008 Keeping Wildlife in Captivity
The following regulations are prescribed by the Game and Parks Commission, State of Nebraska in accordance with Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 37-301, 37-308.01, 37-316, 37-412, 37-418, 37-463, 37-465, 37-471, 37-477 through 37-480, 37-483 through 37-485, 37-524, 37-524.01, 37-525, 37-548, 54-2317. For purposes of these regulations, unless stipulated below or context otherwise requires, the definitions found in Chapter 37, sections 202 through 247 of the Game Law, are used.
In addition to the definitions referred to in Chapter 37, Article 2 R.R.S., the following definitions shall apply for the purposes of section 008.
Captivity - Means a condition which limits or restricts the free egress or free range of wild birds, wild mammals or wildlife by the use of fences, barriers or restraints.
Cage and Aviary Birds - Means those captive-reared birds, not native to Nebraska, such as parrots, exotic finches, and canaries, which are adapted to live and breed in a cage. For purposes of this regulation, the monk parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus) is not a cage and aviary bird.
Hybrid - Means an animal produced by crossing species or subspecies.
008.01 General Regulations and Policies:
008.01A The commission may formulate plans for the disposition of wild cervidae found within a captive cervine facility in consultation with the Nebraska Department of Agriculture as provided for in 54-2317.
008.01B It shall be unlawful for any person or persons to retain any wild birds or wild mammals (as defined in Nebraska revised statute 37-245 and 37-246) in captivity except the following species may be kept under authority of a Captive Wildlife Permit, a Controlled Shooting Area Permit, a Rehabilitation Permit or a Scientific Collectors Permit, issued by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission or under a captive cervine permit issued by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, as specified under such permits, or under provisions as provided for in 008.01A, prior to the acquisition of said wild birds or wild mammals (for exception see 008.01C, 008.08C and 001.02B). Threatened and endangered species and species in need of conservation may be kept only with special permit provisions.
Deer - White-tailed (see 008.07)
Mule (see 008.07)
All wild species protected by Federal Regulations
Fox - Gray
Fox - Red
All wild species protected by Federal Regulations
Grouse - Sharptail
Grouse - Prairie Chicken
All species protected by Migratory Bird Treaty Act
Mustela vison, except mutation
Partridge - Hungarian
Partridge - Chukar
Pheasant - Ringneck or Common Pheasant
Quail - Bobwhite
Sheep - Bighorn (see 008.07)
Squirrel - Fox
Squirrel - Gray
Squirrel - Flying
Swan - Trumpeter
Swan - Tundra
Turkey - All wild species
Meleagris gallopavo subspecies
Weasel - Long-tailed
008.01C It shall be unlawful to purchase or possess any species of wild birds or wild mammals protected by these regulations including eggs from these species without a permit, except that species not listed on the permit and otherwise not prohibited by these regulations may be purchased at an auction (as described in 008.04) or other sale provided that the Commission is notified within ten (10) days of acquisition.
008.01D Captive Wildlife Permits shall not be issued for wild birds or wild mammals which have been taken or removed from the wild.
008.01E If an animal held under authority of a grandfather provision escapes from captivity, the permit held by the owner shall be revoked and the animal will be destroyed or otherwise disposed of as determined by a Commission agent.
008.01F Suspension and Revocation of Permits: It shall be unlawful for wild birds or wild mammals to be kept in captivity unless they are confined in a manner reasonably designed to prevent escape and are given humane treatment, as defined in the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service code book, 1-1-1985 edition. A copy of the relevant section of the USDA publication will be provided upon request to any person applying to keep wild birds and wild mammals in captivity.
008.01F1 Upon finding that a permittee has violated any of the standards applicable to the issuance or maintenance of the permits, the Game and Parks Commission shall suspend or revoke the permit.
008.01F2 Such suspension or revocation shall not take effect until after a notice in writing has been provided to the permittee, and the permittee has been given an opportunity to reply to the notice and to correct the deficiency. Such notice must allow 30 days for reply. If the permittee cannot correct the deficiency within 30 days after the reply deadline, the animals must be moved to an adequate facility.
008.01F3 Immediate Suspension and/or Revocation of Permit: If conditions under which animals are being kept are inhumane and their survival appears to be in jeopardy, immediate action may be taken. The permittee shall be advised that his permit is immediately revoked. If the permittee wishes to appeal the decision, he/she may request a hearing before the full body of the Commission at their next regular meeting.
008.02 It shall be unlawful to keep wild birds or wild mammals in captivity except in accordance with section 37-479, 37-524 and in accordance with the following:
008.02A The applicant must provide proof that the wild birds or wild mammals listed on the application are acquired from a licensed nonresident breeder or captive wildlife permittee or from the owner of a domesticated cervine herd licensed by the Department of Agriculture.
008.02B Game birds may be obtained and held as specified in 001.02B.
008.02C Fencing of the pasture in which ungulates are to be held must consist of a permanent sheep-tight fence at least ten (10) feet in height and constructed in such a manner as to prohibit escape of captive animals and the possible ingress of wild ungulates.
008.02D Satisfactory assurances must be provided that the wild birds or wild mammals will not be allowed to increase to levels where overcrowding will occur. This may be accomplished by having the females spayed or the males castrated to prevent reproduction from occurring. When normal reproduction does occur, removal of surplus animals shall be the responsibility of the permit holder. Disposal of the surplus animals shall be accomplished by any of the following means:
008.02D1 Captured alive and sold to a holder of a valid Captive Wildlife Permit which authorizes the keeping of ungulates in captivity, or, for cervidae only, captured alive and sold to a holder of a Domesticated Cervine Animal Facility Permit issued by the Department of Agriculture.
008.02D2 Killed under humane conditions.
008.02D3 Hunted at any time within the confines of a sheep-tight fence as described in 008.02C in accordance with the minimum weapon requirements established for the hunting of free ranging wild ungulates.
008.02D4 Meat, hide, antlers, horns or other parts may be shipped or disposed of in accordance with sections 37-477, 37-479 and 37-480.
008.03 Captive Wildlife Permit
It shall be unlawful:
008.03A to keep any wild birds or wild mammals in captivity without first obtaining a Captive Wildlife Permit from the Commission, except as provided in 001.02B and 008.08C. Application for such permit shall be on a form prescribed by the Commission and contain the name, address, social security number of the individual applying for the permit, as well as the location of facility; numbers of wild birds or wild mammals; source location of wild birds or wild mammals; sex and age of wild birds or wild mammals, if known; disease history, if requested; and purpose of holding wild birds or wild mammals. All Captive Wildlife Permits shall expire December 31 of the year in which issued.
008.03B to fail to file a report on forms provided by the Commission, with the Game and Parks Commission by January 15 of each year listing the number and kinds of wild birds or wild mammals on hand and the number disposed of during a calendar year.
008.03C to buy and sell wild birds or wild mammals except that a Captive Wildlife Permit allows the permit holder to possess, raise and sell those species of wild birds or wild mammals specified on the permit that have been acquired without violation of any provision of the laws or regulations.
008.03D for a person who holds a Captive Wildlife Permit to sell live wild birds or wild mammals to any resident who does not hold a valid Captive Wildlife Permit (See 008.02F1 for exception.) or to a nonresident unless he/she has an appropriate permit from his/her state, if a permit is required by his/her state, except that such wild birds may be sold to a person in charge of an authorized field trial or for purposes of dog training as defined in 001.02B.
008.04 Public Auctions:
It shall be unlawful:
008.04A for auction houses dealing in or selling captive wild birds or captive wild mammals not to record name, address, social security number and permit number of both consignor and purchaser of such wild birds or wild mammals. These records must be retained for one year following sale.
008.04B for any person, including nonresidents, to buy, sell or traffic in wild birds or wild mammals unless the seller possesses a Captive Wildlife Auction Permit and the buyer possesses the appropriate permit (Exception: See 008.01C, 008.02F1), i.e. Captive Wildlife Permit for residents of Nebraska and the appropriate permit from his/her state of residence, if a permit is required by his/her state for nonresidents of Nebraska; except that conducting an auction for meat, hide, antlers, horns or other parts shall be exempt from provisions of this sub-section.
008.04B1 for any person or entity, to conduct an auction for wild birds or wild mammals unless application has been made and a Captive Wildlife Auction Permit has been issued by the Commission. Such application shall state the applicant's name, address, social security number, date(s) of auction, species, numbers and ownership of wild birds or wild mammals to be auctioned and location of auction. If said auction is to be a consignment sale, the auction permit holder shall report the numbers and ownership of wild birds or wild mammals auctioned to the Game and Parks Commission within five (5) working days from the close of said auction. Such application shall be accompanied by a fifty-dollar application fee and on a form prescribed by the Commission.
008.04C to sell or offer for sale any endangered or threatened species until a Captive-bred Wildlife Permit or Endangered Species Permit has been obtained from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by all parties involved.
008.04D to ship or transport any species of wildlife that requires a permit for consignment at an auction, unless such animals are accompanied by the appropriate permit from the state of origin, or when a permit is not required, another document such as a health certificate which gives the state of origin.
008.04E to handle and process wild birds or wild mammals that require a permit for consignment at an auction. The Game and Parks Commission shall be notified by the permittee within 24 hours of the occurrence of any unexplained diseases or deaths occurring in animals held under a Captive Wildlife Auction Permit.
008.05 Entry Requirements: All captive wild birds or wild mammals may be legally shipped or transported into the state under the following conditions.
008.05A Said wild birds or wild mammals are accompanied by sufficient documentation indicating proof that such animals had been legal in state of origin (i.e., license numbers of appropriate state and federal permits).
008.06 Tag Requirements for Purchase and Sale:
It shall be unlawful for any person to buy or sell wild birds or wild mammals unless the three part sales tags obtained from the Game and Parks Commission bearing the name and address of the seller/CSA and the buyer/hunter together with the date, species, numbers and other pertinent data accompanies each transaction and the appropriate completed portion is returned to the Game and Parks Commission. Licensed nonresident breeders must provide an equivalent form.
008.07 Restricted Species
008.07A It shall be unlawful, except under provisions of 008.01A, for any person, partnership, association or corporation to import into the state, possess, retain in captivity, or release to the wild any of the species listed below, except that these species may be transported, in direct passage, through Nebraska in accordance with appropriate state and federal regulations.
008.07A1 Asian Raccoon Dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides) constitutes both economic and ecologic threat.
008.07A2 White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) constitutes both economic and ecologic threat.
008.07A3 Mule Deer (Odocoileus hemionus) constitutes both economic and ecologic threat.
008.07A4 Red Deer (Cervus elaphus elaphus), or any of its hybrids constitute ecologic threat.
008.07A5 Wild Pig (All wild species in the family Suidae, including any Suidae exhibiting the morphological or behavioral characteristics of a wild pig, whether raised in captivity or not, including European wild boar) constitutes both economic and ecologic threat.
008.07A6 Bighorn sheep (Ovis Canadensis), thinhorn sheep (Ovis dalli),Mouflon (Ovid Ammon), and Aoudad (Ammotragus lervia) or any of their subspecies, constitutes both economic and ecologic threat. Unlawful in Banner, Box Butte, Cheyenne, Dawes, Kimball, Morrill, Scotts Bluff, Sheridan and Sioux counties.
008.07B The following provisions shall apply to grandfathering possession of wild pigs, mule deer, mouflon, aoudad or any of their hybrids or subspecies held prior to this action.
008.07B1 Persons who possess wild pigs on October 30, 1992, may retain these animals and their progeny in captivity. It shall be unlawful to release the parent stock or the progeny to the wild. Escapes must be recaptured or otherwise destroyed within ten (10) days of escape. If the owner is unable to recapture the escapes, they shall be destroyed by the Game and Parks Commission at the owner's expense. Immediate notification of escapes must be given to the Game and Parks Commission. It shall be unlawful to sell, barter or give away wild pigs within the state of Nebraska, but they may be sold outside the state of Nebraska.
008.07B2 Persons who possess mule deer, registered with the Nebraska Department of Agriculture on July 24, 2002, may retain these animals and their progeny in captivity provided said animals are held only upon the property where they were legally held captive prior to July 24, 2002 and upon immediately adjacent additions which total no more than 25% of the original property acreage, and only as long as said animals are owned by the person or persons holding title to said original animals on July 24, 2002. It shall be unlawful to release the parent stock or the progeny to the wild. Escapes must be recaptured or otherwise destroyed within 10 days of escape. If the owner is unable to recapture the escapes, they shall be destroyed by the Game and Parks Commission at the owner's expense. Immediate notification of escapes must be given to the Game and Parks Commission. It shall be unlawful to sell, barter or give away mule deer within the state of Nebraska, but they may be sold outside the state of Nebraska.
008.07B3 Persons who possess mouflon, aoudad or any of their hybrids or subspecies on June 22, 2018, may retain these animals and their progeny in captivity. It shall be unlawful to release the parent stock or the progeny to the wild. Escapes must be recaptured or otherwise destroyed within ten (10) days of escape. If the owner is unable to recapture the escapes, they shall be destroyed by the Game and Parks Commission. Immediate notification of escapes must be given to the Game and Parks Commission.
008.08 Wildlife Allowed to be Imported, Exported, Released or Commercialized.
008.08A Importation: the following wildlife may be imported:
Cervus elaphus Canadensis
Goat, wild - all
Capra aegagrus and C. hircus, or Oreamnus americanus
Pere David's deer
Sheep - Aoudad (see 008.07)
Sheep - Bighorn (see 008.07)
Sheep - Mouflon (see 008.07)
Sheep - Thinhorn (see 008.07)
Macropus spp. & Petrogale spp.
All Game Birds
All Cage and Aviary Birds
008.08A1 In addition to the wildlife listed in 008.08A, all wildlife immediately destined for reception at an American Zoological Association accredited facility, any facility operated by a city, village, state, or federal agency, a wildlife exhibit licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture, prior to January 1, 2006, or possessed by a circus licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture, or any wildlife transported in direct passage through Nebraska in accordance with appropriate federal and state regulations may be imported.
008.08B1 All legally acquired wildlife may be exported, provided the exportation of reptiles, amphibians, fish, mollusks, and crustaceans is governed by Chapter 4, Wildlife Regulations, Section 010 and Chapter 2, Fisheries Regulations, Sections 002, 005 and 009.
008.08C Release into the wild: the following wildlife may be released into the wild:
008.08C1 Wildlife which are intentionally or unintentionally captured by legal means may be released.
008.08C2 Pheasants, quail, partridge and mallards may be released into the wild. All game birds purchased and released must be obtained from a Captive Wildlife Permit holder or licensed nonresident breeder. Persons may hold legally acquired birds for a period not to exceed fourteen (14) days beyond the date of purchase prior to release without a Captive Wildlife Permit. Banding of these birds is required according to provisions of 001.02B and 015.04B.
008.08C3 Without the authorization of the Commission, it shall be unlawful to release into the wild any wildlife other than fish, mollusks and crustaceans and those listed in 008.08C2 which has been transported from one location to another over a distance exceeding 100 yards or after such wildlife has been in captivity for a time period exceeding 48 hours.
008.08C3a Fish, mollusks and crustaceans may be released only as specified in Chapter 2, Fisheries Regulations.
008.08D Commercial exploitation of wildlife taken from the wild. The following animals taken from the wild in Nebraska may be commercially exploited:
008.08D1 Furbearing animals legally taken from the wild and possessed which are dead and parts thereof may be commercially exploited.
008.08D2 Reptiles and amphibians legally taken from the wild may be commercially exploited only as specified in Chapter 4, Wildlife Regulations, Section 010 and Chapter 2, Fisheries Regulations, Sections 002 and 009.
008.08D3 Fish, mollusks and crustaceans legally taken from the wild may be commercially exploited only as specified in Chapter 4, Wildlife Regulations, Section 010 and Chapter 2, Fisheries Regulations, Sections 002, 004 and 009.
008.08D4 Game animals and upland game birds discarded or found dead may be commercially exploited, only as specified in Chapter 4, Wildlife Regulations, 013.01D and 013.02.
008.08E Nothing in this Part shall be construed to authorize importation, exportation, take from the wild, release or commercialization of any wildlife which is otherwise prohibited or further restricted by federal law, state law, or local ordinance.
008.08F Species declared by the Commission to be an ecological and economic threat may be further restricted, see 008.07.
Current with amendments received through February 26, 2020.