Exotic Pets: Related Statutes

Statute by category Citationsort descending Summary
WI - Import - 95.20. Import and movement of animals W. S. A. 95.20

Under this Wisconsin statute, the importation or movement of animals may be prohibited or regulated if it is necessary to prevent the introduction or spread of a disease that threatens the health of animals or of humans.

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 - 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.

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.

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 - Mammals - § 4700. Taking or possession prohibited; scientific research; legal imports; West's Ann. Cal. Fish & G. Code § 4700

This statute enumerates the fully protected mammals in the state of California.  These animals may not be taken or possessed at any time.  The statute also specifically states that permits or licenses to take these animals will not be issued, with a possible exception in the case of necessary scientific research.

CA - Importation - Chapter 3. Importation of Wild Animals. West's Ann. Cal. Health & Safety Code § 121775 - 121870

This California set of law relates to the importation of "wild animals" (defined as any animal of the class Aves (birds) or class Mammalia (mammals) that either is not normally domesticated in this state or not native to this state). The violation of any provision of this chapter shall be a misdemeanor. The department may issue a permit to import a wild animal provided that a determination is made that public health or safety will not be endangered.

CA - Cruelty - § 597.6. Exotic or native wild cat species; alteration of toes, claws or paws West's Ann. Cal. Penal Code § 597.6

This California law provides that no person may perform, or otherwise procure or arrange for the performance of, surgical claw removal, declawing, onychectomy, or tendonectomy on any cat that is a member of an exotic or native wild cat species, and shall not otherwise alter such a cat's toes, claws, or paws to prevent the normal function of the cat's toes, claws, or paws. Violation results in a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for up to one year and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

CA - Importation - Chapter 2. Of Other and Miscellaneous Offenses (653o - 653r) West's Ann. Cal. Penal Code § 653o - 653r

These California laws relate to the importation of certain animals parts for commercial purposes. Under the law, it is unlawful to import into this state for commercial purposes, to possess with intent to sell, or to sell within the state, the dead body, or any part or product thereof, of any polar bear, leopard, ocelot, tiger, cheetah, jaguar, sable antelope, wolf (Canis lupus), zebra, whale, cobra, python, sea turtle, colobus monkey, kangaroo, vicuna, sea otter, free-roaming feral horse, dolphin or porpoise (Delphinidae), Spanish lynx, or elephant. Starting in 2015, it shall be unlawful to import into this state for commercial purposes, to possess with intent to sell, or to sell within the state, the dead body, or any part or product thereof, of any crocodile or alligator. Section 653p makes it unlawful to posses with the intent to sell any part or dead body of any species on the federal endangered species list or species covered under the MMPA. Section 653q makes it illegal to import for commercial purposes, to possess with intent to sell, or to sell within the state, the dead body, or any part or product thereof, of any seal.

FL - Endangered - Endangered and Threatened Species Act West's F. S. A. § 379.2291 - 231

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 - 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 - 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.

FL - Agriculture & Consumer Services - Department Duties and Enforcement West's F. S. A. § 585.001 - 585.008

This set of laws explains the powers and duties of the Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services in enforcing the Animal Industry laws (Chapter 585). Any person or officer that is charged with a duty under the Animal Industry laws may be compelled to perform the same by mandamus, injunction, or other court-ordered remedy. Department employees are authorized to enter any premises in the state for the purposes of carrying out their duties under the Animal Industry laws and it is illegal for any person to interfere with the discharge of those duties.

FL - Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services - Animal Disease Control West's F. S. A. § 585.01 - 585.69

This set of laws addresses the role of the Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, Division of Animal Industry in the prevention, control, or eradication of any contagious, infectious, or communicable disease among domestic or wild animals. The Department is authorized to regulate the importation, transportation, transfer of ownership, and maintenance of animals; establish quarantine areas; and inspect, test, treat, condemn, and destroy animals and animal housing facilities as necessary for the eradication of communicable diseases or the detection of harmful biological and chemical residues in food animals. The laws also direct the Department to develop a list of dangerous transmissible diseases. All veterinarians and animal owners are required to report suspected and confirmed cases of dangerous transmissible diseases to the State Veterinarian; failure to do so is a felony of the second degree.

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.

WA - Exotic Pet - Chapter 16.30. Dangerous Wild Animals West's RCWA 16.30.005 - 900

This Washington chapter passed in 2007 regulates the keeping of dangerous wild animals. By definition, a potentially dangerous wild animal includes, among others, lions, tigers, captive-bred cougars, jaguars, cheetahs, leopards, wolves, (but excluding wolf-hybrids), bears, hyenas, non-human primates, elephants, rhinoceroses, certain reptiles, and venomous snakes. A person shall not own, possess, keep, harbor, bring into the state, or have custody or control of a potentially dangerous wild animal. A person in legal possession of a potentially dangerous wild animal prior to July 22, 2007, and who is the legal possessor of the animal may keep possession of the animal for the remainder of the animal's life.

WA - Health - Chapter 16.36. Animal Health West's RCWA 16.36.005 - 160

These laws set forth the laws for importation and health requirements of certain imported animals. It also allows the director to establish inspection procedures for the transportation of animals. A section provides that it is unlawful for a person to bring an animal into Washington state without first securing a certificate of veterinary inspection, reviewed by the state veterinarian of the state of origin, verifying that the animal meets the Washington state animal health

WA - Fish - 77.15.250. Unlawful release of fish, shellfish, or wildlife--Penalty--Unlawful release of deleterious exotic wildlif West's RCWA 77.15.250

Under this Washington statute, a person is guilty of unlawfully releasing, planting, possessing, or placing fish, shellfish, or wildlife (gross misdemeanor) if the person knowingly releases such animals within the state, and the animals have not been classified as deleterious wildlife. A person is guilty of unlawfully releasing, planting, possessing, or placing deleterious exotic wildlife (class C felony) if the person knowingly releases animals classified as deleterious.

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