Statutes

Statute by category Citationsort descending Summary
WV - Racing - Article 23. Horse and Dog Racing W. Va. Code, § 19-23-9 - § 19-23-30 This Act requires a license from the West Virginia Racing Commission in order to conduct horse or dog racing. Anyone who participates or has anything to do with dog racing or horse racing at a licensed track, such as employees and horse/dog owners, must have a permit from the commission. This Act allows for the West Virginia Racing Commission to continue its existence as a public corporation. The Commission has full jurisdiction over and must supervise all horse and dog race meetings and all persons involved in the holding or conducting of horse and dog race meetings. Each county that already permits horse racing must vote and approve dog racing in order for the Commission to issue a license for a racing facility.
WV - Exotic Pets - Article 34. Dangerous Wild Animals Act W. Va. Code, § 19-34-1 to 9 The State of West Virginia found the possession of dangerous wild animals to present a serious public health and safety concern. Because of this, the state prohibits a person from possessing a dangerous wild animal unless the animal was owned prior to June 1, 2015 and the owner obtained a permit. Under this statute, a “Dangerous wild animal” means a mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian or aquatic animal, including a hybrid that is dangerous to humans, other animals or the environment due to its inherent nature and capability to do significant harm.
WV - Dangerous - § 20-2-16. Dogs chasing deer W. Va. Code, § 20-2-16

This West Virginia statute mandates that no person shall permit his dog to hunt or chase deer.  A conservation officer shall take into possession any dog known to have hunted or chased deer and the director shall advertise that such dog is in his possession, giving a description of the dog and stating the circumstances under which it was taken.  The owner then has ten days to reclaim the dog.  If after a bona fide but unsuccessful effort to capture dogs detected chasing or pursuing deer, an officer may kill the offending dogs.

WV - Hunting - § 20-2-2a. Interference with hunters, trappers and fishermen W. Va. Code, § 20-2-2a

This law reflects West Virginia's hunter harassment provision. Under the law, a person may not willfully obstruct or impede the participation of any individual in the lawful activity of hunting, fishing or trapping. Violation is a misdemeanor with a fine of not less than $100 and not more than $500 or imprisonment for 10 - 100 days, or both. Subsequent violations within two years of any prior violation result in a fine of up to $1000 and imprisonment for up to one year, or both. A violator is also liable to the person for damages.

WV - Scientific research - § 20-2-50. Permit to hunt, kill, etc., wildlife for scientific or propagation purposes W. Va. Code, § 20-2-50

Under this West Virginia law, the director may issue a permit to a person to hunt, kill, take, capture or maintain in captivity wildlife exclusively for scientific purposes, but not for any commercial purposes.

WV - Exotic Pet - § 20-2-51. Permit for keeping pets; § 20-2-52. Permits for roadside menageries W. Va. Code, § 20-2-51; W. Va. Code, § 20-2-52

This West Virginia statute provides that the state fish and game director may issue a permit to a person to keep and maintain in captivity as a pet, a wild animal acquired from a commercial dealer or during the legal open season. The fee is charged is two dollars.

WV - Hunting - § 20-2-5a. Forfeiture by person causing injury, death or destruction W. Va. Code, § 20-2-5a

Under this statute, defendants must pay an additional monetary penalty in the form of a "replacement cost" for the unlawful killing of certain listed species ($5,000 for each bald or golden eagle killed).  If two defendants were implicated in the killing, each must pay the full penalty.  For discussion of federal Eagle Act, see Detailed Discussion .

WV - Eagle - § 20-2-5c. Protection of bald eagles and golden eagles; unlawful acts; W. Va. Code, § 20-2-5c

This statute makes it a misdemeanor to possess or barter in golden or bald eagles,  and any subsequent convictions under this chapter result in felony prosecution.  In addition to fines and imprisonment, violators face revocation of hunting license privileges for up to ten years.

WV - Equine Activity Liability - Article 4. Equestrian Activities Responsibility Act. W. Va. Code, § 20-4-1 to 7

This West Virginia section expressly recognizes the value of equestrian activities to the state.  Thus, in order to limit liability to those who provide equine services, the duties of both the horsemen who provide such services and the participants who engage in such activities are stated.  Each participant in an equestrian activity expressly assumes the risk of and legal responsibility for any injury, loss or damage to person or property which results from participation in an equestrian activity.  Horsemen are required to ensure the safety of the participants and the equipment provided.

WV - Veterinary - Article 10. Veterinarians. W. Va. Code, § 30-10-1 to 23

These are the state's veterinary practice laws.  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.

WV - Lien - § 38-11-4. Lien of bailee of animals or vehicles W. Va. Code, § 38-11-4 This West Virginia law (as it relates to animals) states the a person who keeps a livery stable, or boarding stable for animals, or one who boards, pastures, feeds or trains animals for hire, has a lien upon such animals for the sum due him for the care, boarding, pasturage, feeding, or training of such animals, or the care, keeping of such animals. This lien exists even though such animals are permitted to be taken out of the possession of the one claiming such lien even if the contract has not yet terminated for the lien. The purchaser of such an animal, while out of the possession of the person claiming the lien, can take the property free of the lien unless he or she had actual notice of the lien at the time of purchase.
WV - Pet Trust - § 44D-4-408. Trust for care of animal W. Va. Code, § 44D-1-110; W. Va. Code, § 44D-4-408; W. Va. Code, § 44D-4-409 These West Virginia statutes regulate trusts for the care of animals. A pet trust may be created to provide for the care of an animal alive during the grantor's lifetime. The trust terminates upon the death of the animal. Property of a trust may be applied only to its intended use. A trust may be enforced by a person appointed in the terms of the trust instrument or by a person appointed by the court.
WV - Assistance Animal - Assistance Animal/Guide Dog Laws W. Va. Code, § 5-15-1 to 9; § 19-20-2; § 5-11A-3, 5-11A-5

The following statutes comprise the state's relevant assistance animal and guide dog laws.

WV - Leash - § 5A-4-4. Unlawful to kill or molest animals, birds or fowls upon grounds of capitol; W. Va. Code, § 5A-4-4 This West Virginia statute aims at protecting the state capitol grounds and governor's mansion from disturbance. In doing so, it makes it unlawful for any person to knowingly allow a dog owned by him or her to be upon the grounds of the capitol buildings or governor's mansion unless such dog is under control by leash. Any person who knowingly allows a dog owned by him to be upon the grounds of the capitol buildings or governor's mansion while not under control by leash shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, be fined not less than twenty-five nor more than one hundred dollars. Other interesting provisions are included in this law.
WV - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes W. Va. Code, § 7-10-1 to 5; W. Va. Code, § 61-8-19 to 23; W. Va. Code, § 19-33-1 - 5

These West Virginia statutes comprise the state's anti-cruelty and animal fighting provisions.  If any person cruelly mistreats, abandons or withholds proper sustenance, including food, water, shelter or medical treatment, necessary to sustain normal health and fitness or to end suffering or abandons any animal to die, or uses, trains or possesses any domesticated animal for the purpose of seizing, detaining or maltreating any other domesticated animal, he or she is guilty of a misdemeanor.  If any person intentionally tortures or maliciously kills an animal, or causes, procures or authorizes any other person to torture or maliciously kill an animal, he or she is guilty of a felony.  The provisions of this section do not apply to lawful acts of hunting, fishing, trapping or animal training or farm livestock, poultry, gaming fowl or wildlife kept in private or licensed game farms if kept and maintained according to usual and accepted standards of livestock, poultry, gaming fowl or wildlife or game farm production and management.  The section also prohibits animal fighting, making it a felony if the animal is a dog or other fur-bearing animal ("canine, feline, porcine, bovine, or equine species whether wild or domesticated"), and a misdemeanor if not (i.e., cockfighting).

WV - Licenses - § 7-7-6d. Collection of head tax on dogs; duties of assessor and sheriff; W. Va. Code, § 7-7-6d This West Virginia statute provides that it is the duty of the county assessor at the time of assessment of the personal property within such county, to assess and collect a head tax of one dollar on each male or spayed female dog and of two dollars on each unspayed female dog.  In addition to the above, the assessor and his deputies shall have the further duty of collecting any such head tax on dogs as may be levied by the ordinances of each and every municipality within the county.  The tax also serves the function of providing a registration for the dog.  Any person who refuses to pay the tax after a specified period may have his or her dog seized, which may then be sold or eventually destroyed.
WV - Cruelty, reporting - § 9-6-9a. Mandatory reporting suspected of animal cruelty by adult protective service workers W. Va. Code, § 9-6-9a, W. Va. Code, § 48-27-702, W. Va. Code, § 49-2-806

These West Virginia statutes require that an adult protective services worker, a child protective services worker, or a law enforcement officer who responds to an alleged domestic violence incident, who form a reasonable suspicion that an animal is the victim of cruelty, shall report their suspicion to the county humane society within twenty-four hours.

WV - Humane Slaughter - Article 2E. Humane Slaughter of Livestock. W. Va. Code, §§ 19-2E-1 to 7

The West Virginia humane slaughter provisions apply to livestock, defined as cattle, swine, sheep or goats.  Humane methods of slaughtering livestock include those where the animal is rendered insensible to pain by a single blow, gunshot or by electrical, chemical or other means, or by slaughtering in accordance with the ritual requirements of the Jewish faith or any other religious faith that prescribes a method of slaughter by the simultaneous and instantaneous severance of the carotid arteries.  The section provides a graduating scheme of penalties for violation; a first offense results in a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $100 - $500; a second offense results in a misdemeanor with a fine of $500 - 1,000 and  suspension of the license to do business as a slaughtering establishment until the facility is in compliance.

WV - Horse Slaughter - Article 2B. Inspection of Meat and Poultry. W. Va. Code, §§ 19-2B-1 to 12

The stated purpose of this article is to provide for the inspection, labeling and disposition of animals, poultry, carcasses, meat products and poultry products which are to be sold or offered for sale through commercial outlets for human consumption, the licensing of commercial slaughterers, custom slaughterers and processors, and the inspection of slaughterhouses and processing plants located in the state of West Virginia. With regard to horse slaughter, the article makes it unlawful to add kangaroo meat, horse meat, mule meat or other equine meat to any animal meat, meat product or poultry product to be sold or offered for sale through commercial outlets or distributors for human consumption.

WV - Domestic Violence - § 48-27-503. Permissive provisions in protective order. W. Va. Code, §§ 48-27-503; 48-27-702 In West Virginia, the terms of a protective order may include awarding the petitioner the exclusive care, possession, or control of any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept or held by either the petitioner or the respondent or a minor child residing in the residence or household of either the petitioner or the respondent and prohibiting the respondent from taking, concealing, molesting, physically injuring, killing or otherwise disposing of the animal and limiting or precluding contact by the respondent with the animal. Furthermore, West Virginia mandates that law enforcement officers who suspect animal cruelty during an alleged incident of domestic violence must report that suspicion and the grounds therefor to the county humane officer within twenty-four hours of the response to the alleged incident of domestic violence.
WV - Dogs - Consolidated Dog Laws W. Va. Code, §§ 5A-4-4; § 7-7-6d; § 19-9-1 - 40; § 19-20-1 - 26; § 19-20A-1 - 8; § 19-20B-1 - 6; § 19-20C-1 - 3; § 19-20D-1 - 3; § 20-2-5; § 20-2-5f; § 20-2-16; § 20-2-22a; § 20-2-56a

These West Virginia statutes comprise the state's dog laws.  Among the provisions include registration requirements, rabies control, and hunting laws that impact dogs.

WY - Ordinances - § 15-1-103. General powers of governing bodies W.S. 1977 § 15-1-103

This Wyoming statute provides that the governing bodies of all cities and towns may regulate or prohibit the running at large within the city limits of any animals, impose a license fee for the keeping or harboring of dogs and establish and provide for the operation of a pound.  They may also abate nuisances (dogs at large are defined as such), establish quarantines, and enact other ordinances for the general health, safety, and welfare of the community.

WY - Equine Activity Liability - Chapter 1. General Provisions as to Civil Actions W.S.1977 § 1-1-122 to 123

The Wyoming equine liability provisions immunize equine professionals by declaring that those who engage in equine activities or any recreational activities assume the inherent risks in the sport or recreational opportunity.  However, actions based upon negligence of the provider wherein the damage, injury or death is not the result of an inherent risk of the sport or recreational opportunity shall be preserved pursuant to W.S. 1-1-109.

WY - Eagles - § 23-3-101. Taking eagle prohibited W.S.1977 § 23-3-101

This Wyoming statutes prohibits the taking of an eagle unless the taking is authorized by federal law. Such a taking constitutes a high misdemeanor.

WY - Assistance Animals - Assistance Animal/Guide Dog Laws W.S.1977 § 35-13-201 to 206; § 31-5-611

The following statutes comprise the state's relevant assistance animal and guide dog laws.

WY - Hunting - Article 1. Game Bird Farms. W.S.1977 §§ 23-5-101 - 111

This Wyoming statute provides that one who desires to operate a game bird farm must file a verified declaration that states the purpose of the farm (breeding, propagating, or hunting) and a legal description of the tract of land.

WI - Wildlife - Subchapter XII. Wildlife Damage W.S.A. 29.885 - 29.89

Under these Wisconsin statutes, wild animals that are causing damage or a nuisance may be removed. These statutes also establish a wildlife damage abatement program and venison processing and donation program. Wildlife control measures in urban communities and management of double-crested cormorants are also provided.

WI - Research animals - 36.40. Use of animals for research purposes W.S.A. 36.40

This Wisconsin law states that the board of higher education for the University of Wisconsin System shall adopt criteria for researchers to follow regarding humane treatment of animals for scientific research purposes.

WI - Veterinary - Chapter 89. Veterinary Examining Board W.S.A. 89.02 - .08

These are the state's veterinary practice laws.  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.

WI - Hunting - 951.09. Shooting at caged or staked animals W.S.A. 951.09

This Wisconsin statute prohibits the killing or aiding in killing or wounding by use of deadly weapon of any animal that is tied, staked out, caged or otherwise intentionally confined in a man-made enclosure, regardless of size.  However, nothing in this section prohibits the shooting of any wild game in its wild state.

WI - Horsemeat - 97.45. Labeling of horsemeat W.S.A. 97.45 (97.45. Repealed by 2015 Act 243, § 59, eff. March 3, 2016)

[97.45. Repealed by 2015 Act 243, § 59, eff. March 3, 2016]. This former statute states that no person shall sell any horsemeat, unless it is conspicuously labeled, marked, branded or tagged “horsemeat.” Violation is a Class H felony.

CA - Veterinary - Chapter 11. Veterinary Medicine. West's Ann. Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 4800 - 4917

These are the state's veterinary practice laws.  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.

CA - Ordinances - Local regulations West's Ann. Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 7582.5

This California statute provides great deference to local municipalities by providing that regulations governing local municipalities shall not infringe upon the police powers of those local units to regulate dogs.  Specifically, it states that this chapter shall not prevent the local authorities in any city, county, or city and county, by ordinance and within the exercise of the police power of the city, county, or city and county from imposing reasonable additional requirements necessary to regulate and control protection dogs according to their local needs and not inconsistent with the provisions of this chapter.

CA - Testing, animal - Chapter 2. Deposit for Keeping. Article 1. General Provisions. West's Ann. Cal. Civ. Code § 1833 - 1840

The following statutes requires that a research facility which houses living animals shall provide said animals with veterinary care, food, housing, and treat each animal with kindness. Any violation of the statute could result in civil liability. In addition, the statutes provide that an alternative testing method must be utilized when scientifically validated, recommended by the ICCVAM, and adopted by the appropriate federal agency.

CA - Lost Property - Lost and Unclaimed Property West's Ann. Cal. Civ. Code § 2080 - 2082

This statutory section comprises California's lost property laws.

CA - Damages - Injuries to animals; exemplary damages West's Ann. Cal. Civ. Code § 3340

Exemplary damages may be given for injuries to animals committed in disregard of humanity either willfully or through gross negligence.

CA - Entertainment - Title 4. Motion Pictures (use of animals) West's Ann. Cal. Civ. Code § 3504 - 3508.2

This section of laws provides that it is a nuisance to exhibit a motion picture that depicts any intentional killing of, or cruelty to, a human being or an animal where such intentional killing of, or cruelty to, a human being or an animal actually occurred in the production of the motion picture for the purpose of such production created after January 1, 1979. An action may be brought to abate and prevent the nuisance by the relevant county's district attorney or the California Attorney General. Any violation or disobedience of an injunction or order expressly provided for by this title is punishable as a contempt of court by a fine of not less than two hundred dollars ($200) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000).

CA - Fur - § 996. Fur bearing animals raised in captivity; ownership; protection of law West's Ann. Cal. Civ. Code § 996

This California law provides that any furbearing animal whether born in captivity or brought into captivity for the purpose of pelting fur is regarded as personal property, the same as other domestic animals.

CA - Cruelty - Part 9. Societies for Prevention of Cruelty to Children and Animals. West's Ann. Cal. Corp. Code § 10400 - 10406

This set of statutes outlines the rights and responsibilities of corporations that are formed for the prevention of cruelty to animals.

CA - Cruelty - Part 11. Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals West's Ann. Cal. Corp. Code § 14500 - 14505

This section of California laws concerns the formation and powers of societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals.

CA - Education - Chapter 2.3. Pupils' Rights to Refrain from the Harmful or Destructive Use of Animals West's Ann. Cal. Educ. Code § 32255 - 32255.6 This California chapter of laws concerns students refraining from engaging in animal dissection in education institutions. Under Section 32255.1, any pupil (defined as under age 18) with a moral objection to dissecting or otherwise harming or destroying animals, or any parts thereof, shall notify his or her teacher regarding this objection. If the pupil refrains from such participation, he or she and the teacher may work to develop an alternate education project. The pupil shall not be discriminated against based upon his or her decision to exercise his or her rights pursuant to this chapter. A pupil's objection to participating in an educational project pursuant to this section shall be substantiated by a note from his or her parent or guardian.
CA - Domestic Violence - Inclusion of Animals; Domestic Violence West's Ann. Cal. Fam. Code § 6320 - 6327

On a showing of good cause, the court may include in a protective order a grant to the petitioner of the exclusive care, possession, or control of any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by either the petitioner or the respondent or a minor child residing in the residence or household of either the petitioner or the respondent.

CA - Endangered Species - CHAPTER 1.5. ENDANGERED SPECIES West's Ann. Cal. Fish & G. Code § 2050 - 2115.5

The California Fish and Game Code considers that endangered and threatened species are of ecological, educational, historical, recreational, esthetic, economic, and scientific value to the people of the State of California. The State of California has legislation that allows the state to protect endangered and threatened species by acquiring land for these species to protect, restore and enhance the habitat of these species.  Section 2080 prohibits the importing, taking, exporting, possessing, purchasing, or selling, any species, or any part or product thereof that is endangered or threatened.

CA - Fish & Game - Chapter 1. General Definitions West's Ann. Cal. Fish & G. Code § 1 - 89.5

This chapter includes the general definitions for the Fish and Game Code.

CA - Fish & Game - Chapter 1. Taking and Possessing in General West's Ann. Cal. Fish & G. Code § 2000 - 2022

These sections make it unlawful to take any bird, mammal, fish, reptile, or amphibian except as provided in this code.  Some of the restrictions in the code refer to taking after season, offering a prize or inducement to take game, setting a bounty for an animal, using sniper scopes, artificial lights, or trap guns.  Section 2009 also makes it a crime willfully interfere with the participation of any individual in the lawful activity of shooting, hunting, or fishing.

CA - Wild Animal - Chapter 2. Importation, Transportation, and Sheltering of Restricted Live Wild Animals. West's Ann. Cal. Fish & G. Code § 2116 - 2203

The California Legislature adopted this act based on a findings that wild animals are captured for importation and resold in California and that some populations of wild animals are being depleted, that many animals die in captivity or transit, and that some keepers of wild animals lack sufficient knowledge or facilities for the proper care of wild animals.  It was the intention of the Legislature to regulate the importation, transportation, and possession of wild animals to protect the native wildlife and agricultural interests against damage from the existence at large of certain wild animals, and to protect the public health and safety in this state.  The act defines "wild animal" and classifies them by species.  Among other things, the act also includes inspection and permit provisions that govern the treatment of wild animals and the actions that may be taken where they are concerned.

CA - Hunting - § 2124. Possession, purchase, sale or transfer of wild animals West's Ann. Cal. Fish & G. Code § 2124

Under this California law, it is unlawful for any person to possess, transport, import, export, propagate, purchase, sell, or transfer any live mammal for the purposes of maiming, injuring, or killing the mammal for gain, amusement, or sport.

CA - Elephant Training - § 2128. Elephants; prohibited practices; penalties West's Ann. Cal. Fish & G. Code § 2128

This statute (operative on January 1, 2018) prohibits a person who houses, possesses, manages, or is in direct contact with an elephant from using a billhook, ankus, baseball bat, axe handle, pitchfork, and other devices that inflict pain for the purpose of training or controlling the elephant. Any person caught in violation of this statute will be subject to civil penalty and a suspension or revocation of his or her license to lawfully possess the animal. 

CA - Fish & Game - Chapter 6.5. Control of Illegally Taken Fish and Wildlife West's Ann. Cal. Fish & G. Code § 2580 - 2589

This set of laws outlines various violations involving the possession and movement of illegally obtained animals and imposes liability for those activities.

CA - Marine - Chapter 10.5. Marine Life Protection Act. West's Ann. Cal. Fish & G. Code § 2850 - 2863

In this act, the California Legislature finds and declares a need to reexamine and redesign California's marine protected area systems to increase its effectiveness at protecting the state's marine life, habitat, and ecosystems.  To improve the design and management of that system, the Marine Life Protection Program was adopted. A few of the Program's goals are to protect the natural diversity and abundance of marine life, to help sustain, conserve, and protect marine life populations, and rebuild those that are depleted.

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