Texas Statutes

Statute by category Citationsort descending Summary
TX - Initiatives - Proposition 6, Right to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife Proposition 6 (2015)

This proposed constitutional amendment recognizes the right of the people to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife subject to laws that promote wildlife conservation. It was a legislative referendum originally proposed as Senate Joint Resolution 22 (attached below). The measure passed in November 2015 with 82% of the vote.

TX - Horse - Sale of Horsemeat (Chapter 149. Sale of Horsemeat for Human Consumption) V. T. C. A., Agriculture Code § 149.001 - 007

These statutes prohibit the sale of horsemeat, the possession of horsemeat with the intent to sell, and the knowing transfer of horsemeat to a person who intends to sell it for human consumption. Horsemeat is defined as the flesh of an animal of the genus equus.  Prima facie evidence of an offense is prescribed by these statues and includes, for example, the presence of horsemeat in a restaurant or cafe.  The penalty for an offense may be a fine of up to a $1,000, confinement for not less than 30 days and not more than two years, or both a fine and confinement.

TX - Equine Activity Liability - Chapter 87. Liability Arising from Equine Activities or Livestock Shows. V. T. C. A., Civil Practice & Remedies Code § 87.001 - 005

This Texas section provides that any person, including an equine activity sponsor, equine professional, livestock show participant, or livestock show sponsor, is not liable for property damage or damages arising from the personal injury or death of a participant in an equine activity or livestock show if the property damage, injury, or death results from the dangers or conditions that are an inherent risk of an equine activity or the showing of an animal on a competitive basis in a livestock show.  The statute also requires the visible displaying of "clearly readable" warning signs that alert participants to the limitation of liability by law.

TX - Counseling - § 54.0407. Cruelty to Animals: Counseling Required. V. T. C. A., Family Code § 54.0407

For juveniles convicted under the Texas criminal animal cruelty statute (found at Tex. Penal Code § 42.09), psychological counseling is required.

TX - Disaster - § 418.043. Other Powers and Duties (pet disaster planning) V. T. C. A., Government Code § 418.043

The Texas Division of Emergency Management is directed to assist political subdivisions in developing plans for the humane evacuation, transport, and temporary sheltering of service animals and household pets in a disaster.

TX - Assistance animals - Assistance Animal/Guide Dog Laws V. T. C. A., Government Code § 661.910; V. T. C. A., Human Resources Code § 121.002 - 009; V. T. C. A., Penal Code § 42.091; V.T.C.A., Penal Code § 38.151; V. T. C. A., Transportation Code § 552.008 - 010; V. T. C. A., Health & Safety Code§ 437.023

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

TX - Cruelty - Chapter 821. Treatment and Disposition of Animals. V. T. C. A., Health & Safety Code § 821.001 - 026; § 821.051 - 057; § 821.076 - 081

This Texas section addresses the treatment of animals and disposition of cruelly treated animals. 

TX - Dangerous - Subchapter B: Dogs That Are A Danger to Animals V. T. C. A., Health & Safety Code § 822.011 - 013

Subchapter B prohibits dogs from running at large and enumerates the criminal penalty for such violation.

TX - Registration - Subchapter C: Regulation of Dogs V. T. C. A., Health & Safety Code § 822.021 - 035

Chapter 822, Sections .031 through .035 address the regulation of dogs.  Specifically, these provisions cover the registration requirements, prohibit unregistered dogs from running at large, and enumerate the treatment of dogs that attack other domestic animals.

TX - Dangerous - Subchapter D: Dangerous Dogs V. T. C. A., Health & Safety Code § 822.041 - 047

Chapter 822, Subchapter D addresses dangerous dogs and their treatment, including dog attacks, registration, defenses, violations of the statute.

TX - Dangerous - § 822.0422. Reporting of Incident in Certain Counties and Municipalities V. T. C. A., Health & Safety Code § 822.0422

This Texas statute outlines the procedures for reporting a dangerous dog incident in counties with a population of at least 2,800,000 in which an ordinance has been adopted pursuant to this section.  It describes the reporting and seizure requirements should an owner fail to turn over an implicated dog.

TX - Dangerous - Subchapter E: Dangerous Wild Animals V. T. C. A., Health & Safety Code § 822.101 - 116

Chapter 822, Subchapter E regulates the keeping of dangerous wild animals. It imposes a registration requirement upon the owner of a dangerous wild animal and also sets forth insurance requirements.  One thing to note is that Texas animal cruelty laws do not apply to these wild animals.

TX - Impound - Chapter 823. Animal Shelters V. T. C. A., Health & Safety Code § 823.001 - 009

Chapter 823 enumerates the standards by which animal shelters shall comply.  It sets forth confinement requirements, permissible forms of euthanasia, and personnel requirements. 

TX - Rabies - § 826.022. Vaccination; Criminal Penalty. V. T. C. A., Health & Safety Code § 826.022

This Texas statute provides that a person commits an offense (Class C misdemeanor) if the person fails or refuses to have each dog or cat owned by the person vaccinated against rabies and the animal is required to be vaccinated under applicable state law or local ordinance.

TX - Licenses - § 826.031. Registration of Dogs and Cats by Local Governments. V. T. C. A., Health & Safety Code § 826.031

This Texas statute provides that the governing body of a municipality and the commissioners court of a county may adopt ordinances or rules requiring the registration of each dog and cat within the jurisdiction of the municipality or county.  Fees may be collected pursuant to such ordinances to defray costs.

TX - Licenses - § 826.032. Registration; Criminal Penalty V. T. C. A., Health & Safety Code § 826.032

This Texas statute provides that a person commits an offense (Class C misdemeanor) if he or she fails to  or refuses to register or present for registration a dog or cat owned by the person as required by state law or local ordinance.

TX - Impound - § 826.033. Restraint, Impoundment, and Disposition of Dogs and Cats. V. T. C. A., Health & Safety Code § 826.033

This Texas statute provides that a municipality or county may adopt ordinances or rules to require that each dog or cat be restrained by its owner and that any  stray dog or cat be declared a public nuisance.  Further, it can declare that each unrestrained dog or cat be detained or impounded by the local rabies control authority.  Each  stray dog or cat be impounded for a period set by ordinance or rule and a humane disposition be made of each unclaimed stray dog or cat upon its expiration.

TX - Ordinances - § 826.034. Restraint; Criminal Penalty. V. T. C. A., Health & Safety Code § 826.034

This Texas statute provides that a person commits an offense (Class C misdemeanor) if the person fails or refuses to restrain a dog or cat owned by the person and  the animal is required to be restrained under the ordinances or rules adopted under this chapter.

TX - Rabies - § 826.045. Area Rabies Quarantine. V. T. C. A., Health & Safety Code § 826.045

This Texas statute outlines the parameters under which a rabies quarantine area may be adopted.  If this occurs, it may call for the restraint of carnivorous animals and the transportation of carnivorous animals into and out of the quarantine area.  While the quarantine is in effect, the rules adopted by the board supersede all other applicable ordinances or rules applying to the quarantine area.

TX - Cruelty - Chapter 829. Animal Control Officer Training V. T. C. A., Health & Safety Code § 829.001 - 009

This chapter concerns the appointment of animal control officers in Texas. The chapter requires that an animal control officer complete training, which includes at least a 12-hour basic animal control course and subsequent continuing education.

TX - Exotic pets - Subchapter A. Regulation of Keeping of Wild Animals V. T. C. A., Local Government Code § 240.001 - 004

In this subchapter, “wild animal” is defined as a nondomestic animal that the commissioners court of a county determines is dangerous and is in need of control in that county. The commissioners court of a county by order may prohibit or regulate the keeping of a wild animal in the county. A person commits a Class C misdemeanor if the person violates an order adopted under this subchapter and the order defines the violation as an offense.

TX - Circus - Chapter 2152. Regulation of Circuses, Carnivals, and Zoos. V. T. C. A., Occupations Code § 2152.001 - 202 (Repealed 2015)

Note chapter repealed: Repealed by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., ch. 1 (S.B. 219), § 5.318(14), eff. April 2, 2015. This set of Texas laws concerns the regulation of carnivals, circuses, and zoos. However, circuses are specifically exempted from regulation if they are licensed by the USDA and if the circus provides proof of (mandatory) inspection at least once a year. "Circus" is defined as a commercial variety show featuring animal acts for public entertainment. In Texas, the Texas Board of Health must adopt standards for the operation of circuses, carnivals, and zoos that promote humane conditions for animals and protect the public health and safety. A person may not operate a circus, carnival, or zoo unless the person holds a license issued under this chapter for the circus, carnival, or zoo. A person who knowingly operates a circus without a license under this chapter commits a Class C misdemeanor.

TX - Veterinary - Chapter 801. Veterinarians. V. T. C. A., Occupations Code § 801.001 - 557

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.

TX - Breeder - Chapter 802. Dog or Cat Breeders. V. T. C. A., Occupations Code § 802.001 - 251

Under the Texas Dog or Cat Breeders Act, a person may not act as a dog or cat breeder without a license. Facilities must be inspected at least once every 18-months, and inspectors must notify the law enforcement if they discover evidence of animal cruelty or neglect. This Act also establishes a dog or cat breeder training and enforcement account that can be used for promoting consumer awareness of this chapter, and supporting education, training, and enforcement efforts.

TX - Wildlife - Subchapter H. Permits to Control Wildlife Protected by This Code. V. T. C. A., Parks & Wildlife Code § 43.151 - 158

This statute allows an individual to apply to a local municipality to receive a permit to destroy wildlife that is posing a serious risk to agricultural interests or public safety.  This provision relates to a section that disallows the killing of eagles save for this exception.

TX - Hunting - § 62.002. Computer-Assisted Remote Hunting V. T. C. A., Parks & Wildlife Code § 62.002

Under this Texas statute, a person may not engage in computer-assisted remote hunting or provide or operate such facilities if the animal being hunted is located in Texas. A violation is a Class B misdemeanor.

TX - Hunting - § 62.0125. Harassment of Hunters, Trappers, and Fishermen V. T. C. A., Parks & Wildlife Code § 62.0125

This law represents Texas' hunter harassment law, also known as the Sportsman's Rights Act. Under the section, a person may not intentionally interfere with another person lawfully engaged in the process of hunting or catching wildlife, or intentionally harass, drive, or disturb any wildlife for the purpose of disrupting lawful hunting. Violation is a Class B misdemeanor. It is an affirmative defense to prosecution that the defendant's conduct is protected by the right to freedom of speech under the constitution of this state or the United States.

TX - Hunting - Subchapter F. Unlawful Controlled Killing of or Attempting to Injure Dangerous Wild Animals. V. T. C. A., Parks & Wildlife Code § 62.101 - 107

This Texas statute provides that no person may kill or attempt to injure a dangerous wild animal that is in captivity in this state or released from captivity in this state for the purpose of being killed.

TX - Wildlife, wolves - Subchapter B. Nongame Animals V. T. C. A., Parks & Wildlife Code § 63.101 - 104

Under these Texas statutes, no person may hunt, sell, buy or possess a live or dead bat, with exceptions. A violation is a Class C misdemeanor. It is a felony to possess, transport, receive, or release a live wolf in Texas (with exceptions). It is a class B misdemeanor to sell a living armadillo in Texas (with exceptions).

TX - Hunting - Subchapter B. Seasons and Limits. § 64.011. Eagle. V. T. C. A., Parks & Wildlife Code § 64.011 This section of the Texas code prohibits the killing of a golden or Mexican brown eagle except by permit (refers to the permit to kill wildlife that is threatening agricultural interests or public safety).
TX - Alligators - Chapter 65. Alligators V. T. C. A., Parks & Wildlife Code § 65.001 - 104

Under these Texas statutes, no person may take, sell, purchase, or possess an alligator, an alligator egg, or any part of an alligator without a permit. An offense is a misdemeanor.

TX - Endangered Species - Chapter 68. Endangered Species V. T. C. A., Parks & Wildlife Code § 68.001 - 021

Texas defines endangered species as those listed on the federal ESA List as well as those designated in the state.  No person may capture, trap, take, or kill, or attempt to capture, trap, take, or kill, endangered fish or wildlife nor may he or she possess, sell, distribute, or offer or advertise for sale those species (unless allowed as described in the subchapter).  Notably, this chapter excepts from its provisions coyotes, cougars, bobcats, prairie dogs, and red foxes (with no mention as to what occurs in the event they become endangered).  Violation of the provisions results in a Class C Parks and Wildlife Code misdemeanor for the first offense, a Class B misdemeanor for the second offense, and a Class A misdemeanor for subsequent offenses.

TX - Ordinances - § 1.08. Preemption V. T. C. A., Penal Code § 1.08

This law provides for preemption of state criminal laws over the laws enacted by governmental subdivisions or agencies.

TX - Fighting - § 42.10. Dog Fighting. V. T. C. A., Penal Code § 42.10

Texas criminal statute that prohibits dog fighting. Actions ranging from causing a dog to fight with another to attending a dog fight as a spectator are prohibited. To constitute an offense, one must demonstrate the requisite intent of intentionally or knowingly.

TX - Trusts - Chapter 112. Creation, Validity, Modification, and Termination of Trusts. V. T. C. A., Property Code § 112.037

This Texas statute comprises the state's pet trust law.  A trust may be created to provide for the care of an animal alive during the settlor's lifetime. The trust terminates on the death of the animal or, if the trust is created to provide for the care of more than one animal alive during the settlor's lifetime, on the death of the last surviving animal.  The law also provides a distribution schedule for the trust's remaining assets.

TX - Lien, veterinary - § 70.010. Liens for Veterinary Care Charges for Large Animals V. T. C. A., Property Code § 70.010

This Texas law relates to veterinary liens for large animals, defined as ivestock or a cow, horse, mule, ass, sheep, goat, llama, alpaca, farm elk, or hog. The term does not include a common household pet such as a cat or dog. A licensed veterinarian has a lien on a large animal and the proceeds from the disposition of the large animal to secure the cost of veterinary care the veterinarian provided to the large animal. The lien attaches on the 20th day after the veterinarian first provided care to the large animal and attaches regardless of whether the veterinarian retains possession of the animal.

TX - Domestic Violence - § 85.021-.022 Protective Orders V.T.C.A., Family Code § 85.021 -.022

In a protective order in Texas, the court may prohibit a party from removing a pet, companion animal, or assistance animal, as defined by Section 121.002, Human Resources Code, from the possession of a person named in the order. Furthermore, in a protective order, the court may prohibit the person found to have committed family violence from harming, threatening, or interfering with the care, custody, or control of a pet, companion animal, or assistance animal that is possessed by or is in the actual or constructive care of a person protected by an order or by a member of the family or household of a person protected by an order.

TX - Dog - Consolidated Dog Laws V.T.C.A., Health & Safety Code §§ 821.076 - 081; 822.001 - 100; § 823.001 - 009; § 826.001 - 055; § 828.001 - 015; V. T. C. A., Parks & Wildlife Code § 62.0065 ; § 62.016

These Texas statutes comprise the state's dog laws.  Among the provisions include the dangerous dog laws, registration and vaccination requirements, and sterilization laws.

TX - Animal Regulation - § 215.026. Animals at Large V.T.C.A., Local Government Code § 215.026

This statute gives municipalities in the state of Texas to establish and regulate pounds and the running at large of horses, mules, cattle, sheep, swine or goats. The statute also allows municipalities to handle the capture, impounding, and sale of any animal at large that is in violation of this statute. Municipalities may also impose penalties on the owner of the animal that is in violation of the statute.

TX - Ordinances - § 215.032. Exhibitions; Shows; Amusements V.T.C.A., Local Government Code § 215.032

This statute authorizes municipalities to prohibit or regulate circuses, exhibitions, and menageries.

TX - Law Enforcement - Nonlethal responses to dog encounters V.T.C.A., Occupations Code §§ 1701.253; 1701.261; 1701.402 These statutes require training for Texas law enforcement in nonlethal responses to encounters with dogs
TX - Hunting, canned - § 62.015. Hunting and Possession of Exotic Animals V.T.C.A., Parks & Wildlife Code § 62.015

This Texas law provides that no person on a public road or on the right-of-way of a public road may hunt an exotic animal. In addition, no person may hunt on the land of another for an exotic animal without the express consent of the owner of the land to hunt for exotic animals. A person who violates this section commits an offense that is a Class A Parks and Wildlife Code misdemeanor.

TX - Trade - Shark Fins V.T.C.A., Parks & Wildlife Code §§ 66.216; 66.2161; 66.218 Effective July 1, 2106: A person may not buy or offer to buy, sell or offer to sell, possess for the purpose of sale, transport, or ship for the purpose of sale, barter, or exchange a shark fin regardless of where the shark was taken or caught. A person who violates Section 66.2161 or a proclamation adopted under that section commits an offense that is a Class B Parks and Wildlife Code misdemeanor.
TX - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes V.T.C.A., Penal Code § 42.09; § 42.091; § 42.092; § 42.10; § 42.105

These comprise Texas' anti-cruelty laws.  Texas has laws that prohibit cruelty to both livestock (§ 42.09) and non-livestock animals (§ 42.092).  Both laws requires a scienter of intentionally or knowingly, and enumerate limited defenses.  "Animal" means a domesticated living creature and wild living creature previously captured but does not include an uncaptured wild creature.  Also included is Texas animal fighting provision, which criminalizes being a spectator at an animal fighting exhibition among other things. In 2011, Texas enacted a law prohibiting cockfighting.

TX - Liens - § 70.010. Liens for Veterinary Care Charges for Large Animals V.T.C.A., Property Code § 70.010

This statute deals with liens for the veterinary care of late animals. Under the statute, "large animal" means exotic livestock or a cow, horse, mule, ass, sheep, goat ,llama, apace, farm, elk, or hog. The statue allows veterinarians to place a lien on the large animal after the 20th day after care has been provided to the animal. Additionally, the lien is placed on the animal regardless of whether or not the animal is in possession of the veterinarian.