Exotic Pets: Related Statutes

Statute by categorysort ascending Citation Summary
ND - Livestock - State Board of Animal Health NDCC 36-01-00.1 - 36 This Chapter of North Dakota laws deals with the state board of animal health, state veterinarian, and special provisions for keeping certain non-traditional livestock. Section 36-01-08.2 states that any person who keeps a mountain lion, wolf, or wolf hybrid in captivity must obtain an identification number from the state board. Section 36-01-08.4 also provides that a person may not keep a skunk or raccoon in captivity, and that the state board must adopt rules concerning the keeping of a primate, wolf, or wolf-hybrid in captivity. The remainder of the chapter deals primary with infectious disease control in livestock, although section 36-01-31 contains a ban on the keeping of a live venomous reptile.
NC - Exotic pets - Chapter 153A. Counties. N.C.G.S.A. § 153A-131; N.C.G.S.A. § 160A-187 These two North Carolina statutes provide that a city or county may by ordinance regulate, restrict, or prohibit the possession or harboring of animals which are dangerous to persons or property.
MT - Hunting - Chapter 4. Commercial Activities. MCA 87-4-401 to 87-4-433 In Montana, a person may not operate an alternative livestock ranch without a license. Such ranches are defined as enclosed land upon which animals such as privately owned caribou, white-tailed deer, etc, are kept for purposes of obtaining, rearing in captivity, keeping, or selling. The rancher has reporting requirements. Failure to comply with provisions of the act may result in revocation of the license.
MT - Exotic wildlife - Part 7. Importation, Introduction, and Transplantation of Wildlife MCA 87-5-701 to 87-5-725 These Montana statutes control the importation, introduction, and transplantation of exotic wildlife into the state. The importation of any wildlife is prohibited unless the species poses no threat of harm to native wildlife and plants or to agricultural production and that the introduction has significant public benefits. Violations may result in a fine or imprisonment.
MT - Exotic pets - Chapter 4. Commercial Activities. MCA 87-4-801 to 87-4-808 This set of Montana laws covers both "roadside menagerie" (any place where one or more wild animals are kept in captivity for the evident purpose of exhibition or attracting trade, excluding an educational institution or a traveling theatrical exhibition or circus based outside of Montana) and "wild animal menagerie" (any place where one or more bears or large cats, including cougars, lions, tigers, jaguars, leopards, pumas, cheetahs, ocelots, and hybrids of those large cats are kept in captivity for use other than public exhibition). The latter definition seems to cover the keeping of those listed species as exotic pets. Under the section, it is unlawful for any person to operate a roadside menagerie or wild animal menagerie without a permit. The annual permit fee for five or less animals is $10. The annual permit fee for more than five animals is $25.
MS - Exotic pet - Chapter 8. Importation, Sale and Possession of Inherently Dangerous Wild Animals. Miss. Code Ann. § 49-8-1 to 49-8-19 This Mississippi chapter states that it is in the public interest to ensure the public health, safety and welfare by strictly regulating the importation, sale, transfer and possession of those wild animals inherently dangerous to humans. Several species are listed under this section as inherently dangerous to humans, including non-human primates, wolves, bears, hyenas, big cats, and hippopotamus, among others. It is unlawful for a person to import, transfer, sell, purchase or possess any wild animal classified inherently dangerous by law or regulation unless that person holds a permit. Those persons who were in possession of such animals on or before May 1, 1997 were able to continue possession provided that they complied with the permit process. Prior to the issuance of a permit, the applicant must have provided proof of liability insurance in the amount of $100,000.00 for each wild animal up to a maximum of $1,000,000.00.
MO - Exotic pet - 578.023. Keeping a dangerous wild animal, penalty V. A. M. S. 578.023 This Missouri law states that no person may keep any lion, tiger, leopard, ocelot, jaguar, cheetah, margay, mountain lion, Canada lynx, bobcat, jaguarundi, hyena, wolf, bear, nonhuman primate, coyote, any deadly, dangerous, or poisonous reptile, or any deadly or dangerous reptile over eight feet long, in any place other than a properly maintained zoological park, circus, scientific, or educational institution, research laboratory, veterinary hospital, or animal refuge, unless such person has registered such animals with the local law enforcement agency in the county in which the animal is kept. Violation is a class C misdemeanor.
MO - Exotic - Chapter 578. Miscellaneous Offenses. Large Carnivores V.A.M.S. 578.600 - 578.625 The “Large Carnivore Act” pertains to large cats and bears that are nonnative to Missouri and held in captivity. The Act prohibits ownership, possession, breeding, and transportation of large carnivores (with exceptions). The Act creates civil and criminal liability for persons who own or possess a large carnivore. Violations may result in misdemeanor or felony convictions, community service work, the loss of privileges to own or possess any animal, and forfeiture of a large carnivore.
MN - Exotic pet - 346.155. Possessing regulated animals M. S. A. § 346.155 This Minnesota law defines "regulated animal" to mean all members of the Felidae family except the domestic cat, bears, and all non-human primates. Unless a person possessed a regulated animal on or before January 1, 2005, and came into compliance with AWA regulations, possession of the above-mentioned regulated animals is unlawful. A person who lawfully possessed a regulated animal before that date, must comply with registration, microchipping, fee, and inspection requirements.
MN - Exhibition - Chapter 97A. Game and Fish. General Provisions. M. S. A. § 97A.041 In Minnesota, a person may not possess wildlife in captivity for public exhibition purposes without a permit. The commissioner may issue a permit to an applicant qualified by education or experience in the care and treatment of wildlife. A permit shall include a condition that allows an enforcement officer to enter and inspect the facilities where the wildlife covered by the permit are held in captivity. A violation may result in the attorney general bringing an abatement action.
MI - Livestock - Chapter 287. Animal Industry. Animal Industry Act M. C. L. A. 287.701 - 747 This Michigan act is known as the "Animal Industry Act." The act is intended to protect the health, safety, and welfare of humans and animals, by requiring disease testing of imported animals, certification, and reporting of infected animals. A newly amended section (287.746) also concerns the tethering or confinement of animals such as pregnant sows and veal calves in manners that restrict lying, standing, fully extending limbs, or turning freely.
MI - Hunting - Chapter 324. Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act. M.C.L.A. 324.42701 - 42714 These sections describe the licensing of and regulations of breeders and dealers, including zoological parks. These sections also describe the parameters for enclosures and pens.
MI - Ferrets - Chapter 287. Ferrets M. C. L. A. 287.891 - 901 This chapter concerns ownership of ferrets in Michigan. A person shall not own or harbor a ferret over 12 weeks of age unless the ferret has a current vaccination against rabies with an approved rabies vaccine. A person may engage in hobby breeding of ferrets provided all requirements are met under Section 287.893. A person shall not release a ferret into the wild or abandon a ferret.
MI - Exotic Pets - Chapter 287. Animal Industry; Wolf-dog Cross Act MCLA 287.1001 - 1023 This Michigan law bans acquisition and possession of wolf-dog hybrids, though it grandfathered animals already owned as pets at the time of the law's enactments. In order to maintain public safety and animal welfare, the state created a strict permit system for those owners who were allowed to keep their already-existing pets.
MI - Exotic Pets - Chapter 287. Animal Industry; Large Carnivore Act M. C. L. A. 287.1101 - 1123 This Michigan law bans acquisition and possession of large carnivores (big cats and bears), though it grandfathered animals already owned as pets at the time of the law's enactment. In order to maintain public safety and animal welfare, the state created a strict permit system for those owners who were allowed to keep their already-existing pets. The statute also outlines minimal care requirements, transportation guidelines, and procedures for when a large carnivore suspected of carrying rabies bites a human or livestock.
MI - Exotic pets - CHAPTER 287. ANIMAL INDUSTRY. WOLF-DOG CROSS ACT. M. C. L. A. 287.1004 This Michigan statute provides the requirements for ownership of wolf-dog hybrids in the state.
MI - Exotic pets - CHAPTER 287. ANIMAL INDUSTRY. WOLF-DOG CROSS ACT. M. C. L. A. 287.1021 Under this Michigan statute, a local unit is empowered to adopt an ordinance governing wolf-dog crosses that is more restrictive than this act, provided it fulfills the requirements of this act in addition to any other requirements governing a wolf-dog cross under state and federal law.
MI - Exotic Pets - CHAPTER 287. ANIMAL INDUSTRY; ANIMAL INDUSTRY ACT M. C. L. A. 287.731 Michigan completely prohibits the importation into the state of "any species having the potential to spread serious diseases or parasites, to cause serious physical harm, or to otherwise endanger native wildlife, human life, livestock, domestic animals, or property." For other wild or exotic animals, Michigan regulates various aspects of their importation, such as requiring physical exams by vets, negative disease tests, and proper animal care and restraint.
MI - Dog Bite - Chapter 750. Michigan Penal Code. The Michigan Penal Code. M. C. L. A. 750.66a This Michigan law, which became effective January of 2009, provides that a person 18 years of age or older who is responsible for controlling the actions of a dog or wolf-dog cross and the person knows or has reason to know that the dog or wolf-dog cross has bitten another person shall remain on the scene. A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 93 days or a fine of not more than $500.00, or both.
ME - Ferret - Chapter 730-A. Breeding, Sale and Transportation of Small Mammals 7 M. R. S. A. § 3970-A to 3970-B This chapter concerns the sale and importation of juvenile ferrets.
ME - Exotic Pets - Subchapter 15. Wildlife Importation and Possession, Permits and Requirements, 12 M. R. S. A. § 12151 - 12161 These Maine statutes prohibit keeping wildlife in captivity, importing, breeding or releasing wildlife into the wild, with exceptions for a person holding a license. Taking reptiles, amphibians, and certain nonmarine invertebrates from the wild is also prohibited without a license. Provisions for the disposition of wolf hybrids are included. Penalties for violations incur fines that range from $100 to $500. Three or more such violations are considered to be a Class E criminal offense.
ME - Exotic Pets - Chapter 723. Facility Licenses. 7 M. R. S. A. § 3931-B (§ 3931-B. Repealed. Laws 2011, c. 100, § 13, eff. May 19, 2011)

REPEALED: This Maine statute outlines the requirements that apply to wolf hybrid kennels. A person who operates a wolf hybrid kennel must register with the department. The offspring of a wolf hybrid must be permanently identified prior to transferring ownership or care of the animal. Failure to comply with the provisions of this section results in a civil violation with a forfeiture not to exceed $1,000. (For other exotic pet laws in Maine, see Chapter 730-A. Breeding, Sale and Transportation of Small Mammals).

MD - Hunting - Subtitle 9. Captive Wildlife. MD Code, Natural Resources, § 10-901 - 911 This Maryland statute states that it is in the state's public interest to preserve native species by strictly regulating the possession, importation, exportation, breeding, raising, protection, rehabilitation, hunting, killing, trapping, capture, purchase, or sale of certain wildlife which pose a possibility of harm to native wildlife.
MD - Exotic pets - Subtitle 6. Crimes Relating to Animals. MD Code, Criminal Law, § 10-621 Under this Maryland law, a person may not import into the State, offer for sale, trade, barter, possess, breed, or exchange the following species of animals: foxes, skunks, raccoons, bears, caimans, alligators, crocodiles, wild cats, wolves, nonhuman primates, and venomous snakes. Animal sanctuaries, AWA licensed facilities, those holding valid permits from the Department of Natural Resources, and veterinarians are exempted. This section does not prohibit a person who had lawful possession of an animal listed above on or before May 31, 2006, from continuing to possess that animal if the person provided written notification to the local animal control authority on or before August 1, 2006. Violation results in a fine and seizure of the animal(s).
MD - Dangerous Animals - Part IV. Animal Control MD Code, Health-General, § 18-217 - 222 This chapter of Maryland laws declares that it is in the public interest to ensure public health and safety by strictly regulating the possession, breeding, and importation of certain animals that pose risks to humans. Certain animals such as domestic dogs, cats, and ferrets; animal used for agricultural, scientific, or education purposes; and animals used for public exhibitions are excluded from the provisions of this section. Any person who imports, transports, sells, transfers, breeds, raises, keeps, or possesses any animal which is prohibited under regulations promulgated by the Secretary is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine not exceeding $500, or imprisonment not exceeding 1 year, or both.
MA - Exotic Pets - Chapter 131. Inland Fisheries and Game and Other Natural Resources. M.G.L.A. 131 § 77A Massachusetts bans hybrid animals, those offspring of mating between a domestic animal and its wild counterpart, usually wolves and dogs. No individual may possess or own a hybrid as a pet.
MA - Exotic pet, breeding - Chapter 131. Inland Fisheries and Game and Other Natural Resources. M.G.L.A. 131 § 23 Massachusetts bans private possession of exotic pets, and requires licenses for those who deal and propagate wild species for other reasons. The Massachusetts director of the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife also issues a list of exempted species for which no permit is needed.
LA - Reptiles - § 632.5.1. Constrictors and poisonous snakes LSA-R.S. 56:632.5.1 This Louisiana law provides that certain species of constrictor snakes in excess of eight feet long and venomous snakes shall only be allowed by permit issued by the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries except for animals kept by animal sanctuaries, zoos, aquariums, wildlife research centers, scientific organizations, and medical research facilities as defined in the Animal Welfare Act. Violation of the provisions of this Section or rules adopted pursuant thereto shall constitute a class three violation.
LA - Exotic animals - § 2796.2. Limitation of liability for loss connected LSA-R.S. 9:2796.2 This Louisiana law states that no person shall have a cause of action against any nonprofit organization which operates or maintains a tax-exempt animal sanctuary for any injury, death, loss, or damage in connection with the Chimp Haven Festival, Dixie Chimps art contest, Les Boutiques de Noel, SciPort and Chimp Haven events, Run Wild and Have a Field Day, Eye-20 Art Show Gala, Krewe of Barkus and Meow Paws parade, Krewe of Centaur parade, Krewe of Highland parade, garden tour, ChimpStock, and any other educational and public awareness activities in which the organization sponsors or participates, unless the loss or damage was caused by the deliberate and wanton act or gross negligence of the organization or any officer, employee, or volunteer thereof.
KY - Reptiles in Religious Services - Chapter 437. Offenses Against Public Peace KRS § 437.060 This law states that any person who displays, handles or uses any kind of reptile in connection with any religious service or gathering shall be fined not less than fifty dollars ($50) nor more than one hundred dollars ($100).
KY - Ferret - 150.355 Ferrets KRS § 150.355 This Kentucky law prohibits the use of ferrets in hunting. Additionally, the law states that no person shall keep a ferret which was born in the wild as a pet or for any purpose, unless he or she has procured a ferret permit from the commissioner.
KY - Exotic Animals - Chapter 65. General Provisions Applicable to Counties, Cities KRS § 65.877 This Kentucky statue authorizes counties and cities to regulate or prohibit the holding of inherently dangerous wildlife. For example, the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources has identified some of the following animals as being dangerous: African buffalo, Hippopotamus, Hyenas, Old world badger, Lions, jaguars, leopards, or tigers, Clouded leopard, Cheetah, Elephants, Rhinoceroses, Gorillas, Baboons, drills, or mandrills, Crocodiles, Alligators or caimans, certain snakes, Gila monsters or beaded lizards, Komodo dragon, Wolverine, Bears, Wolf, mountain lion.
KS - Exotic Pets - Chapter 32. Wildlife, Parks and Recreation. K. S. A. 32-1301 to 1312 This set of Kansas statutes comprises the state's dangerous regulated animals act. Under the Act, a "dangerous regulated animal" means a live or slaughtered parts of lions, tigers, leopards, jaguars, cheetahs and mountain lions, or any hybrid thereof; bears or any hybrid thereof; and all non-native, venomous snakes. Except as provided in this section, it is unlawful for a person to possess, slaughter, sell, purchase or otherwise acquire a dangerous regulated animal.
IN - Wild Animal - Chapter 25. Importation Permit I.C. 14-22-25-1 - 4

In Indiana, a person needs a permit to import live fish or any living wild animal into the state for release. A permit may be granted only upon proof that the animals are free of a communicable disease, will not become a nuisance, and will not cause damage to a native wild or domestic species.

IN - Exotic pet - Chapter 26. Wild Animal Permit. I.C. 14-22-26-1 to 6 This set of Indiana laws concerns the keeping of protected and dangerous wild animals. Under the law, a person must obtain a permit to possess these classes of animals. A permit may be suspended if an emergency exists (e.g., the animal is in peril or the animal is in a position to harm another animal).
IN - Exotic Pet - Chapter 2. Definitions I.C. 14-8-2-87

This Indiana statute provides the definition of an exotic mammal, which does not include a feral cat or dog.

IL - Protected species - Article II. Game Protective Regulations. 520 I.L.C.S. 5/2.1 to 2.5a; 520 I.L.C.S. 5/2.36a

This collection of statutes provides that the title of all wild birds and mammals rests with the state. A new section in 2011 vests the Department of Natural Resources with the ability to control the possession and release of species deemed exotic or invasive. Other sections concern the possession of certain wild birds and animals. Possession of any listed wild bird or its parts (including the eagle) is illegal under the statute, except for the bona fide scientific or zoological exhibition.

IL - Exotic pets - Act 68. Herptiles-Herps Act 510 ILCS 68/1-1 to 510 ILCS 68/110–5

Under the Herptiles-Herps Act reptiles and amphibians are exempt from the definition of “aquatic life” under the Fish and Aquatic Life Code. All rules and enforcement actions under the Illinois Conservation Law and the dangerous animals statutes related to reptiles and amphibians are now covered exclusively by this Act.

IL - Exotic pets - 5/48-10. Dangerous animals 720 I.L.C.S. 5/48-10 This Illinois law states that no person shall have a right of property in, keep, harbor, care for, act as custodian of or maintain in his or her possession any dangerous animal or primate except at a properly maintained zoological park, federally licensed exhibit, circus, college or university, scientific institution, research laboratory, veterinary hospital, hound running area, or animal refuge in an escape-proof enclosure. A "dangerous animal" is defined as a lion, tiger, leopard, ocelot, jaguar, cheetah, margay, mountain lion, lynx, bobcat, jaguarundi, bear, hyena, wolf or coyote.This Section does not prohibit a person who had lawful possession of a primate before January 1, 2011, from continuing to possess that primate if the person registers the animal by providing written notification to the local animal control administrator on or before April 1, 2011. Violation is a Class C misdemeanor.
IL - Domesticated Wild Animals Act - Chapter 510. Animals. 510 I.L.C.S. 60/0.01 - 60/3

All birds and wild animals in domestication, or kept in enclosures and reduced to possession, are declared to be objects of ownership and absolute title. When fur bearing animals are raised in captivity for breeding, such animals are considered domestic animals. The animals and the products made from them are agricultural products.

ID - Wildlife - Chapter 7. Captive Wildlife I.C. § 36-701 to 716

This section comprises Idaho's captive wildlife provisions. Under the law, no person shall engage in any propagation or hold in captivity any species of big game animal found wild in this state, unless the person has been issued a license or permit by the director. All other species of mammals, birds or reptiles that are found in the wild in this state and are not species of special concern or threatened and endangered species, may be held in captivity without permit so long as the possessor retains proof that such wildlife was lawfully obtained. The laws concerning commercial wildlife farms are also included in this section. Additionally, there is also a section on the transition of wolves from federal to state management (§ 36-715).

ID - Exotic - Chapter 39. Importation or Possession of Deleterious Exotic Animals I.C. § 25-3901 - 3905

In Idaho, all apes and other nonhuman primates are classified as “deleterious exotic animals,” which are dangerous to the environment, livestock, agriculture, or wildlife of the state. According to Idaho’s legislature, it is in the public interest to strictly regulate the importation and possession of those animals.

IA - Dangerous - Chapter 717F. Dangerous Wild Animals I. C. A. § 717F.1 - 13

This Iowa set of laws concerns the keeping of dangerous wild animals. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, a person shall not own or possess a dangerous wild animal or cause or allow a dangerous wild animal owned by a person or in the person's possession to breed. Further, a person shall not transport a dangerous wild animal into this state. There is a grandfather provision that allows a person who owns or possesses a dangerous wild animal on July 1, 2007 to continue to own or possess the dangerous wild animal subject the provisions of the laws. A person owning or possessing a dangerous wild animal who violates a provision of this chapter is subject to a civil penalty of not less than two hundred dollars and not more than two thousand dollars for each dangerous wild animal involved in the violation.

HI - Importation, quarantine - Chapter 150A. Plant and Non-Domestic Animal Quarantine and Microorganism Import H R S § 150A-5 - 15

These laws concern the importation of animals, plants, and microorganisms into the State of Hawaii.

GA - Exotic pets, wildlife - Chapter 5. Wild Animals Ga. Code Ann., § 27-5-1 to 12

These Georgia wildlife provisions embody the General Assembly's finding that it is in the public interest to ensure the public health, safety, and welfare by strictly regulating in this state the importation, transportation, sale, transfer, and possession of certain wild animals. Animals such as kangaroos, certain non-human primates, wolves, bears, big cats, hippopotamus, and crocodile, among others, are considered to be inherently dangerous to human beings and are subject to the license or permit and insurance requirements outlined in the laws. The section also details specifications for the humane handling, care, confinement and transportation of certain wild animals.

FL - Wildlife - Chapter 379. Fish and Wildlife Conservation. West's F. S. A. § 379.231 - 504

These Florida laws concern the keeping and taking of captive wildlife. Places where wildlife is held in captivity are subject to inspection by the officers of the state commission at any time. The commission shall promulgate rules defining Class I, Class II, and Class III types of wildlife. A companion statutory section provides that, in order to assure humane treatment of captive wildlife, no person, firm, corporation or association shall be in possession of captive wildlife for public display unless a permit has been obtained. The cost of the permit depends on whether the species fall into Class I, II, or III).

FL - Fish and Wildlife Conservation - Part V. Law Enforcement West's F. S. A. § 379.33 - 379.343 This set of laws describes the scope and methods of enforcement of the state's fish and wildlife laws.
FL - Exhibition - Deformed Animals - Chapter 877. Miscellaneous Crimes. West's F. S. A. § 877.16

This law makes it illegal to exhibit any deformed, mutilated or disfigured animal for compensation.

FL - Endangered - Endangered and Threatened Species Act West's F. S. A. § 379.2291 - 2311

These Florida statutes define endangered and threatened species and provide the State's intent to protect these species.  Under statute, the intentional killing or wounding of a listed species incurs a third degree felony.  Interestingly, the state has a reward program for the arrest and conviction of those who violate state endangered species laws.

FL - Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services - Enforcement West's F. S. A. § 570.65; 570.15; 570.051

This set of laws authorizes the establishment of the Office of Agricultural Law Enforcement within the Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services for the enforcement of laws relating to wild or domesticated animals or animal products. Law enforcement officers employed by the Department have statewide jurisdiction and have full law enforcement powers granted to other peace officers of the state, including the authority to make arrests, carry firearms, serve court process, and seize contraband and the proceeds of illegal activities. It is a misdemeanor of the second degree to threaten, interfere with, or impersonate an enforcement officer or other employee of the Department.

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