Utah Statutes

Statute by categorysort descending Citation Summary
UT - Abandonment - § 58-28-601. Animal abandonment U.C.A. 1953 § 58-28-601

This Utah statute provides that any animal abandoned at a veterinarian's office for a period of ten days may be sold or placed in the custody of the nearest humane society or county dog pound after giving notice to the owner.  If no humane society or dog pound is located in the county, the animal may be disposed of in a humane manner.

UT - Ag gag - § 76-6-112. Agricultural operation interference--Penalties U.C.A. 1953 § 76-6-112

This Utah law creates the crime of "agricultural operation interference ." A person commits agricultural operation interference if he or she records an image or sound from an agricultural operation by leaving a recording device without consent, obtains access to an agricultural operation under false pretenses, applies for employment with the intent to record, or without consent intentionally records the operation while committing criminal trespass.

UT - Agriculture - Title 4 Utah Agriculture Code U.C.A. 1953 §§ 4-2-1 to 4-2-402; U.C.A. 1953 § 4-2-501 - 504; and U.C.A. 1953 §§ 4-31-1 to 4-31-119 The following statutes detail penalities for violating of the agricultural code. They also contain animal disease control provisions and detail the organization of the Department of Agriculture and Food.
UT - Assistance animal - Assistance Animal/Guide Dog Laws U.C.A. 1953 § 62A-5b-101 - 107; § 41-6a-1007; § 18-1-3; § 76-9-307; § 78B-3-701 - 703; § 10-8-65; § 17-50-336

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

UT - Breed - § 18-2-101. Regulation of dogs by a municipality U.C.A. 1953 § 18-2-101 This Utah law effective in 2015 prohibits a municipality from adopting breed-specific rule, regulation, policy, or ordinance regarding dogs. Any breed-specific rule, regulation, policy, or ordinance regarding dogs is void.
UT - Cats - Chapter 46. Animal Welfare Act. Part 3. Community Cat Act U.C.A. 1953 § 11-46-301 to 304

A shelter may release a cat prior to the 5-day holding period to a sponsor operating a community cat program. Such a cat is exempt from licensing requirements and feeding bans.  Community cat sponsors or caretakers do not have custody of any cat, and sterilization and vaccination records must be kept for three years.

UT - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes U.C.A. 1953 § 76-9-301 - 307

These Utah statutes comprise the state's anti-cruelty provisions.  "Animal" is defined as a live, nonhuman vertebrate creature, but animals raised for agricultural purposes and wildlife are excluded from the definition.  A person is guilty of cruelty to animals if the person intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence fails to provide necessary food, care, or shelter for an animal in his custody, abandons an animal in the person's custody, transports or confines an animal in a cruel manner, injures an animal, or causes any animal to fight with another animal for amusement or gain.  Aggravated cruelty (i.e., torturing, poisoning, or intentionally killing an animal) and dogfighting incur stiffer penalties.

UT - Dog - Consolidated Dog Laws U.C.A. 1953 § 10-8-65; § 4-40-101 - 102; § 18-1-1 - 3; § 18-2-101; § 23-17-8 - 9; § 23-20-3; § 26-6-1 - 15; § 26-26-1 - 7; § 58-28-601

These Utah statutes comprise the state's dog laws.  Among the provisions include municipal pound pet sterilization provisions, rabies control laws, hunting laws that impact dogs, and laws concerning injuries caused by dogs.

UT - Dog Bite - Title 18. Dogs. Chapter 1. Injuries by Dogs. U.C.A. 1953 § 18-1-1 to 4

This Utah statute provides that every person owning or keeping a dog shall be liable in damages for injury committed by such dog, and it shall not be necessary in any action brought therefor to allege or prove that such dog was of a vicious or mischievous disposition or that the owner or keeper thereof knew that it was vicious or mischievous.  This does not apply to dogs used by law enforcement officials. In 2014, a provision for the use of arbitration in personal injury from dog bite cases was added.

UT - Ecoterrorism - § 76-6-110. Offenses committed against animal enterprises--Definitions--Enhanced penalties U.C.A. 1953 § 76-6-110

This section comprises Utah's animal enterprise interference law. A person who commits any criminal offense with the intent to halt, impede, obstruct, or interfere with the lawful operation of an animal enterprise or to damage, take, or cause the loss of any property owned by, used by, or in the possession of a lawful animal enterprise, is subject to an enhanced penalty. These penalties enhancements raise the level of the crime one degree (e.g., a class C misdemeanor becomes a class B misdemeanor and a class A misdemeanor becomes a third degree felony).

UT - Endangered Species - Chapter 20. Enforcement--Violations and Penalties U.C.A. 1953 § 23-20-3 - 8 This Utah statute criminalizes the intentional or reckless abandonment of a carcass or killing of wildlife for pecuniary gain.  The statute lists the restitution value of species protected under the code (bald eagles $1,000 and golden eagles $500).  Further, the statute proscribes mandatory incarceration for felony convictions (aggregate value of species taken over $500)  where the motive of the individual was pecuniary gain.
UT - Equine Activity Liability - Part 2. Limitations on Liability for Equine and Livestock Activities U.C.A. 1953 § 78B-4-201 - 203

This Utah section states that it is presumed that participants in equine or livestock activities are aware of and understand that there are inherent risks associated with these activities.  Thus, an equine activity sponsor, equine professional, livestock activity sponsor, or livestock professional is not liable for an injury to or the death of a participant due to the inherent risks associated with these activities.  The section also requires an equine professional to give notice to participants of the limitation of liability, either by the posting of a sign or by the execution of a written release.

UT - Guide Dog - § 78B-3-702. Damages recoverable for harm to or theft of service animal U.C.A. 1953 § 78B-3-702

This Utah statute provides that a person with a disability who uses an assistance animal, or the owner of an assistance animal has a cause of action for economic and noneconomic damages against a person who steals the animal or a person whose animal attacks the assistance animal due to the negligence of that person.  The measure of damages is the replacement value for an equally trained assistance animal, the costs incurred by the owner (including the costs for continued assistance by either a person or another animal, the costs to recover a stolen animal, court costs, and attorney fees), or costs incurred for the recovery of the assistance animal, such as veterinary medical expenses, expenses in finding the animal (including rewards), and costs in bringing a court action.

UT - Hunting - § 23-20-29. Interference with hunting prohibited--Action to recover damages--Exceptions U.C.A. 1953 § 23-20-29, 23-20-29.5

This section reflects Utah's hunter harassment provisions. A person is guilty of a class B misdemeanor who intentionally interferes with the right of a person, licensed and legally hunting, to take wildlife by driving, harassing, or intentionally disturbing any species of wildlife for the purpose of disrupting a legal hunt, trapping, or predator control. A person adversely affected, or the state, may bring a civil action for damages resulting from the violation or a seek a restraining order. This section does not apply to incidental interference with a hunt caused by lawful activities including, but not limited to, ranching, mining, and recreation.

UT - Hunting - § 23-20-4.5. Illegal taking, possession, or wanton destruction of protected wildlife U.C.A. 1953 § 23-20-4.5

This statute lists the restitution amounts for the illegal killing of certain species (including bald and golden eagles) of wildlife, with enhanced monetary penalties for "trophy" animals.   These funds are used in educational and wildlife enforcement activities by the state.  For discussion of federal Eagle Act, see Detailed Discussion .

UT - Impound - (Repealed) § 77-24-1.5. Safekeeping by officer pending disposition--Records required U.C.A. 1953 § 77-24-1.5 (§§ 77-24-1 to 77-24-5. Repealed by Laws 2013, c. 394, § 40, eff. July 1, 2013)

§§ 77-24-1 to 77-24-5. Repealed by Laws 2013, c. 394, § 40, eff. July 1, 2013 (Formerly: this Utah statute, amended in 2011, states that each peace officer shall hold all "property" in safe custody until it is received into evidence or disposed of as provided in this chapter. He or she must also maintain a record that identifies it. Note that the provisions related to specifically to animal impoundment/euthanasia were removed.)

UT - Impound - Chapter 46. Animal Welfare Act. Part 1. General Provisions U.C.A. 1953 § 11-46-101 - 103

Under this act, animal control officers must hold stray animals in safe and humane custody for a minimum of 5 business days prior to making any final disposition of the animal. A stray animal may be euthanized prior to the completion of the 5-day period to prevent unnecessary suffering due to serious injury or disease.

UT - Initiatives - Utah Supermajority for Hunting Initiatives, Proposition 5 (1998) Utah Supermajority for Hunting Initiatives, Proposition 5 (1998) (passed) Proposition 5 amends present provisions of the Utah Constitution regarding the power of the people of the state to initiate legislation and submit it to a vote of the people for approval or rejection by majority vote. This proposition requires a two-thirds vote in order to adopt by initiative a state law allowing, limiting, or prohibiting the taking of wildlife or the season for or method of taking wildlife. The measures passed with 56.1% of the vote.
UT - Invasive Species - Chapter 27. Aquatic Invasive Species Interdiction Act U.C.A. 1953 § 23-27-101 - 401

These statutes comprise the Utah Aquatic Invasive Species Interdiction Act. This Act makes it illegal to possess a Dreissena mussel, release one into a water body, or transport a conveyance or equipment that has been in an infested water without decontaminating it. A violation is an infraction, but a knowing or intentional violation is guilty of a class A misdemeanor.

UT - License - § 10-8-65. Dogs--License and tax--Destruction, sale or other disposal U.C.A. 1953 § 10-8-65

This Utah statute, under the chapter relating the general powers of all cities, provides that cities may license, tax, regulate or prohibit the keeping of dogs, and authorize the destruction, sale or other disposal of the same when at large contrary to ordinance.

UT - Livestock - § 76-6-111. Wanton destruction of livestock--Penalties--Seizure and disposition of property U.C.A. 1953 § 76-6-111

This Utah statute makes wanton destruction of livestock a crime. A person is guilty if that person intentionally or knowingly and without the permission of the owner injures, physically alters, releases, or causes the death of livestock. Wanton destruction of livestock is punishable as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the value of the livestock.

UT - Native American - § 64-13-40. Worship for native American inmates U.C.A. 1953 § 64-13-40

This unique provision allows Native American inmates in Utah access to eagle parts and other traditional ceremonial objects for use in worship.  The inmate has the burden of establishing his or her Native American ancestry.

UT - Nuisance Animals - Chapter 18. Furbearers. U.C.A. 1953 § 23-18-1 to 6

These Utah statutes require a furbearer license to take furbearers, except for red fox, striped skunk, or beavers that are doing damage to private property (with authorization). Fur dealers must have a fur dealer certificate of registration from the Division of Wildlife Resources.

UT - Predator Control - Chapter 23. Agricultural and Wildlife Damage Prevention Act U.C.A. 1953 § 4-23-1 - 11

This Utah statute is known as the Agricultural and Wildlife Damage Prevention Act. It creates the Agricultural and Wildlife Damage Prevention Board and Agricultural and Wildlife Damage Prevention Account. This act also makes it a class B misdemeanor to hold a raccoon or coyote in captivity (with exceptions).

UT - Sterilization - Animal Welfare Act. Part 2. Animal Shelter Pet Sterilization Act U.C.A. 1953 § 11-46-201 - 208

Under this Utah act, a shelter may not transfer an unsterilized animal for adoption unless the shelter has a written agreement in which the recipient agrees to have the animal sterilized and gives the shelter a sterilization deposit. If a recipient fails to comply with the agreement, the animal may be seized and impounded, and the recipient forfeits the deposit. A first violation may result in a civil penalty of $250.

UT - Trusts - § 75-2-1001. Honorary trusts--Trusts for pets U.C.A. 1953 § 75-2-1001

This Utah statute provides that a trust for the care of a designated domestic or pet animal is valid. The trust terminates when no living animal is covered by the trust. Trusts under this section shall be liberally construed to presume against the merely precatory or honorary nature of the disposition, and to carry out the general intent of the transferor.

UT - Veterinary - Chapter 28. Veterinary Practice Act. U.C.A. 1953 § 58-28-101 - 606

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.

UT - Wildlife - Title 23. Wildlife Resources Code of Utah U.C.A. 1953 § 23-13-1 - 19

Under these Utah statutes, all wildlife is the property of the state unless held in private ownership, but it is illegal to hold protected wildlife in captivity, with exceptions, such as for furbearers. Other provisions deal with invasive species, forbid remote-controlled hunting, establish the Utah State Hunting and Fishing Day, and provide penalties for violations.

UT - Wolves - Chapter 29. Wolf Management Act U.C.A. 1953 § 23-29-101 - 202

Under the Utah Wolf Management Act, wolves must be managed so as to prevent the establishment of a viable pack anywhere in the state where the wolf is not listed as threatened or endangered until the wolf is delisted. If a wolf is discovered in an area where wolves are listed as threatened or endangered, the division must request its immediate removal from the state by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.