NOTE: ITEMS THAT ARE UNDERLINED ARE NEW FROM ORIGINAL BILL (AND THUS ARE PART OF THE LAW AS PASSED). ITEMS THAT ARE CROSSED OUT WERE DELETED FROM THE ORIGINAL BILL (AND THUS ARE NOT PART OF THE LAW AS PASSED). BECAME LAW ON 03/15/2005 An earlier version of the bill was proposed that contained other reptiles including boas. This bill was repealed and replaced with the version below (as amended and passed). Boas are NOT restricted in any fashion. Restricted reptiles have been highlighted in blue.
AN ACT to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to possession of wild animals as pets; and to repeal certain provisions of such law relating thereto
Became a law March 15, 2005, with the approval of the Governor. Passed by a majority vote, three-fifths being present.
EXPLANATION--Matter in underscore is new; matter
in brackets [
People of the State of
Section 1. Paragraph e of subdivision 6 of section 11-0103 of the environmental conservation law, as amended by chapter 693 of the laws of 2004, is amended to read as follows:
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,
[(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 all hybrids thereof,
exception of the species Felis catus
(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 of Felis
catus that are registered by the American Cat
Fanciers Association or the International Cat Association provided that such
cats be without any wild felid parentage for a minimum of five generations,
(3) Canidae (with the exception of domesticated dogs and captive bred fennec foxes (vulpes zerda)),
(5) All reptiles that are venomous by nature, pursuant to department
regulation, and the following species and [
families] orders: 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 ( kinhorni] and V.] Varanus salvator), Nile Monitor ([ V.] Varanus nilocitus), White Throat
Monitor ([ V.
albigularus] Varanus albigularis), Black Throat Monitor ([ V. albigularus] Varanus albigularis ionides) and Crocodile Monitor ([ V.] Varanus salvadori), Komodo Dragon (Varanus komodensis) and
any hybrid thereof,
§ 2. Subdivision 32 of section 11-0103 of the environmental conservation law, as added by chapter 692 of the laws of 2004, is amended to read as follows:
32. "Wildlife sanctuary" means an organization as
described in section 170(b)(1)(A)(vi) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986
[, and approved by the
Association of Sanctuaries or the American Sanctuary Association,] and that is in compliance with all
applicable provisions of the Animal Welfare Act, 7 USC Sec. 2131 et seq. and 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:
a. Use the animal for any type of entertainment, recreational or commercial purpose except for the purpose of exhibition as defined by the department;
b. Sell, trade, lend or barter the animal or the animal's body parts; or
c. Breed the animal.
§ 3. Section 11-0512 of the environmental conservation law, as added by chapter 692 of the laws of 2004, subdivisions 2, 4 and 8 as amended by chapter 693 of the laws of 2004, is amended to read as follows:
§ 11-0512. 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
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. [
2132 et.] 2131 et seq. [ and accredited by AZA
(American Zoological and Aquarium Association)];
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), [
2 (e)] which are licensed by the United States Secretary
of Agriculture [ and
approved under applicable state law];
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 [
other] 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;
A person with a falconry or
hawk license pursuant to section 11-1003 of this article;j.] 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;
k . Reptile exhibitors licensed pursuant to
section 11-0516 of this title;1. ]
j. 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] monkey trained to
perform [ simple] tasks for its
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] 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 [
sixty days] six months of the effective
date of this section, and obtains from the department, a [ permit] license pursuant to
subdivision four of this section; and
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.
4. The department shall be required to issue [
permits] 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 [ permits] 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 [
permits] licenses to the clerk of
the city, town or village in which each wild animal is harbored.
Permit] 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
will] has agreed to treat the wild
(5) An acknowledgment indicating that the wild animal or animals will not be bred.
(6) A detailed [
statement] certification establishing
that the location in which the wild animal will be kept complies with all appropriate standards of
care [ promulgated
by the department, but] 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 [
permit] 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 [ eighty] one hundred seventy-five dollars for two
years for each wild animal. [ Permit] License fees shall be
used solely for the implementation and enforcement of this section.
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.] to the denial or revocation of
6. Any person in possession of a wild animal as a pet that has
been granted a [
permit] 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 [
permit] license pursuant to
subdivision four of this section, or whose [ permit] 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
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
8. The department, any police or peace officer of
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 [
accredited by the American Zoological and Aquarium
Association], or shall be humanely euthanized. Any costs associated with
seizing, transferring 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 in
violation of the provisions of this section shall be subject to [
the] 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, 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.
§ 4. Section 11-0516 of the environmental conservation law is REPEALED.
§ 5. This act shall take effect immediately.
The Legislature of the STATE OF
Pursuant to the authority vested in us by section 70-b of the Public Officers Law, we hereby jointly certify that this slip copy of this session law was printed under our direction and, in accordance with such section, is entitled to be read into evidence.
JOSEPH L. BRUNO SHELDON SILVER
Temporary President of the Senate Speaker of the Assembly