Mass. The Captive Wild Animal Protection Coalition releases a monthly report of incidents including human injuries and fatalities, animal injuries and fatalities, confiscations, and escapes. Sess. Michigan law, for example, states, “A local unit may adopt an ordinance governing large carnivores that is more restrictive than this act.” Mich. Comp. 4 states have no laws on keeping dangerous wild animals as pets: Alabama, Nevada, North Carolina, and Wisconsin. The court sympathized with his loss, but held that he did not deserve compensation because the seizure of the animal was merely a regulation and not a taking. The classes for which licenses may be granted are propagator’s licenses, public stocking licenses, dealer’s licenses, possessor’s licenses, and dog training licenses. A third clause used to challenge exotic pet regulations is the takings clause of the 5th amendment. States should adopt a precautionary principle regarding which animals to ban, whereby all wild animals are presumptively unsuitable for private ownership or possession. art. The court also noted a human health concern regarding rabies in ferrets. These standards should be established in a manner that protects public safety, prevents escape, and “provides a safe, healthy, and humane environment for the animal.” § 822.111(a)(3). Owners might also challenge the relevance of the statute’s intent in the case of their particular animal. Abdu F. Azad, Prairie Dog: Cuddly Pet or Trojan Horse ? Id . 321, § 9.01(4). College of Law Professor David Favre (Editor-in-Chief) and Rebecca Wisch (Assistant Editor) are approaching their fourth year maintaining a comprehensive website devoted to animal law. Just as the type of animal varies by jurisdiction, so does the type of regulation. Ownership of those animals is … Second, they may argue in the alternative that even if the animal was the individual’s property, sufficient process was given to justify deprivation of that property. Such a challenge would assert that the regulation violates constitutional protections such as the equal protection clause, the due process clause, or the takings clause of the U.S. Constitution. Since Paquette’s article was written, the Federal Government has passed what may be the most substantial federal protection of exotic pets, the Captive Wildlife Safety Act, passed pursuant to the Congress’s power to regulate interstate commerce. (For more on police power as it relates to dogs, click here .). Taken together, these cases demonstrate the difficulty of challenging exotic pet regulations as unconstitutional. Minnesota Passes Law Against Keeping Dangerous Animals as Pets , Int’l Fund for Animal Welfare, at (June 2, 2004). ch. Dis. Kansas has exotic animal pet laws in place to protect these exotic pets, the local ecosystem and the society in which the pet exists. 14 §671(a) (2004). His permit request was denied. Since the state owned title to all wildlife, and since Butler did not have the required permit to possess the alligators, there was no protected property interest requiring due process. Regulations also require that the wolf-dog not be tethered outdoors, nor be allowed to roam free. , Harper v. Robinson , 589 S.E.2d 295 (Ga. Ct. App. Many exceptions and qualifications apply to these exotic animal laws. Captive Wild Animal Report: March 31 to April 30, 2003 , Captive Wild Animal Protection Coalition, at (2003). Like the Iowa Supreme Court in Kent , the Washington Court of Appeals reasoned that since the owners had the option of keeping the animal and leaving town, and since the regulation was passed for the public welfare pursuant to the legislative police power, the seizures were not a taking requiring just compensation under the 5 th Amendment. 131, §77A . The Animal Protection Institute has begun this important work and offers model legislation for states and local governments. (N.Y. 2004), available at, and (last accessed Aug. 29, 2004). Spurred by concerns about public health, public safety, and animal welfare, lawmakers have begun to realize the dangers posed by private possession of exotic animals. at 147-48. A fantastic resource for such thorough information is the Animal Protection Institute’s webpages. Besides being challenged for discriminating between classifications of exotic pet owners and domestic pet owners, regulations have also been challenged for discriminating between private pet ownership and other possessions of wild animals for research and educational purposes. A high priority should be given to preventing this animal abuse and ensuring that other species do not suffer at the hands of their captors. tit. LAWS §287.731, it is clearly defined which animals cannot be kept as pets. All applicants must be eighteen (18) years of age or older. The Surry County ban mentioned above, which followed a tiger mauling, applies to large cats, wolves, primates, venomous reptiles, and bears. For rationality review, the government must be pursuing some legitimate purpose, and the classification must be rationally related to that purpose. In takings cases, the essential question is whether the law is merely a regulation, and therefore a legitimate exercise of police power, or whether the law actually constitutes a taking, requiring compensation. For intermediate scrutiny, the government must be pursuing some important purpose, and the law must be substantially related to that purpose. at 224. 0 0. kussel. Id . The county ordinance banned the possession of dangerous animals as pets, but contained exemptions for their use in research, education, and reproduction. This section discusses a few state regulations that are neither full bans nor licensing systems, but that do govern private ownership of exotic pets. This must be written on the interstate certificate of veterinary inspection. § 822.112(a)-(b). at 222. Like the California law, the Massachusetts law prohibits possession of wild animals without a license. § 822.111(a). Until then, state and local laws can help prevent these abuses, and may even help foster among their citizens the understanding that animals exist for their own sake, not merely to be possessed as “pets.". , United States v. Lopez , 514 U.S. 549, 566 (1995). , Conn. Gen. Stat. In essence, these schemes create regulatory requirements for captive wildlife within their states, which owners must meet in order to receive a permit. Infect. Since courts recognize public health and safety as legitimate government interests, and since exotic pet regulations are rationally related to securing the public health and safety, owners have lost all such equal protection challenges. See also , Cal. The degree to which a state regulates possession of exotic pets is the most important variable, since it is the crux of the legality of exotic pet ownership. Code tit. Michigan’s law explicitly provides for such placement in sanctuaries or shelters, although it also allows placement in accredited zoos. Code ch. It will examine the different types of regulations passed, be they permit schemes, registration schemes, or total bans. Please call MDARD at 1-800-292-3939 for more information. The outbreak of monkeypox in prairie dogs (and subsequently in humans) was traced back to giant Gambian rats imported from Africa. 131, § 23 (2004). In Summit County Board of Health v. Pearson , an Ohio court of appeals held that the administrative body’s determination of a public nuisance resulting from unsanitary confinement of exotic pets was not arbitrary and capricious, and was “supported by a preponderance of reliable, probative and substantial evidence.” Summit County Board of Health v. Pearson , 809 N.E.2d 80 (Ohio Ct. App. Primates are not allowed as pets unless they remained in possession before 2011 and had been signed up. With rationality review, the fit between the end (or the purpose of the law) and the means (the law itself) can be rather loose. The animal control office with authority over the location at which the animal is kept issues these registration certificates, or, if no such office exists, by the county sheriff. At the local level, the fate of the animal after seizure is usually in the hands of a wildlife or animal control official. Texas’s exotic pet law states, “A person may not own, harbor, or have custody or control of a dangerous wild animal for any purpose unless the person holds a certificate of registration for that animal issued by an animal registration agency.” Tex. Depending on which of these concerns serves as a motivation for the enactment of protective laws, different animals may be covered. art. There are no specific requirements for exotic animals moving within the state of Michigan (intrastate movement) for exhibition. There are presently over 700 full text cases (US, Historical and UK ) and 975 U.S. statutes on animal law fully available on the site, with Michigan and California being very comprehensive. Exotic pet laws change constantly, and just because something is legal in your state doesn’t mean it is legal in your city, town, or even neighborhood association. Ninety percent of reptiles carry salmonella, which can be transferred to humans through feces. at 227. Classifications based on characteristics that are only occasionally relevant, such as gender, are given intermediate scrutiny. Although a rabbit is probably not considered “exotic” by most, care of these species requires special knowledge and training. The offender may also be civilly penalized up to $2,000 per animal per day. Kibby Park Animal Hospital. First, they argued that the ordinance treated city residents differently from residents living on land that might later be annexed by the city, since the latter class would be allowed to keep their exotic pets. Exotic, circus or zoo animals may also be regulated by other agencies or local authorities. Exotic Pets - Animal Law. While this at first seems to be a permitting scheme rather than a ban, the conditions for permitting by the Department only apply to commercial, research, and educational entities, and no permits are granted for private pet ownership. The state or locale will win, so long as it can demonstrate a legitimate state interest, and a rational relationship between the regulation and that interest. PUNISHMENT OF THE OFFENDER AND THE FATE OF THE ANIMAL. § 671(c). Exotic, circus or zoo animals being imported from out-of-state (interstate movement) for exhibition must meet the following requirements: Be accompanied by an interstate CVI meeting the requirements stated above under Import Requirements. As will be discussed in section IV below, constitutional challenges to ferret bans have failed, as courts have affirmed state and local governments’ right to regulate or ban ferret possession. After being denied a permit to keep him, and after losing a protracted battle against the Green Bay city council to change the regulation, Cornelius and Jasper moved to a suburb that allowed monkeys as pets. Each of the wolf-dog permit regulations regarding owners, microchipping, housing, and leashes is the same for large carnivores. at 147. Code tit. The fate of animals seized from noncompliant owners can vary significantly. 131, § 23 (2004). See, e.g. Ct. App. Note that this law allows for a complete loss of privileges to own or possess any animals in the future, an important remedy for protecting animal welfare. “Applications for a license … including both initial applications and renewals, shall … be denied when … the application is for a license to possess, maintain, propagate or cultivate animals as pets.” § 2.12(9)(a). At the time of this writing, intense pressure by ferret advocates in California has resulted in the passage of a state senate bill that legalizes those ferrets already owned as pets. amend. B Virus , National Center for Infectious Diseases, at . Code Regs . These species must meet four criteria: first, the animal cannot pose any threat to a native Massachusetts ecosystem; second, the animal cannot pose a threat to human health or safety; third, care for the animal is no more demanding than care for “common domestic animals”; and fourth, the captivity of the animal cannot have a significant adverse effect on the animal’s natural population. Because of the limited nature of the federal government, most regulations occur at the state and local levels, where the police power allows general regulations for the public welfare. California is one such state with a ban on exotic pets. Permitting systems, while a step in the right direction, fail to grasp the fact that most of these animals are inherently dangerous, and require extraordinary care to live a bearable life. For example, Massachusetts’ law states that any animal owned or possessed in violation of the statute “may be seized and shall be disposed of by the director of law enforcement for the best interests of the commonwealth.” Mass. Captive Feline Incidents , Animal Protection Institute, at (revised July 6, 2004); Captive Non-Human Primate Incidents , Animal Protection Institute, at (revised July 6, 2004); Captive Reptile Incidents , Animal Protection Institute, at (revised July 6, 2004); Incidents Involving Miscellaneous Captive Held Exotic Animals , Animal Protection Institute, at (revised July 6, 2004). , Emerg. Regarding the types of animals regulated at the local level, some governments enumerate particular animals, while others only generically reference “exotic” or “dangerous” animals.
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