Search for an up-to-date and complete listing of exotic animal vets in Michigan. Both laws create licensing schemes for wild animal possession, though neither state allows private pet owners to qualify for these licenses. All of these lists show drastic increases over the last several years, and API stresses that these are only partial accounts of the number of incidents. Due to the lack of wildlife infrastructure, in particular biological knowledge, local laws are less likely than state laws to be specific enumerations, and may simply refer to “wild,” “dangerous,” or “exotic” pets. Macaque monkeys, who are increasingly kept as pets, frequently carry Cercopithecine herpesvirus 1, also known as B virus. However, courts have reasoned in a fashion almost identical to that used in the equal protection challenges. These regulations may govern a wide variety of issues regarding animal care, such as limiting the number of animals a person may have, requiring veterinary examinations and inspections, or dictating the specifications for cages and enclosures. at 152-53. The following is a compilation of Indiana state animal-related laws. While BOAH attempted to make the list comprehensive, it may not be complete. Infect. 321, § 9.01(3) (2004). at *9, 13. Greg Avery, Sorry, Flipper: Boulder Bans Exotic Pets , Scripps Howard News Serv., July 4, 2001. The list of mammals legal to import into the islands consists of guinea pigs, chinchillas, rabbits, mice and rats. A third clause used to challenge exotic pet regulations is the takings clause of the 5th amendment. The law also requires the Texas Board of Health to establish standards for housing, with which registrants must comply. The court determined that Butler’s mere possession of the alligators did not confer a property interest in the animals, and cited a common-law principle and an administrative code that vested title to all wild animals in the state of Florida. No more of these animals may be bought, sold, or transferred, and those owned prior to the law are licensed and heavily regulated for human safety and animal welfare. While states like Texas use permit systems to regulate exotic pets, other states employ them to supplement their bans. The court disagreed. The court need only find “any reasonably conceivable state of facts that could provide a rational basis for the classification.”   Id . Federal laws do exist, however, that regulate captive wild animals in some of the constitutionally enumerated areas, such as interstate commerce and foreign policy. This includes the importation of these animals, except under special exceptions. “[I]t is unlawful for any person to possess, maintain, propagate or cultivate, sell or offer to sell any animal without having a valid license issued to them by the Director in one of five classes.” § 2.12(3). This case demonstrates the hesitancy of courts to become second-order administrators of exotic pet regulations. The purpose of this section, rather than to specifically discuss each state or local law, is to give a few examples of the major types of regulations, and to compare these approaches to exotic pets. State law prohibits the importation or release of San Juan rabbits. LAWS §287.731, it is clearly defined which animals cannot be kept as pets. § 2.12(10)(a)-(l). Similarly, threats to public safety, in the form of attacks by exotic pets, can also spur new laws, as did the mauling of Clayton Eller. In the spring of 2003, an outbreak of monkeypox occurred throughout the Midwest among individuals exposed to prairie dogs. Somewhere in the middle are licensing schemes, which require the owner to obtain a permit from a state agency in order to keep exotic pets. The CDC estimates that every year 70,000 people contract salmonella from pet reptiles. Category C elephants: elephants which at some time have had a positive trunk washing. The court recognized that some regulations may go so far as to actually constitute takings, when the state exceeds its police power. § 287.1006(1). It should also be noted that local laws and state laws can be incongruous. Born Free USA believes that wild animals belong in the wild, not in private homes as pets or in zoos and other such facilities, and strongly recommends against the purchase and possession of wild and exotic animals. XIV, § 1. Procedural due process refers to the necessary processes that the government must go through before depriving a person of life, liberty, or property. 14 §671(c) (2004) and Mass. Summary of State Laws Relating to Private Possession of Exotic Animals , Animal Protection Institute, at (revised Oct. 9, 2003). 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. The "lion-like" creature on the loose that prompted a massive police search in and around Milwaukee raised questions about the wisdom of allowing dangerous exotic animals to be kept as pets. Large carnivores like lions, tigers, and bears are illegal to own, as are apes, baboons, and … The degree of regulation is determined by the strictness with which the state seeks to regulate exotic pet ownership. Greenville County, S.C., Code§ 4-19(b) (2004), available via (last accessed Aug. 30, 2004). at 146. Ultimately, the court rejected Kent’s due process claim on both the substantive and procedural levels. at 1392. Had it been the latter, the Rhoadeses would have been entitled to compensation. The animals of concern for public safety are somewhat different from those of concern for public health. § 287.1104(4), §287.1105, § 287.1106(1), § 287.1106(3). , Emerg. The clause has been interpreted to essentially provide two separate protections: a substantive protection as well as a procedural one. These states have created licensing schemes to regulate exotic pets by giving the authority to state agencies to issue permits for animals deemed sufficiently safe. 517-258-1592. deal 16, 2004, at B2. Id . For some unexplained reason, only mammals are listed as “welfare animals,” perhaps because of the same thinking that lies behind the Animal Welfare Act . Finally, some states ban some exotic pets while allowing others. Because of the responsiveness and malleability of municipal and county governments, animal rights and welfare groups, along with concerned citizens, have begun to seriously target the local level for laws curbing captive wild animal possession. This includes big cats, wolf-hybrids, ferrets, snakes, bears, primates, hippos, alligators, and many others. Email:; Phone: 616-875-8284; Address: 5630 New Holland St Hudsonville, MI 49426; I am a breeder of Fennec Fox, Servals, Bushbabies, Bennetts Walllabies and Large Spot and Melanistic Genets. A few federal laws, such as the Endangered Species Act , implicate a private citizen’s right to possess wild animals as pets, though the focus of this paper is state and local control. at 224-25. Laws and Regulations Regarding Primates Kept as Pets Many states have outlawed owning a primate, this will probably increase in time. Healthy Pets, Health People , Centers for Disease Control, at , (last reviewed December 22, 2003). Iowa and Wisconsin are now the only states that have no state-wide regulations at all, and leave the entirety of the issue to local governments. A second relevant constitutional protection, also discussed in detail below, is that of due process, which prohibits the states from depriving “any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” U.S. Const. A hearing of some sort is generally required before deprivation of life, liberty, or property. amend. As was mentioned above, states that were at the heart of the 2003 monkeypox outbreak were far more likely to ban prairie dogs and other rodents. Like licensing schemes, other regulations allow exotic pet ownership while prescribing the conditions under which such animals may be kept or imported. In rationality review, the regulation need not be perfect, or even a good idea. § 23. The court also noted a human health concern regarding rabies in ferrets. None of these exceptions, however, would cover individual pet ownership. For a clickable map of all state laws and their texts, see ; For a color-coded map of state regulations, see ; For the text of all state laws regarding exotics, see . 1560, ¶ 4 (2000), available at . Additionally, the concept of “exotic” is problematic, since it relies on an ideology of otherness that has been challenged by postcolonial theorists. However, most states do not see ferrets as “exotic,” and do allow their possession as pets. Though nearly all exotic pet laws mention animal welfare as a rationale, it is not clear how much this concern actually influences their implementation. The law may be a complete ban, in which the exotic animals are simply prohibited from private individual possession. The California regulations even list the reason for prohibiting each animal, denoting either a “D” or a “W” depending on whether the animal was listed because it is a detrimental species or because it is a welfare species. Rodents are not the only dangerous exotic animals kept as pets. Finally, to a lesser degree, lawmakers consider animal welfare in prohibiting or restricting exotic pet ownership. § 822.101. It also discusses the policy and constitutional issues surrounding these regulations. Due process only becomes an issue when what has been taken away falls into the category of life, liberty, or property. Mass. Frightened by another patron, Jasper sprinted out the back door and into the streets of the city. Had this been a total taking, then the Rhoadeses would have been entitled to compensation, but since it was not, the court went on to the second prong. See Bush Signs Exotic Pets Bill into Law , Int’l Fund for Animal Welfare, at (Dec. 24, 2003). Additionally, the state of New York took steps to ban some exotic pets shortly after significant news coverage of an incident in October 2003, in which officials discovered a 400 pound pet tiger and a 3-foot pet caiman in a Harlem man’s apartment. I, § 8. Admin. Diana Penner, Indiana Weighing Exotic Pets Rules; Monkeypox Cases Prompt Animal Health Board to Look at Limits on Sales, Distribution , Indianapolis Star , Sept. 8, 2003, at 1B. § 1240.63 (2004) . Captive Wild Animal Report: November-December 2003 , Captive Wild Animal Protection Coalition, at (corrected and updated Feb. 20, 2004). His permit request was denied. While there is no uniformity in laws regulating the possession of exotic pets, three central variables recur among and between different jurisdictions’ laws: (1) the degree of regulation, (2) the animals covered by the law, and (3) the punishment for violation. X. Owners, then, might also challenge the constitutionality of the regulation itself, as the next section discusses. 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. ch. The animal registration agency is charged with ensuring compliance, and is given the right to inspect facilities at any reasonable time. See sec. It details over 120 captive large cat incidents (attacks or escapes) since 1990, 75 nonhuman primate incidents since 1994, nearly 200 reptile incidents since 1995, and nearly 75 incidents involving other exotics such as bears, wolves, ferrets, and even a hippo, since 1995. tit. Public health refers to the epidemiological risks of exotic pet ownership. Id . To date, no court has agreed with this assessment. 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. Other exotic animals are acceptable. Rhoades , 63 P.3d at 148. Bites and scratches must be reported within 48 hours to county health department. In Wright v. Fish and Game Commission , an unpublished California appeals court case, the court upheld the Fish and Game Commission’s ferret ban against an equal protection challenge from a ferret owner. Regarding the first claim, that future annexed city residents would receive preferential treatment because they would be allowed to keep their pets, the court found the issue not yet ripe for judicial review since the future residents were not under the jurisdiction of the city. On the procedural due process issue, the court determined that Kent had both notice and an opportunity to be heard. Of course, in cases where the owner has abused the animal or neglected her in inhumane conditions, the owner should also face charges under separate animal cruelty laws. Other states regulate only the importation of animals across their borders, but do not regulate the pets that are already there. See, e.g. In essence, these schemes create regulatory requirements for captive wildlife within their states, which owners must meet in order to receive a permit. The court reasoned that there was no justiciable controversy since there had not yet been any disparate treatment. See, e.g., Richard Farinato, The Whims and Dangers of the Exotic Pets Market , Humane Society of the United States, at (last accessed Sept. 1, 2004). Other states regulate (though do not ban or license) the possession of animals, creating limits to the quantity of animals an individual may have or setting standards for importation and animal care. Rhoades , 63 P.3d at 152. Michigan law, for example, states, “A local unit may adopt an ordinance governing large carnivores that is more restrictive than this act.” Mich. Comp. , Mass. The court found a rational relationship between the increased risk of diseases and the mandatory seizure and euthanasia of biting pet ferrets. 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. This may be due to their popularity as pets, their difficult care, and/or their special risk to human health and safety. The California and Massachusetts laws serve as good models of exotic pet bans. Ultimately, Jasper’s owner found him first and secretly moved the monkey to a location outside the city limits, avoiding the permitting requirement of the ordinance. Detrimental animals are “listed because they pose a threat to native wildlife, the agriculture interests of the state or to public health or safety”; welfare animals are “listed to prevent the depletion of wild populations and to provide for animal welfare.” § 671(b). Laws on Exotic Pets for Each U.S. State. These various regulations have been challenged in courts under various common law and constitutional doctrines. search exotic animal vets in MI Featured Veterinarians. ch. Scientists warn that the increase in the trade in non-human primates, including macaques, could create “an emerging infectious disease threat in the United States.” Stephanie R. Ostrowski et al., B-virus from Pet Macaque Monkeys: An Emerging Threat in the United States ? The animal dragged Clayton under the chain-link fence and into its cage, mauling the boy. U.S. Const. The virus is mostly harmless in monkeys but can be fatal in humans. The county ordinance banned the possession of dangerous animals as pets, but contained exemptions for their use in research, education, and reproduction. These legitimate state interests (human health, human safety, and wildlife conservation) were all rationally related to the law that banned pet ferrets, and thus the equal protection claim failed. While this appraisal over-simplifies the issue to some degree, it is true that our reduction of animals to pets and our belief in our ability to own them is buttressed by the words we use to talk about animals. The risk of zoonotic diseases (those that can be transmitted from animals to humans) from exotic animals is of special importance because of the fact that they are non-native. While the United Nations unanimously adopted its first resolution on July 30 to curb illegal wildlife trafficking, Wisconsin’s lax laws make the state a draw for animal smugglers, critics say. This paper discusses these issues in detail. This protection essentially requires certain procedural steps prior to deprivation, and provides at least some substantive rights. Monica Engebretson et al., The Dirty Side of the Exotic Animal Pet Trade , Animal Issues 34(2), ¶ 1 (Summer 2003), available at . For rationality review, the government must be pursuing some legitimate purpose, and the classification must be rationally related to that purpose. 2002) (upholding county decision not to rezone plaintiff’s land for exotic animals); Cavaliere v. Skelton , 40 S.W.3d 844 (Ark. Florida v. Butler is an instance of this first argument, in which the state won because the court found no property interest requiring due process. In 1998, 2 million reptiles were imported into the U.S., the majority of which died within their first year of captivity. Frightened by another patron, Jasper sprinted out the back door and into the streets of the city. The possession of wolf-dog hybrids, lions, tigers, cougars, cheetahs, leopards, jaguars, panthers, and bears is illegal in the state of Michigan. Code Ann. 321, § 9.01(4). Many exceptions and qualifications apply to these exotic animal laws. As Pearson and Flikshtein show, challenges to the enforcement of exotic pet regulations usually fail because of the deference given to administrative agencies. Id . Owners may also appeal this notice in municipal court for judicial review, and impoundment is stayed pending the appeal, allowing the animal to remain with the owner. Rather, public safety concerns about animal attacks can be more of a motivation for lawmakers to restrict ownership of exotic pets. 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. Gen. Laws Ann . at 1392-93. Id . Its law makes it “unlawful to import, transport, or possess alive animals restricted in subsection (c) below except under permit issued by the Department of Fish and Game.” Cal. PERMIT required to breed ferr… Legislatures should follow states like California and counties like Surry County in establishing complete bans of captive wildlife. The specific details of these local laws vary in the exact same ways that state laws vary. Jan Holstege. Illinois Exotic Pet Laws Harmful animals are not allowed to be kept as pets unless you are a zoo, accredited circus, or other appropriate company. Before buying a fox, finding out your local laws is the first step before doing essential research to determine if a fox would make a good pet for you. Div. The ordinance also exempted zoos, humane societies, education or medical institutions, circuses, carnivals, animal hospitals, wildlife rescue organizations, licensed game breeders, and the federal, state, or county governments. § 822.112(a)-(b). See, e.g., Loving v. Virginia , 388 U.S. 1 (1967) (holding that lines drawn along racial boundaries deserve strict scrutiny). 11, #1103B (2004). Mich. Comp. Massachusetts, for example, explicitly bans such hybrids. Cities and counties are also more subject to the whim of local residents, so regulations frequently come on the heels of attacks on the area’s children or other sensational exotic pet incidents. (N.Y. 2004), available at, and (last accessed Aug. 29, 2004). at 147-48. As public interest in various exotic pets increases, an unregulated animal may be newly understood to pose a danger. These cases demonstrate the difficulty of winning a due process claim for deprivation of an exotic pet. Camels/llamas, cattle and bison, domestic d… § 671(c). As will be seen below in section IV , owners have asserted that the confiscation of their pets constitutes a deprivation of property in violation of the due process and takings clauses of the U.S. Constitution. The Humane Society estimates that 80 percent of wild caught birds die during capture and transport, and puts the total animal death toll in the millions. BOAH cannot provide legal advice. Mike Johnson, Thiensville Exotic Pet Ban to Take Effect Soon , Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Wisconsin), Feb. 19, 2004, at 05B. Owners might also challenge the relevance of the statute’s intent in the case of their particular animal. For an almost identical ferret case in New York federal district court, with similar legal reasoning on the equal protection issue, see New York City Friends of Ferrets v. City of New York , 876 F. Supp. Exception: individuals in possession of a bear on March 26, 2013 or acquiring a business that was in possession of a bear on this date may allow direct contact with bears if the bear is less than 36 weeks of age or weighs 90 pounds or less. 3. 2516 W Rauch Road, Temperance, MI, 48182, Just as in equal protection and due process challenges, courts have sided with the state or municipality, and have not seen these regulations as takings requiring compensation. If the certification is denied or revoked, the individual may not possess the animal, and commits a Class C misdemeanor if he or she continues to have the unregistered animal. The ordinance now covers ursids, felids, mustalids, venomous reptiles, procyonides, elephants, marine mammals, hyenas, edentates, viverrids, canids (excluding domestic dogs, wolves, and hybrids), marsupials, ungulates, primates, prosimians, and crocodilians. First, the individual may not even have a legitimate property interest in the wild animal in states like Florida. It first asked whether the regulation was a “total taking,” such that it denied the Rhoadeses a “fundamental attribute of ownership.” Id . While the disease was balanced in its original environment, its introduction into a new context caused it to spread among unprepared species. Wise, supra . Registration applications require a number of supporting documents, intended to assure public safety and animal welfare. In these instances, regulations may need to be altered to ensure public safety and animal welfare. See, e.g. at 148. Second, as long as the state acted in the interest of public safety in implementing the exotic pet regulation, substantive due process claims will fail since the state may deprive an individual of liberty and property when acting pursuant to its police power. XIV, § 1. However, courts have almost universally upheld the validity of exotic pet regulations as a legitimate exercise of state police power that does not infringe on the constitutional protections of equal protection, due process, or takings. at 148. The City responded, and the court agreed, that the ordinance provides a “notice of violation” 30 days prior to the impounding. This section will examine these different statutes, with a focus on bans and licensing schemes. 24, § 161.01 (2000). The primary focus of this paper is on state and local regulations of exotic pets, but the few relevant federal laws also deserve brief mention. This paper examines state and local statutes and regulations regarding private possession of captive wildlife, or exotic pets. The regulations even dictate the maximum length of the animal’s leash, six feet. § 822.111(a). 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