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New York State Laws Governing Private Possession of Exotic Animals

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N.Y. ENVTL. CONSERV. §11-0103 - Envtl. Conserv. Definitions.

As used in the Fish and Wildlife Law:

1. a. "Fish" means all varieties of the super-class Pisces.

b. "Food fish" means all species of edible fish and squid (cephalopoda).

c. "Migratory fish of the sea" means both catadromous and anadromous species of fish which live a part of their life span in salt water streams and oceans.

d. "Fish protected by law" means fish protected, by law or by regulations of the department, by restrictions on open seasons or on size of fish that may be taken.

e. Unless otherwise indicated, "Trout" includes brook trout, brown trout, red-throat trout, rainbow trout and splake. "Trout", "landlocked salmon", "black bass", "pickerel", "pike", and "walleye" mean respectively, the fish or groups of fish identified by those names, with or without one or more other common names of fish belonging to the group. "Pacific salmon" means coho salmon, chinook salmon and pink salmon.

2. "Game" is classified as (a) game birds; (b) big game; (c) small game.

  1. "Game birds" are classified as (1) migratory game birds and (2) upland game birds.

(1) "Migratory game birds" means the Anatidae or waterfowl, commonly known as geese, brant, swans and river and sea ducks; the Rallidae, commonly known as rails, American coots, mud hens and gallinules; the Limicolae or shore birds, commonly known as woodcock, snipe, plover, surfbirds, sandpipers, tattlers and curlews; the Corvidae, commonly known as jays, crows and magpies.

(2) "Upland game birds" (Gallinae) means wild turkeys, grouse, pheasant, Hungarian or European gray-legged partridge and quail. Grouse means ruffed grouse and every member of the grouse family. Pheasant means the ring-necked, dark-necked and mutant pheasants and all species and subspecies of the genus Phasianus representing the true or game pheasants.

  1. "Big game" means deer, bear, moose, elk, except captive bred and raised North American elk (Cervus elaphus), caribou and antelope.
     
  2. "Small game" means black, gray and fox squirrels, European hares, varying hares, cottontail rabbits, frogs, land turtles, box and wood turtles and the bog turtle (Clemmys muhlenbergi), coyotes, red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) except captive bred red fox or gray fox, raccoon, opossum, or weasel, skunk, bobcat, lynx, muskrat, mink, except mink born in captivity, fisher, otter, beaver, sable and marten but does not include coydogs.

3. "Wild game" means all game, except (a) domestic game bird and domestic game animal as defined in subdivision 4; (b) carcasses of foreign game as defined in section 11-1717, imported from outside the United States and tagged as provided in section 11-1721; (c) game propagated or kept alive in captivity as provided in section 11-1907; (d) game imported alive pursuant to license of the department, or artificially propagated, until such game is liberated; and (e) game so imported or propagated when liberated for the purpose of a field trial and taken during the field trial for which it was liberated.

4. a. "Domestic game bird" means ducks, geese, brant, swans, pheasants, quail, wild turkey, ruffed grouse, Chukar partridge and Hungarian or European gray-legged partridge, propagated under a domestic game bird breeder's license pursuant to section 11-1901 or a shooting preserve license pursuant to section 11-1903, or propagated on a preserve or island outside the state under a law similar in principle to title 19 of this article.

b. "Domestic game animal" means white-tailed deer propagated under a domestic game animal breeder's license pursuant to section 11-1905 or propagated on a preserve or island outside the state under a law similar in principle to title 19 of this article.

c. To qualify as such domestic game bird or domestic game animal, (1) live game must be held in private ownership, on such licensed premises, and in the case of deer must be held on a preserve which is fenced, or is an island, as provided in section 11-1905, or must be held in confinement in course of transportation, and (2) the carcasses or flesh of such game coming from outside the state must originate on premises operated by the holder of a domestic game certificate as provided in section 11-1715.

5. a. "Unprotected wild birds" means the English sparrow and starling, and also includes pigeons and psittacine birds existing in a wild state, not domesticated.

b. "Protected birds" means all wild birds except those named in paragraph a of this subdivision.

6. a. "Wildlife" means wild game and all other animal life existing in a wild state, except fish, shellfish and crustacea.

b. "Wild bird" means birds which are "wildlife".

c. "Protected wildlife" means wild game, protected wild birds and endangered species of wildlife designated by the department pursuant to section 11-0535 hereof or species listed in section three hundred fifty-eight-a of the agriculture and markets law. [FN1]

d. "Unprotected wildlife" means all wildlife which is not "protected wildlife".

e. "Wild animal" shall not include "companion animal" as defined in section three hundred fifty of the agriculture and markets law. Wild animal includes, and is limited to, any or all of the following orders and families:

(1) Nonhuman primates and prosimians,

(2) Felidae (with the exception of domesticated and feral cats, which shall mean domesticated cats that were formerly owned and that have been abandoned and that are no longer socialized, as well as offspring of such cats), and hybrids thereof,

(3) Canidae (with the exception of domesticated dogs and fennec foxes (vulpes zerda)),

(4) Ursidae,

(5) All reptiles that are venomous by nature, pursuant to department regulation, and the following species and families: Burmese Python (Python m. bivittatus), Reticulated Python (Python reticulatus), African Rock Python (Python sabae), Green Anaconda (Eunectes maurinus), Yellow Anaconda (Eunectes notaeus), Australian Amethystine Python (Morelia amethistina kinhorni), Indian Python (Python molurus), Asiatic (water) Monitor (V. salvator), Nile Monitor (V. nilocitus), White Throat Monitor (V. albigularus), Black Throat Monitor (V. albigularus ionides) and Crocodile Monitor (V. salvadori) and any hybrid thereof,

(6) Crocodilia.

7. "Protected insect" means any insect with respect to the taking of which restrictions are imposed by the Fish and Wildlife Law or regulations of the department pursuant thereto.

8. "Plumage" is defined in section 11-1729.

9. "Shellfish" means oysters, scallops, and all kinds of clams and mussels.

10. "Hunting" means pursuing, shooting, killing or capturing (other than trapping as defined in subdivision 11) wildlife, except wildlife which has been lawfully trapped or otherwise reduced to possession, and includes all lesser acts such as disturbing, harrying or worrying, whether they result in taking or not, and every attempt to take and every act of assistance to any other person in taking or attempting to take wildlife.

11. "Trapping" means taking, killing and capturing wildlife with traps, deadfalls and other devices commonly used to take wildlife, and the shooting or killing of wildlife lawfully trapped, and includes all lesser acts such as placing, setting or staking such traps, deadfalls and other devices whether they result in taking or not, and every attempt to take and every act of assistance to any other person in taking or attempting to take wildlife with traps, deadfalls or other devices.

12. a. "Fishing" means the taking, killing, netting, capturing or withdrawal of fish from the waters of the state by any means, including every attempt to take and every act of assistance to any other person in taking or attempting to take fish.

b. "Angling" means taking fish by hook and line. It includes bait and fly fishing, casting, trolling and also includes the use of landing nets in completing the catch of fish taken by hook and line. To constitute "angling" the taking must be in accordance with the following requirements: (1) the operator must be present and in immediate attendance when lines are in the water; (2) one person may operate not more than two lines, with or without rod; (3) each line shall have not more than five lures or baits, or a combination of both, and in addition each line shall have not exceeding fifteen single hooks, or seven double hooks, or five triple hooks, or any combination of such hooks, provided the total number of hook points thereof does not exceed fifteen. Angling does not include snatching or hooking or the use of tip-ups.

c. "Hooking", "snatching" or "snagging" means taking fish that have not taken or attempted to take a bait or artificial lure into their mouth, by impaling fish with one or more hooks or similar devices, whether or not baited, into any part of their body.

d. "Net" means a non-metallic fabric wrought or woven into meshes and includes the types known as seine, gill, pound, trap, scap, fyke, dip, scoop and stake net.

e. "Spear" means a hand-propelled single or multiple pronged pike, blade or harpoon, and does not include the mechanically propelled device commonly called a spear gun or under-water gun.

13. "Taking" and "take" include pursuing, shooting, hunting, killing, capturing, trapping, snaring and netting fish, wildlife, game, shellfish, crustacea and protected insects, and all lesser acts such a disturbing, harrying or worrying, or placing, setting, drawing or using any net or other device commonly used to take any such animal. Whenever any provision of the Fish and Wildlife Law permits "taking", the taking permitted is a taking by lawful means and in a lawful manner.

14. "Baiting" means the placing, exposing, depositing, distributing or scattering of shelled, shucked, or unshucked corn, wheat or other grain, salt or other feed in such a manner as to lure, attract, or entice upland game birds to any area where hunters are attempting to take them; "baited area" means any area where shelled, shucked, or unshucked corn, wheat or other grain, salt or other feed whatsoever capable of luring, attracting, or enticing such birds is placed, exposed, deposited, distributed or scattered.

15. "Marine district" means the waters described in section 13-0103.

16. a. "Northern Zone" as used in the Fish and Wildlife Law or in any regulation of the department pursuant thereto means that part of the state situated northerly of a line commencing at a point at the north shore of the Salmon river and its junction with Lake Ontario and extending easterly along the north shore of that river to the village of Pulaski, thence southerly along Route 11 to its intersection with Route 49 in the village of Central Square, thence easterly along Route 49 to its junction with Route 365 in the city of Rome, thence easterly along Route 365 to its junction with Route 28 in the village of Trenton, thence easterly along Route 28 to its junction with Route 29 in the village of Middleville, thence easterly along Route 29 to its junction with Route 4, thence northerly along Route 4 to its junction with Route 22, thence northerly and westerly along Route 22 to the eastern shore of South Bay on Lake Champlain in the village of Whitehall, thence northerly along the eastern shore of South Bay to the New York-Vermont boundary.

b. "Southern Zone" as used in the Fish and Wildlife Law or in any regulation of the department pursuant thereto means that part of the state not included in the "Northern Zone".

17. "Wilderness Hunting Areas" means the following areas:

a. South branch of Moose river--West Canada creek area. Commencing at a point in the village of Indian Lake at the intersection of Route 28 with Route 30, thence southerly along Route 30 to the village of Speculator and its junction with Route 8, thence westerly along Route 8 to its junction with Route 287, thence westerly along Route 287 to its intersection with the Herkimer county line, thence northerly along the Herkimer county line to its intersection with Route 28 near the village of McKeever, thence northerly and easterly along Route 28 to the point of beginning.

b. Essex Chain Lakes area. Commencing with the village of Indian Lake on Route 28, thence northwesterly on Route 28 to its junction with Route 28-N at the village of Blue Mountain Lake, thence northerly along Route 28-N to the village of Long Lake, thence easterly, and southerly along Route 28-N to its junction with Route 28 in the village of North Creek, thence northwesterly along Route 28 to the point of beginning.

c. Cold River area. Commencing at the village of Long Lake, thence northerly along Route 30 to its junction with Route 3 in the village of Tupper Lake, thence easterly along Route 3 to its intersection with Route 86 in the village of Saranac Lake, thence easterly along Route 86 to its junction with Route 73 in the village of Lake Placid, thence easterly and southerly along Route 73 to its junction with Route 9, thence southerly along Route 9 to the village of Schroon River and the junction of the Blue Ridge road, thence westerly along the Blue Ridge road through the village of Blue Ridge to its junction with the Tahawus road, thence southerly along the Tahawus road to its junction with Route 28-N, thence westerly along Route 28-N to the point of beginning.

d. Oswegatchie-Beaver river flow area and Independence river area. Commencing in the village of Blue Mountain Lake, thence westerly along Route 28 through Old Forge to the intersection of Route 28 with the Adirondack state park boundary at the vicinity of White Lake, thence westerly and northerly along the Adirondack state park boundary to the point where said boundary crosses Route 3 between the villages of East Pitcairn and Fine, thence easterly along Route 3 to its intersection with Route 30 at the village of Tupper Lake, thence southerly along Route 30 to the point of beginning.

e. Middle branch of Grass river area. Commencing in the village of Cranberry Lake on Route 3, thence northeasterly along Route 3 to its junction with Route 56 near the village of Sevey, thence northerly along Route 56 to its intersection with the Adirondack state park boundary southeast of the village of South Colton, thence west and south along said park boundary to its intersection with the Degrasse-Cranberry Lake road, thence easterly and southerly along said road to its junction with Route 3 approximately one mile west of the village of Cranberry Lake, thence easterly along Route 3 to the point of beginning.

f. West branch of St. Regis river area. Commencing at the village of Tupper Lake, thence northeasterly along Route 30 to the junction of the Brandon road leading from Paul Smiths to St. Regis Falls, thence westerly and northerly along said Brandon road to its junction with Route 72 about three miles west of the village of Santa Clara, thence northwesterly along Route 72 to its junction with the St. Regis-Lake Ozonia road, thence southerly and westerly along the St. Regis-Lake Ozonia road to Lake Ozonia, thence northerly and westerly along the Lake Ozonia-Hopkinton road to its intersection with the Adirondack state park boundary, thence westerly, southerly, and westerly along the Adirondack state park boundary to its intersection with the Parishville-Stark road, thence southerly along said road to the village of Stark, thence westerly along the Stark-Hubbards road to its junction with Route 56, thence southerly along Route 56 to its junction with Route 3 near the village of Sevey, thence easterly along Route 3 to the point of beginning.

18. "Inhabited" means a permanent occupancy by a species as contrasted with a temporary presence of an occasional individual.

19. a. "Person" means an individual, a co-partnership, joint stock company or corporation.

b. In construing any provision of the Fish and Wildlife Law, gender and number shall be disregarded whenever necessary to give effect to the purpose of the provision.

c. A reference to the "immediate family" of a person means all persons who are related by blood, marriage or adoption to the person whose immediate family is referred to, and are domiciled in the house of such person.

20. "Environmental conservation officer" includes sworn officers in the division of law enforcement in the department.

21. "Carrier" means a person engaged in the business of transporting goods, and includes a common carrier, contract carrier and private carrier.

22. "Closed area" means any area of lands, or waters, or lands and waters of the state, in which the taking of fish, wildlife or protected insects, or one or more of them, is prohibited, or in which hunting, fishing or trapping, or one or more of them, is prohibited by the Fish and Wildlife Law, by proclamation of the Governor pursuant to section 9-1101, or by rule or regulation of the department.

23. a. "Open season" means the time during which fish, game, wildlife, shellfish, crustacea or protected insects may be legally taken. "Closed season" means the time during which they may not legally be taken.

b. Whenever an open season or a closed season is provided by the fixing of dates, such dates shall be deemed part of such open season or closed season.

24. "Enclosed lands" or "wholly enclosed lands" means lands the boundaries of which may be indicated by wire, ditch, hedge, fence, road, highway or water, or in any visible or distinctive manner which indicates a separation from the surrounding contiguous territory. Except as otherwise provided, any such indication of boundaries is sufficient to constitute the lands within the boundaries "enclosed".

25. "Hunting accident" means the injury to or death of a person caused by the discharge of a firearm or longbow while the person causing such injury or death, or the person injured or killed, is taking or attempting to take game, wildlife or fish.

26. "Muzzle loading firearm" means a gun which is loaded through the muzzle, shooting a single projectile and having a minimum bore of .44 inch.

27. "Leashed tracking dog" means a leashed dog which has been certified by the department pursuant to section 11-0928 of this chapter to track and find wounded or injured big game.

28. "Captive bred" means born in captivity.

29. "Non-native big game mammal" means a mammal species presently found in the wild and hunted as big game that is:

  1. Native or an original inhabitant of the continents of Africa, Asia, South America, Australia, or Europe, whether or not captive bred; or
     
  2. A captive bred North American big game mammal including: cougar, wolf, bear, bison, big horn sheep, mountain goat, antelope, elk, musk ox, mule deer, black tailed deer, caribou, swine, and a domestic game animal as defined in paragraph b of subdivision four of this section, provided, however, that nothing herein shall be deemed to expand, diminish, or alter the department's authority under existing statute or regulation to regulate the taking of big game as defined in paragraph b of subdivision two of this section or other protected wildlife as defined in paragraph c of subdivision six of this section.

30. "Facility" means any type of zoo, petting zoo, circus, game farm, game preserve, or similar entity, or part thereof, where non-native big game mammals are housed, held, fed or provided for in any manner.

31. "Pet" means an animal kept for the primary purpose of companionship that is normally maintained in or near the household of the owner or person who cares for such domesticated animal.

32. "Wildlife sanctuary" means an organization as described in section 170(b)(1)(A)(vi) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, [FN2] and approved by the Association of Sanctuaries or the American Sanctuary Association, and that operates a place of refuge where abused, neglected, unwanted, impounded, abandoned, orphaned, or displaced wild animals are provided care for their lifetime or rehabilitated and released back to their natural habitat, and, with respect to any animal owned by the organization, does not:

  1. Use the animal for any type of entertainment, recreational or commercial purpose;
     
  2. Sell, trade, lend or barter the animal or the animal's body parts; or
     
  3. Breed the animal.

N.Y. ENVTL. CONSERV. §11-0303 - Envtl. Conserv. Purpose and powers.

1. The general purpose of powers affecting fish and wildlife, granted to the department by the Fish and Wildlife Law, is to vest in the department, to the extent of the powers so granted, the efficient management of the fish and wildlife resources of the state. Such resources shall be deemed to include all animal and vegetable life and the soil, water and atmospheric environment thereof, owned by the state or of which it may obtain management, to the extent that they constitute the habitat of fish and wildlife as defined in section 11-0103. Such management shall be deemed to include both the maintenance and improvement of such resources as natural resources and the development and administration of measures for making them accessible to the people of the state. To obtain these results it shall include, to the extent authorized by law, the undertaking and execution of reciprocal and cooperative arrangements with the government of the United States, with other states, and with other departments and agencies of this state, political subdivisions and public corporations of this state and owners and lessees of privately owned lands and waters, and shall also include continuation of research and educational programs.

2. To such extent as it shall deem feasible without prejudice to other functions in the management of fish and wildlife resources of the state and the execution of other duties imposed by law, the department is directed, in the exercise of the powers conferred upon it, to develop and carry out programs and procedures which will in its judgment, (a) promote natural propagation and maintenance of desirable species in ecological balance, and (b) lead to the observance of sound management practices for such propagation and maintenance on lands and waters of the state, whether owned by the state or by a public corporation of the state or held in private ownership, having regard to (1) ecological factors, including the need for restoration and improvement of natural habitat and the importance of ecological balance in maintaining natural resources; (2) the compatibility of production and harvesting of fish and wildlife crops with other necessary or desirable land uses; (3) the importance of fish and wildlife resources for recreational purposes; (4) requirements for public safety; and (5) the need for adequate protection of private premises and of the persons and property of occupants thereof against abuse of privileges of access to such premises for hunting, fishing or trapping.

3. The department may, until December thirty-first, two thousand seven, fix by regulation measures for the management of striped bass, including size limits, catch and possession limits, open and closed seasons, closed areas, restrictions on the manner of taking and landing, requirements for permits and eligibility therefor, recordkeeping requirements, requirements on the amount and type of fishing effort and gear, and requirements relating to transportation, possession and sale, provided that such regulations are no less restrictive than requirements set forth in this chapter and provided further that such regulations are consistent with the compliance requirements of applicable fishery management plans adopted by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and with applicable provisions of fishery management plans adopted pursuant to the Federal Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. § 1800 et seq.).


N.Y. ENVTL. CONSERV. §11-0511 - Envtl. Conserv. Possession and transportation of wildlife.

No person shall, except under a license or permit first obtained from the department containing the prominent warning notice specified in subdivision nine of section 11-0917 of this article, possess, transport or cause to be transported, imported or exported any live wolf, wolfdog, coyote, coydog, fox, skunk, venomous reptile or raccoon, endangered species designated pursuant to section 11-0535 hereof, species named in section 11-0536 or other species of native or non-native live wildlife or fish where the department finds that possession, transportation, importation or exportation of such species of wildlife or fish would present a danger to the health or welfare of the people of the state, an individual resident or indigenous fish or wildlife population. Environmental conservation officers, forest rangers and members of the state police may seize every such animal possessed without such license or permit. No action for damages shall lie for such seizure, and disposition of seized animals shall be at the discretion of the department.


N.Y. ENVTL. CONSERV. §11-0512 - Envtl. Conserv. Possession, sale, barter, transfer, exchange and import of wild animals as pets prohibited

1. No person shall knowingly possess, harbor, sell, barter, transfer, exchange or import any wild animal for use as a pet in New York state, except as provided in subdivision three of this section.

2. This section shall not apply to the following persons and entities with respect to wild animals owned or harbored by them solely for a purpose other than for use as a pet:

  1. Zoological facilities licensed pursuant to 7 USC. Sec. 2132 et. seq. and accredited by AZA (American Zoological and Aquarium Association);
     
  2. Exhibitors licensed pursuant to the Animal Welfare Act, 7 USC. Sections 2132-2134 who have demonstrated to the department, in accordance with regulations promulgated by the commissioner, that the sole purpose for which the wild animal or animals are used is for exhibition to the public for profit or compensation;
     
  3. Research facilities as defined in the Animal Welfare Act, 7 USC. Section 2132 (e), 2 (e) which are licensed by the United States Secretary of Agriculture and approved under applicable state law;
     
  4. Licensed veterinarians and incorporated humane societies, animal shelters, societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals or animal welfare organizations in temporary possession of wild animals;
     
  5. State universities or other state agencies working with wild animals;
     
  6. Wildlife rehabilitators licensed pursuant to the provisions of subdivision three of section 11-0515 of this title and regulations promulgated thereunder, who are tending to sick or injured wild animals;
     
  7. A person having custody of a wild animal solely for the purpose of transporting it to a licensed veterinarian, wildlife rehabilitator, humane society or other entity authorized by this section to handle or treat wild animals;
     
  8. A wildlife sanctuary as defined in subdivision thirty-two of section 11- 0103 of this article;
     
  9. A person with a falconry or hawk license pursuant to section 11-1003 of this article;
     
  10. A person who is not a resident of this state who is in the state only for the purpose of travelling between locations outside the state. In no event shall this time period exceed ten days;
     
  11. Reptile exhibitors licensed pursuant to section 11-0516 of this title.
     
  12. A person who is completely paralyzed from the neck down who possesses a permit issued by the department for the possession of new world monkeys otherwise prohibited under this title. Such permit shall be revocable at the pleasure of the department and shall apply to the possession of new world monkeys trained to perform simple tasks for its owner. The department shall adopt regulations concerning the training of such monkeys, proper care standards, and the procedures for permit issuance and revocation. Such regulations shall include requirements for the training and acclamation of the monkey, training in the proper care and oversight of the monkey by both the person and his or her caregiver or caregivers, and certification of the health of the monkey.

3. Any person who possesses or harbors a wild animal for use as a pet at the time that this section takes effect may retain possession of such animal for the remainder of its life, provided that such person:

  1. Has not been convicted of any offense relating to cruelty to animals or under a judicial order prohibiting possession of animals;
     
  2. Applies to the department within sixty days of the effective date of this section, and obtains from the department, a permit pursuant to subdivision four of this section; and
     
  3. Complies with all rules and regulations established by the department as requisites for ownership of such wild animal.

4. The department shall be required to issue permits authorizing possession of wild animals only to those persons who comply with the provisions of subdivision three of this section and with any regulations promulgated by the department thereunder. Such permits shall be valid in any jurisdiction within the state where possession of a wild animal is not prohibited by local law and shall be renewable biennially subject to continued compliance with the provisions of this section and with any regulations promulgated thereunder. The department shall forward copies of such permits to the clerk of the city, town or village in which each wild animal is harbored.

  1. Permit applications shall include, but shall not be limited to, the following:

(1) The name, address and telephone number of the person who owns, possesses or harbors the wild animal or animals, including an acknowledgment that the person who owns, possesses or harbors the wild animal or animals is twenty-one years of age or older.

(2) The address of the location where the wild animal or animals will be kept, if different from the above.

(3) A detailed description of each wild animal owned, possessed or harbored, including species, gender, age, any identifying characteristics, and an identification tag or tattoo if required by the department.

(4) The name, address and telephone number of the veterinarian, who will treat the wild animal.

(5) An acknowledgment indicating that the wild animal or animals will not be bred.

(6) A detailed statement establishing that the location in which the wild animal will be kept complies with all standards of care promulgated by the department, but at minimum complies with the standards for animal care set forth in the Federal Animal Welfare Act including, but not limited to housing, temperature, ventilation, drainage, sanitation, food, water, exercise and veterinary care appropriate to the species and sufficient to maintain the wild animal in good health.

(7) An acknowledgment that the wild animal will not be tied, tethered, or chained outdoors, allowed to run at large and that the wild animal will not be brought to any public park or commercial or retail establishment unless it is being brought to a veterinarian or veterinary clinic.

(8) An acknowledgment that possession, harboring or owning such wild animal does not violate any applicable federal, state or local law.

  1. The department shall set biennial permit fees for the possession of wild animals pursuant to subdivision three of this section in an amount determined to be reasonable but not more than eighty dollars for two years for each wild animal. Permit fees shall be used solely for the enforcement of this section.

5. Prior to denial or revocation of a permit issued pursuant to subdivision four of this section, the department shall hold a hearing upon due notice to the person who owns, harbors or possesses the wild animal, at which such person shall have the opportunity to be heard. The provisions of the state administrative procedure act shall apply at proceedings held in accordance with this subdivision. The decision to deny or revoke a permit under this section shall be appealable.

6. Any person in possession of a wild animal as a pet that has been granted a permit pursuant to subdivision four of this section shall not breed, sell, trade, barter or exchange such wild animal.

7. A person possessing, owning or harboring a wild animal who is denied a permit pursuant to subdivision four of this section, or whose permit is revoked, shall surrender such wild animal to the department or an authorized agent thereof or a peace officer of this state or a duly incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to animals.

8. The department, any peace officer of this state or a duly incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to animals is hereby authorized to enforce the provisions of this section and issue notices of violation to persons in violation of this section, and shall have the authority to seize any wild animal held in violation of this section. Wild animals seized or surrendered pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be transferred to a duly incorporated wildlife sanctuary as defined in this section, or a zoological facility accredited by the American Zoological and Aquarium Association, or shall be humanely euthanized. The department shall also have the authority to seek injunctive relief in any court of appropriate jurisdiction to prevent continued violations of this section.

9. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any person who knowingly breeds a wild animal or knowingly possesses, owns, harbors, sells, barters, transfers, exchanges, or imports a wild animal for use as a pet in violation of the provisions of this section shall be subject to the penalty of not more than five hundred dollars for the first offense and not more than one thousand dollars for a second and subsequent offenses. Each instance of breeding, owning, harboring, sale, barter, transfer, exchange, or import of a wild animal in violation of this section shall constitute a separate offense.

10. Nothing contained in this section shall prevent any city, town or county from enacting more restrictive provisions governing the possession of wild animals for use as pets.


N.Y. ENVTL. CONSERV. §11-0516 - Envtl. Conserv. Licenses to possess reptiles for exhibition purposes.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the department may issue to any person a license revocable at its pleasure to collect or possess reptiles that are prohibited under this chapter, for exhibition purposes. However, a license to possess a venomous snake or snake listed in subparagraph five of paragraph e of subdivision six of section 11-0103 of this article pursuant to this section shall not allow a licensee to exhibit such snake in a school housing any grades prekindergarten through twelve. The department shall adopt regulations concerning the qualifications and duties of reptile exhibitors and the procedures for license issuance and revocation, including requiring a licensee to attend a four hour course approved by the department in one or more of the following areas of specialization:

  1. crocodilians;
     
  2. boids;
     
  3. large monitor lizards; or
     
  4. venomous snakes.

N.Y. ENVTL. CONSERV. §11-0536 - Envtl. Conserv. Sale of certain wild animals or wild animal products prohibited.

1. Except as provided in subdivision three hereof, no part of the skin or body, whether raw or manufactured, of the following species of wild animals or the animal itself may be sold or offered for sale by any individual, firm, corporation, association or partnership within the state of New York: - Leopard (Panthera pardus), Snow Leopard (Uuncia), Clouded Leopard (Neofelis nebulosa), Tiger (Panthera tigres), Asiatic Lion (Panthera leo persica), Cheetah (Acinoyx jubatus), Alligators, Caiman or Crocodile of the Order Crocodylia (except as provided in subdivision two of this section), tortoises of the genus Gopherus, marine turtles of the family Cheloniidae and the family Dermochelidae, Vicuna (Vicugna vicugna), Wolf (Canis lupus), Red Wolf (Canis niger), or Kangaroo (Macropodidae) or Polar Bear (Thalarctos maritimus), Mountain Lion, sometimes called Cougar (Felis Concolar), Jaguar (Panthera onca), Ocelot (Felis pardalis), or Margay (Felis wiedii), Sumatran Rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis), or Black Rhinoceros (Dicero bicornis).

2. The commissioner may permit, under such terms and conditions as he may prescribe, the importation and sale of the skin, body or parts therefrom of Alligators, Caiman or Crocodile of the Order Crocodylia.

3. Any officer or agent authorized by the commissioner, or any police officer of the state of New York, or any police officer of any municipality within the state of New York, shall have authority to execute any warrant to search for and seize any goods, merchandise or wildlife sold or offered for sale in violation of this section, or any property or item used in connection with a violation of this section; such goods, merchandise, wildlife or property shall be held pending proceedings in any court of proper jurisdiction. Upon conviction, or upon the entry of a judgment restraining the sale or offer for sale of such goods, merchandise or wildlife on the ground that such items were sold or offered for sale in violation of this section, such seized goods, merchandise or wildlife shall be forfeited and, upon forfeiture, either offered to a recognized institution for scientific or educational purposes, or destroyed.

4. The commissioner may permit, under such terms and conditions as he may prescribe, the importation, transportation, possession or sale of any species or subspecies of fish or wildlife listed in this section for zoological, educational, and scientific purposes, and for the propagation of such fish or wildlife in captivity for preservation purposes, unless such importation, transportation, possession or sale is prohibited by any federal law or regulation.


N.Y. ENVTL. CONSERV. §11-0917 - Envtl. Conserv. Possession, transportation and sale of wild game and other wildlife.

1. Wild game and other wildlife, taken in this state, and parts thereof, may, if lawfully taken, be

  1. possessed.
  2. transported within the state and from within to without the state, and
  3. bought and sold, as provided in this section and in the sections of the Fish and Wildlife Law and regulations of the department to which this section refers, and not otherwise. It shall not be possessed, transported, bought or sold unless lawfully taken, nor transported, bought or sold unless lawfully possessed. Nothing in this section applies to any game which is not wild game, as defined in subdivision 2 of section 11-0103.

2. Unprotected wildlife may be possessed, transported, bought and sold without restriction except as provided in subdivision 9 or subdivision 10.

3. Game for propagation purposes may be transported without restriction except as provided in subdivision 8 or subdivision 10.

4. The carcasses, flesh, head, hide, feet or fur of wildlife, except birds, may be bought and sold without restriction, except as provided in subdivisions 8, 9 or 10. The head, skin plumage, hide, feet or fur of wildlife may be possessed and transported without restriction except (a) as provided in section 11-0911 with respect to deer, (b) as provided in subdivision 9 with respect to birds, and (c) as provided in subdivision 8 or subdivision 10.

5. Game taken and possessed in one part of the state may be transported as provided in this section by the taker, or any person who acquires it lawfully from the taker, and possessed by the taker or by such person in any part of the state for the period during which it may be possessed at the place where taken.

6. Skunk, bobcat, mink, raccoon and muskrat may be bought and sold alive during their respective open seasons.

8. Migratory game birds and beaver, fisher, otter, bobcat, coyote, fox, raccoon, skunk, muskrat and mink shall be possessed, transported and disposed of only as permitted by regulation of the department.

9. a. The flesh of cottontail rabbits, varying hares, European hares, squirrels, bear and deer shall not be bought or sold, except as provided in section 11-1713 with respect to bear.

b. Notwithstanding paragraph a of this subdivision, game legally taken may be possessed, prepared and served by a non-profit organization at any meeting for the members and guests provided that there is no charge for the meal.

c. Game legally taken may be donated to, and possessed, prepared and distributed by a charitable or not-for-profit organization which serves or distributes food without cost to the poor or needy. Game or packages of game donated pursuant to this paragraph shall, notwithstanding the requirements for tagging and labelling of game contained in paragraph b of subdivision 5 of section 11-0911 of this chapter, be tagged, labelled or marked "not for sale" and such tag, label or marking shall identify the type of meat, the license number of the taker, the name and address of the professional processor of the game and the date of processing. The department shall make available instructions for the safe and sanitary preparation of game, a list of professional processors where potential donors may take their game for preparation and packaging and a list of charitable or not-for-profit organizations which accept donations of game. Professional processors, charitable and not-for-profit organizations may notify the department of their intention to participate in such distribution, and the department shall include them in its lists unless good cause otherwise exists.

d. The dead bodies of birds belonging to all species or subspecies native to this state, defined in section 11-0103, subdivision 5 as protected wild birds, or belonging to any family of which any species or subspecies is native to this state, and is so defined in section 11-0103, subdivision 5 shall not be sold, offered for sale or possessed for sale, for food purposes.

e. The plumage, skin or body of any wild bird shall not be sold, possessed for sale or offered for sale except as permitted by section 11-1729 or 11-1731 of the Fish and Wildlife Law.

f. No live wolf, coyote, coydog, fox, skunk, venomous reptile or raccoon shall be possessed or transported, except under a license or permit issued by the department. Every such license or permit shall contain a prominent notice thereon warning the licensee or permittee of his or her duty to exercise due care in safeguarding the public from attack by such wild animal or venomous reptile and that failure to do so is a crime under section three hundred seventy of the agriculture and markets law. The provisions of the opening paragraph of section three hundred seventy of the agriculture and markets law except the last sentence thereof shall be set forth on such license or permit immediately following such warning notice.

10. No wildlife shall be possessed, transported or sold contrary to the terms of any statute, or regulation, permit or license of the department, pursuant to which it was taken or acquired.


N.Y. AGRIC. & MKTS. §370 - Protection of the public from attack by wild animals and reptiles.

Any person owning, possessing or harboring a wild animal or reptile capable of inflicting bodily harm upon a human being, who shall fail to exercise due care in safeguarding the public from attack by such wild animal or reptile, is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for not more than one year, or by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars, or by both. "Wild animal" within the meaning of this section, shall not include a dog or cat or other domestic animal.

Previous attacks upon a human being by such wild animal or reptile, or knowledge of the vicious propensities of such wild animal or reptile, on the part of the possessor or harborer thereof, shall not be required to be proven by the people upon a prosecution hereunder; and neither the fact that such wild animal or reptile has not previously attacked a human being, nor lack of knowledge of the vicious propensities of such wild animal or reptile on the part of the owner, possessor or harborer thereof shall constitute a defense to a prosecution hereunder.

Also see:

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