animal shelter or animal control officers shall pick up and impound or quarantine any dog running at large. To obtain release of a dog or cat, an owner must prove that the dog or cat is currently inoculated against rabies and also pay an impound or quarantine fee determined by the governing body of the county or municipality.  
SC - Impound - 47-3-540. Destruction of identifiable dog by animal control officer; prior notification of owner   Code 1976 47-3-540   This South Carolina statute provides that animal control officers must not destroy any positively identifiable dog until they have notified the owner at his or her last known address by registered mail that they have the dog in their possession.  The owner then has two weeks to reclaim his or her dog, after which the animal may be destroyed.  
SC - Leash - 50-11-780. Dogs engaged in hunting not required to be constrained by leash.   Code 1976 50-11-780  

This South Carolina statute provides that no dog is required to be constrained by a leash while it is actually engaged in hunting game and under supervision. As used in this section "supervision" means that the owner of the dog or his designee is either in the vicinity of the dog or in the process of trying to retrieve the dog.

SC - Leash - 51-3-145. Certain acts unlawful at state parks.   Code 1976 51-3-145   This South Carolina law contains a dog leash provision that states that it is unlawful for any person to bring a dog or any other animal into the park or facility unless it is crated, caged, or upon a leash not longer than six feet or otherwise under physically restrictive control at all times (see section P).  This provision concerns any park or facility under the jurisdiction of the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism.  
SC - Ordinances - 47-3-20. Local animal care and control ordinances authorized.   Code 1976 47-3-20   This South Carolina statute provides that the governing body of each county or municipality in this State may enact ordinances and promulgate regulations for the care and control of dogs, cats, and other animals and to prescribe penalties for violations.  
SC - Trust - 62-7-408. Trust for care of animal   Code 1976 62-7-408   South Carolina's pet trust law was originally enacted in 2006.  A trust may be created to provide for the care of an animal or animals alive or in gestation during the settlor's lifetime, whether or not alive at the time the trust is created. The trust terminates upon the death of the last surviving animal.  
SC - Veterinary - Chapter 69. Veterinarians.   Code 1976 40-69-5 - 540  

These are the state's veterinary practice laws amended in 2006.  Among the provisions include licensing requirements, laws concerning the state veterinary board, veterinary records laws, and the laws governing disciplinary actions for impaired or incompetent practitioners.

SC - Wildlife - Chapter 16. Importation of Wildlife.   Code 1976 50-16-10 - 70; 50-11-1765   This set of South Carolina laws relates to the possession of live wildlife. A permit is required for the following: the family Cervidae, a nondomestic member of the families Suidae (pigs), Tayassuidae (peccaries), Bovidae (bison, mountain goat, mountain sheep), coyote, bear, or turkey (genus Meleagris), and a "furbearer," which includes, but is not limited to, red and gray fox, raccoon, opossum, muskrat, mink, skunk, otter, bobcat, weasel, and beaver. However, wildlife imported for exhibition purposes only by state wildlife departments, municipal zoos or parks, public museums, public zoological parks, and public scientific or educational institutions operated not for profit, and transient circuses are not required to procure a permit. Under another section, release of  a member of the family Suidae (pig) into the wild is prohibited except as provided by law. Further, it is unlawful for a person to possess, transport, or otherwise bring into the state or release or introduce into the state any diseased wildlife or other animal that reasonably might be expected to pose a public health or safety hazard. Violating any permitting requirement under the chapter results in a misdemeanor with a mandatory fine of not more than $1,000 or up to 6 months imprisonment, or both.  
SC - Wildlife - 50-1-125. Wildlife defined; penalties for trafficking in wildlife.   Code 1976 50-1-125, 50-1-290   These South Carolina statutes define wildlife as being a wild animal, bird, reptile, amphibian, fish, mollusk, crustacean, or product, egg, offspring, or dead body parts. It is illegal to buy, sell, or possess wildlife except as specifically allowed by this title. A violation is a misdemeanor, and the person could face a fine and/or imprisonment.  
SC - Wildlife - 50-1-270. Liability for gross destruction or injury to wildlife, aquatic life, endangered or threatened species, or state lands or waters.   Code 1976 50-1-270  

This South Carolina statute provides that any person or public or private entity is liable to the State for the unlawful gross destruction of or injury to wildlife, aquatic life, endangered or threatened species, or the lands or waters owned by the State. For a deliberate or grossly negligent act, the State must be awarded damages of three times the value of the resource affected, plus costs, including attorney's fees. This section does not apply to ordinary agricultural practices.


Back to top