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Wyoming State Laws Governing Private Possession of Exotic Animals

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WYO. STAT. §23-1-101 - Definitions of wildlife.

(a) AS USED IN THIS ACT:

(i) "Big game animal" means antelope, bighorn sheep, deer, elk, moose or mountain goat;

(ii) "Exotic species" means any wild animals, including amphibians, reptiles, mollusks, crustaceans or birds not found in a wild, free or unconfined status in Wyoming;

(iii) "Furbearing animal" means badger, beaver, bobcat, marten, mink, muskrat or weasel;

(iv) "Game bird" means grouse, partridge, pheasant, ptarmigan, quail, wild turkey and migratory game birds;

(v) "Game fish" means bass, catfish, crappie, grayling, ling, northern pike, perch, salmon, sauger, sunfish, trout, walleye or whitefish;

(vi) "Migratory game bird" means all migratory game birds defined and protected under federal law;

(vii) "Predacious bird" means English sparrow and starling;

(viii) "Predatory animal" means coyote, jackrabbit, porcupine, raccoon, red fox, wolf, skunk or stray cat;

(ix) "Protected animal" means black-footed ferret, fisher, lynx, otter, pika or wolverine;

(x) "Protected bird" means migratory birds as defined and protected under federal law;

(xi) "Small game animal" means cottontail rabbit or snowshoe hare, and fox, grey and red squirrels;

(xii) "Trophy game animal" means black bear, grizzly bear or mountain lion;

(xiii) "Wildlife" means all wild mammals, birds, fish, amphibians, reptiles, crustaceans and mollusks, and wild bison designated by the Wyoming game and fish commission and the Wyoming livestock board within Wyoming.


WYO. STAT. §23-1-103 - Ownership of wildlife; purpose of provisions.

For the purpose of this act, all wildlife in Wyoming is the property of the state. It is the purpose of this act and the policy of the state to provide an adequate and flexible system for control, propagation, management, protection and regulation of all Wyoming wildlife. There shall be no private ownership of live animals classified in this act as big or trophy game animals.


WYO. REG. Chapter 10, §5 - Importation/Possession Permit Required For Live Wildlife.

Except as exempted in this regulation, a permit from the Department is required prior to importation, possession, confinement, and/or transportation of any living wildlife. Any living wildlife may be transported through the state of Wyoming if the person transporting said wildlife is in possession of a valid permit for interstate transportation of live wildlife. An interstate transportation permit shall be valid as long as live wildlife are confined within the conveyance. It shall be a violation of this regulation to intentionally or unintentionally release within Wyoming from the transporting conveyance any wildlife held under an interstate transportation permit.

(a) Importation/Possession Without Permit. The animals listed in this subsection are exempt from this regulation and may be imported, possessed, transported, and/or confined without securing a permit from the Department. (However, the Wyoming Livestock Board should be contacted regarding their regulations.)

(i) Birds

cage and aviary birds,

domestic chicken (Gallus gallus),

domesticated emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae),

domestic greylag goose (Anser anser)

domesticated guinea fowl (Numida meleagris),

domestic mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) distinguished morphologically from wild mallards,

domestic muscovy duck (Cairina moschata)

domesticated ostrich (Struthio camelus)

domesticated peafowl (Pavo cristatus)

pigeons (Columba livia)

domesticated rhea (Rhea americana and Rhea pennata)

domestic swan goose (Anser cygnoides),

domestic turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) distinguished morphologically from wild turkeys,

predacious birds as defined in Wyoming Statute §23-1-101(i)(vii): English (house) sparrow (Passer domesticus) and starling (Sturnus vulgaris).

(ii) Mammals

domesticated alpaca (Lama pacos),

ass, burro, and donkey (Equus asinus),

bison (Bison bison); except those classified as wild bison by the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission and the Wyoming Livestock Board within Wyoming require a permit from the Department,

domesticated camel (Camelus bactrianus and Camelus dromedarius),

cat (Felis catus),

domestic cattle (Bos taurus and Bos indicus),

domesticated chinchilla (Chinchilla laniger),

dog (Canis familiaris),

domestic ferret (Mustela furo),

domesticated Mongolian gerbil (Meriones unguiculatus),

domestic goat (Capra hircus),

domesticated guinea pig (Cavia porcellus),

domesticated hamster (Mesocricetus auratus),

horse (Equus caballus),

domesticated llama (Lama glama),

domesticated mouse (Mus musculus),

mule and hinny (Equus asinus x Equus caballus),

domesticated European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus),

domesticated rat (Rattus norvegicus and Rattus rattus),

domestic sheep (Ovis aries), distinguished morphologically from wild sheep,

domestic swine (Sus domesticus),

domesticated vicuna (Vicugna vicugna),

domesticated yak (Bos grunniens).

predatory animals, excluding wolves, as defined in Wyoming Statute §23-1-101(a)(viii): coyote (Canis latrans), jackrabbit (Lepus townsendi and Lepus californicus), porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum), raccoon (Procyon lotor), red fox (Vulpes vulpes), skunk (Mephitis mephitis and Spilogale putorius). Wolves (Canis lupus), wolf hybrids and/or wolf/dog hybrids may not be imported or sold.

(b) Live wildlife listed in this subsection (excluding any that are endangered or threatened), may be imported, possessed, confined and/or transported without securing a permit from the Department under this regulation as long as wildlife are held in compliance with appropriate Commission regulations and Wyoming Statutes. A certificate of veterinary inspection shall be issued prior to live wildlife listed in this subsection being imported into the State of Wyoming, unless otherwise specified in this regulation.

(i) It is a violation of this regulation to release or abandon any live wildlife listed in this subsection without prior written authorization from the Department, except as may be provided by Wyoming Statutes or other Commission regulations. All live wildlife released and/or abandoned without written authorization from the Department may be taken by Department personnel.

(A) Amphibians. All amphibians, except that the importation and/or possession of the Manitoba toad (Bufo hemiophrys) is prohibited; certificate of veterinary inspection is not required.

(B) Birds

(I) Hawks or falcons, legally imported, possessed, confined and/or transported under terms of Wyoming Statute §23-2-105 and Wyoming Game and Fish Commission Regulations Chapter 25 or 25.1; certificate of veterinary inspection is not required,

(II) Game birds legally imported, possessed, confined and/or transported under terms of Wyoming Statute §23-5-102 and Wyoming Game and Fish Commission Regulations Chapter 40,

(C) Crustaceans and Mollusks. All crustaceans and mollusks, except that the importation and/or possession of the rusty crayfish (Orconectes restitus), New Zealand mudsnail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum) and/or the zebra mussel (Dreisserla polymorpha) is prohibited; all crustaceans and mollusks must be confined in aquariums; certificate of veterinary inspection is not required.

(D) Fish

(I) Fish imported, possessed, or transported under terms of Wyoming Statutes relating to private fish hatcheries (§23-4-101, §23-4-102, §23-4-103), private fishing preserves (§23-5-202, §23-5-203, §23-5-204), live bait dealers (§23-4-103), and landowner fishing lakes and ponds (§23-2-208) provided the fish are certified disease free as specified in Appendix I of this regulation and are of a species compatible with existing wildlife as determined by the Department. The fish must be accompanied by the appropriate authorization, receipt, or license as required by Commission regulation. (Refer to Commission Regulations, Chapters 46, 53),

(II) Goldfish (Carassius auratus); all goldfish must be confined in aquariums; certificate of veterinary inspection is not required,

(III) Marine fish; all marine fish must be confined in aquariums; certificate of veterinary inspection is not required,

(IV) Tropical fish; all tropical fish must be confined in aquariums; certificate of veterinary inspection is not required.

(E) Reptiles: all reptiles; certificate of veterinary inspection is not required.

(c) Importation/Possession Permit Required. The following live wildlife may be possessed without a permit if captured in the State of Wyoming, but shall not be imported prior to securing a permit under this regulation. A permit shall be required to take wildlife listed in this section for commercial use.

(i) All wildlife listed in Section 6 of the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission Nongame Wildlife Regulation (Chapter 52). However, mollusks (excluding zebra mussel, (Dreissena polymerpha), New Zealand mudsnail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum)), crustaceans (excluding rusty crayfish, (Orconeates rusticus)), reptiles and amphibians (excluding Manitoba toad, (Bufo hemiophrys)) may be imported without a permit.

(d) Wildlife Prohibited from Importation. The following wildlife may be possessed without a permit if captured in the State of Wyoming, but may not be imported into the state.

(i) Wolves (Canis lupus), wolf hybrids, and/or wolf/dog hybrids may not be imported or sold.

(e) Wildlife Prohibited from Importation/Possession.

(i) Wyoming Statute §23-1-103 states: "There shall be no private ownership of live animals classified in this act as big or trophy game animals". Big game animals are defined in Wyoming Statute §23-l-101(a)(i) as follows: antelope (pronghorn antelope, Antilocapra americana), bighorn sheep (Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, Ovis canadensis), deer (mule deer, Odocoileus hemionus and white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus), elk (Cervu elaphus nelsoni), moose (Alces alces), or mountain goat (Oreamnos americanus). Trophy game animals are defined in Wyoming Statute §23-1-101(a)(xii) as follows: black bear (Ursus americanus), grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) or mountain lion (Felis concolor).

(ii) In addition, a permit shall not be issued for importation and/or possession of the following live wildlife in Wyoming: Section 5(a)(ii),

(A) All members of the family Suidae, except those exempt in Section 5(a)(ii),

(B) All members of the family Tayassuidae,

(C) All members of the subfamily Alcelaphinae, in Section 5(a)(ii),

(D) All members of the subfamily Caprinae, except those exempt in Section 5(a)(ii),

(E) All members of the family Cervidae, except as provided for under Section 12 of this regulation,

(F) Manitoba toad (Bufo hemiophrys),

(G) Monk parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus),

(H) Rusty crayfish (Orconectes rusticus),

(I) Zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha),

(J) New Zealand mudsnail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum)

(K) Red Wolf (Canis rufus).

(iii) The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission may consider an application for importation and/or possession of these animals listed in this subsection by governmental entities, or institutions of higher education for education and/or research, or to meet Department wildlife management goals, when a need is demonstrated by the applicant.

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