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SECTION 11-0512
Possession, sale, barter, transfer, exchange and import of wild animals as pets prohibited
Environmental Conservation (ENV) CHAPTER 43-B, ARTICLE 11, TITLE 5
§ 11-0512. Possession, sale, barter, transfer, exchange and import of

wild animals as pets prohibited.

1. It shall be prohibited for any person to:

a. 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; or

b. intentionally release or set at-large any wild animal, authorized
by this section for use as a pet, from the location where the animal is
permitted to be possessed or harbored.

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:

a. Zoological facilities licensed pursuant to 7 USC. Sec. 2131 et
seq.;

b. Exhibitors licensed pursuant to the Animal Welfare Act, 7 USC.
Sections 2132-2134 and reptile exhibitors 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;

c. Research facilities as defined in the Animal Welfare Act, 7 USC.
Section 2132 (e), which are licensed by the United States Secretary of
Agriculture;

d. 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;

e. State universities, private colleges or universities, or state
agencies working with wild animals;

f. 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;

g. 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;

h. A wildlife sanctuary as defined in subdivision thirty-two of
section 11-0103 of this article;

i. 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;

j. A person who is paralyzed from the neck down who possesses a new
world monkey trained to perform tasks for its owner by an organization
described in section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and
dedicated to improving the quality of life of persons paralyzed from the
neck down.

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:

a. Has not been convicted of any offense relating to cruelty to
animals or under a judicial order prohibiting possession of animals;

b. Applies to the department within six months of the effective date
of this section, and obtains from the department, a license pursuant to
subdivision four of this section;

c. Complies with all applicable federal, state, or local laws,
including any ordinance, rule or regulation adopted by a local board of
health, or any rules and regulations established by the department as
requisites for ownership of such wild animal; and

d. Reports a release to the local police department and animal control
immediately upon discovery of the release. Each escape during a twelve
month period of time will subject the possessor to penalties by the
department pursuant to subdivisions eight and nine of this section.

4. The department shall be required to issue licenses 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 licenses shall be valid
in any jurisdiction within the state where possession of a wild animal
is not prohibited by local law or ordinance, rule or regulation adopted
by a local board of health, and shall be renewable biennially during the
life of the animal subject to continued compliance with the provisions
of this section and with any regulations promulgated thereunder. The
department shall forward copies of such licenses to the clerk of the
city, town or village in which each wild animal is harbored.

a. License 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, with proof, acceptable to the department, that each such
wild animal was acquired prior to the effective date of this section.

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

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

(6) A detailed certification establishing that the location in which
the wild animal will be kept complies with all appropriate standards of
care and at minimum complies with the standards for animal care set
forth in the Federal Animal Welfare Act and other applicable federal,
state and local standards, 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,
including any ordinance, rule or regulation adopted by a local board of
health.

b. The department shall set biennial license 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 one hundred
seventy-five dollars for two years for each wild animal. License fees
shall be used solely for the implementation and enforcement of this
section.

5. The provisions of the state administrative procedure act shall
apply to the denial or revocation of a license.

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

7. A person possessing, owning or harboring a wild animal who is
denied a license pursuant to subdivision four of this section, or whose
license is revoked, shall surrender such wild animal to the department
or an authorized agent thereof at a location designated by the
department for such surrender or a police or peace officer of this
state, a local animal control officer, or a duly incorporated society
for the prevention of cruelty to animals, or provide proof that the
animal has been humanely euthanized according to American Veterinary
Medical Association standards by a licensed veterinarian.

8. The department, any police or peace officer of this state, a local
animal control officer, 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. A county society for the
prevention of cruelty to animals must obtain a warrant before seizing a
wild animal or arresting a person who owns or possesses a wild animal
under 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,
or shall be humanely euthanized. Any costs associated with seizing,
transferring, recapturing or euthanizing a wild animal shall be borne by
the person who owned, harbored or possessed the animal. 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 or intentionally releases or sets at-large any wild animal,
authorized by this section for use as a pet, from the location where the
animal is permitted to be possessed or harbored in violation of the
provisions of this section shall be subject to a 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, release, 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.