Exotic Pets: Related Statutes

Statute by categorysort ascending Citation Summary
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 - 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.

DE - Exotic Pets - CHAPTER 72. POSSESSION OF MAMMALS OR REPTILES EXOTIC TO DELAWARE 3 Del.C. § 7201 - 7203

This Delaware law requires a permit to possess, sell, or import any non-native wild animal. No such permits will be granted for non-native venomous snakes.

DC - Exotic Pets - § 8-1808. Prohibited conduct. DC CODE § 8-1808 This DC law outlines things an owner or custodian is prohibited from doing with regard to his or her animal. Among them is that an owner or custodian shall not allow his or her animal to go at large. An owner or custodian shall not leave his or her animal outdoors without human accompaniment or adequate shelter for more than 15 minutes during periods of extreme weather, unless the age, condition, and type of each animal allows the animal to withstand extreme weather (excluding cats). The law also states that a person shall not separate a puppy or a kitten from its mother until the puppy or kitten is at least 6 weeks of age. Certain animals are prohibited from being possessed or sold in the District, which are outlined in subsection (j).
CT - Reindeer - 26-57a. Regulations for the establishment of in-state captive herds of cervids. C.G.S.A. § 26-57a This Connecticut law relates to the regulation of in-state captive herds of cervids, including reindeer. Under the law, not later than November 1, 2012, the Commissioner of Agriculture shall implement a pilot program for the issuance of two permits that allow not more than two Connecticut businesses to maintain not more than five reindeer each.
CT - Exotic Pets - § 26-40a. Possession of potentially dangerous animal; Chapter 490. Fisheries and Game C. G. S. A. § 26-1, § 26-40a; § 26-54, 55, 61

These Connecticut states reflect the state's laws on the keeping of wild animals. Under § 26-40a, no person shall possess a potentially dangerous animal, which includes wildlife such as the  lion, leopard, cheetah, jaguar, ocelot, jaguarundi cat, puma, lynx, bobcat, wolf, coyote, all species of bears, gorilla, chimpanzee and orangutan. The Department of Environmental Protection shall issue a bill to the owner or person in illegal possession of such potentially dangerous animal for all costs of seizure, care, maintenance, relocation or disposal of such animal. Additionally, any person who violates any provision of this section shall be assessed a civil penalty not to exceed $2000, and is guilty of a class A misdemeanor. Under § 26-55, no person shall import or introduce into the state, possess or let loose, any live fish, wild bird, wild mammal, reptile, amphibian or invertebrate unless such person has obtained a permit. Again, a violator is responsible for expenses from the seizure, maintenance, and relocation of the illegally imported animal. The penalty includes a civil fine up to $1000 and results in a class C misdemeanor.

CO - Exotic - Article 81. Hybrid Animals C. R. S. A. § 35-81-101 to 102

This Colorado statute authorized the commissioner of the department of agriculture to appoint and convene an advisory group to study the behavior of hybrid canids (wolf hybrids) and felines, including a review of any incidents involving property damage and personal injury caused by such animals. The department was to present its findings and proposals for legislation in January of 1998.

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 - 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.

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.

AR - Primates - Subchapter 6. Nonhuman Primates A.C.A. § 20-19-601 - 610

This new 2013 Act prohibits the importing, possession, selling, or breeding of apes, baboons, and macques. It is unlawful under the act for a person to allow a member of the public to come into direct contact with a primate. Further, a person cannot tether a primate outdoors or allow a primate to run at-large. The section does not apply to accredited AZA institutions, AWA regulated research facilities, wildlife sanctuaries, temporary holding facilities, licensed veterinarians providing treatment, law enforcement officers, circuses holding AWA Class C licenses as provided, and those temporarily in the state. The act has a grandfathering provision that allows a person at least 18 years of age to continue to possess the restricted primate if within 180 days after the effective date of the act the person registers the animal per § 20-19-605 and follows other listed requirements.

AR - Exotic Pets, Large Carnivores - Subchapter 5. Ownership and Possession of Large Carnivores A.C.A. § 20-19-501 - 511

This Arkansas subchapter concerns the ownership and possession of large carnivores. Under the law, a large carnivore is defined as a bear, lion, or tiger. A person may possess a large carnivore only if he or she was in possession of the large carnivore on or before August 12, 2005 and the person applies for and is granted a permit for personal possession for each large carnivore not more than one hundred eighty (180) days after August 12, 2005. Except for these "grandfathered" possessors and other entities (zoos, USDA permittees, veterinary hospitals, etc.) it is illegal for anyone to own, possess, breed, or transfer ownership of a large carnivore.

AR - Exotic Pets - Subchapter 4. Ownership and Breeding of Wolves and Wolf-Dog Hybrids A.C.A. § 20-19-401 - 408

This chapter of Arkansas laws concerns the regulation of wolves and wolf-dog hybrids kept as companion animals. Under the law, a "wolf-dog hybrid” means any animal which is publicly acknowledged by its owner as being the offspring of a wolf and domestic dog; however, no animal may be judged to be a wolf or wolf-dog hybrid based strictly on its appearance. The specific rabies vaccination requirements for wolf-dog hybrids are detailed as well as confinement requirements (i.e, specific fence dimensions). If a wolf or wolf-dog hybrid bites a person or injures or destroys another animal while out of its confined area, the person responsible for the adequate confinement of the animal upon conviction shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

AL - Wildlife, Captive - Article 11. Possession of Wildlife for Public Exhibition Purposes. Ala. Code 1975 § 9-11-320 - 328

This set of Alabama laws relates to the possession of captive wildlife. The Commissioner of Conservation and Natural Resources may issue an annual permit to possess wildlife for public exhibition to a person qualified by education or experience in the care and treatment of wildlife at at a cost of $25.00. Violation of any provision of the article results in a fine of not more than $500.00, imprisonment for not more than three months, or both. Notably, the provisions of the article do not apply to any municipal, county, state or other publicly owned zoo or wildlife exhibit, privately owned traveling zoo or circus or pet shop.

AL - Wildlife - § 9-2-13. Commissioner of Conservation and Natural Resources -- Authority to prohibit importation of birds, anim Ala. Code 1975 § 9-2-13

This Alabama law provides that the Commissioner of Conservation and Natural Resources may, by regulation, prohibit the importation of any animal when such importation is not in the best interest of the state. However, this does not apply to those animals used for display purposes at circuses, carnivals, zoos, and other shows or exhibits. Importing a prohibited animal into the state is a Class C misdemeanor with a fine of $1,000 - 5,000, or jail for 30 days, or both.

AL - Hunting - Article 19. Hunting of Native Game Animals and Certain Nonindigenous Animals. Ala. Code 1975 § 9-11-500 - 505

This Alabama statute makes it unlawful to hunt or kill any species of nonindigenous animals for a fee or for recreation. This section does not apply to feral swine, nuisance animals, or to any nonindigenous animal lawfully brought into this state prior to 2006.

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