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Arkansas

West's Arkansas Code Annotated. Title 20. Public Health and Welfare. Subtitle 2. Health and Safety (Chapters 6 to 44). Chapter 19. Animals. Subchapter 5. Ownership and Possession of Large Carnivores

Statute Details
Printable Version
Citation: AR ST 20-19-501 to 511

Citation: A.C.A. 20-19-501 to 511


Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 10/2013

Summary:  

This Arkansas subchapter concerns the ownership and possession of large carnivores. Under the law, a large carnivore is defined as a bear, lion, or tiger. A person may possess a large carnivore only if he or she was in possession of the large carnivore on or before August 12, 2005 and the person applies for and is granted a permit for personal possession for each large carnivore not more than one hundred eighty (180) days after August 12, 2005. Except for these "grandfathered" possessors and other entities (zoos, USDA permittees, veterinary hospitals, etc.) it is illegal for anyone to own, possess, breed, or transfer ownership of a large carnivore. A permit holder must maintain a cage that conforms to either the USDA or AZAA requirements. Additionally, permit holders must also maintain liability insurance coverage of not less than $100,000 for each occurrence for liability damages for destruction of or damage to property and for death or bodily injury to a person caused by the large carnivore. If a large carnivore escapes or is released, the possessor of the large carnivore shall immediately contact the Arkansas State Game and Fish Commission and law enforcement officials of the city or county where the possessor resides to report the escape or release.



Statute in Full:

 

Link to Wolf-Dog Hybrid Law (AR ST § 20-19-401 - 408)

 

§ 20-19-501. Definitions

As used in this subchapter:

(1) “Large carnivore” means any live individual of those species of animals that are inherently dangerous to humans, including:

(A) Bears;

(B) Lions; and

(C) Tigers;

(2) “Possessor” means a person who owns, keeps, or has custody or control of a large carnivore; and

(3)(A) “Wildlife sanctuary” means a nonprofit organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code [FN1] as it existed on January 1, 2005, that operates a place of refuge where abused, neglected, unwanted, impounded, abandoned, orphaned, or displaced large carnivores are provided care for their lifetimes.

(B) “Wildlife sanctuary” does not mean a place that:

(i) Conducts any activity that is not inherent to the large carnivore's nature;

(ii) Uses the large carnivore for any type of entertainment;

(iii) Sells, trades, or barters the large carnivore or the large carnivore's body parts; or

(iv) Breeds the large carnivore for purposes of sale.

CREDIT(S)

Acts of 2005, Act 2226, § 1, eff. Aug. 12, 2005; Acts of 2007, Act 827, § 165, eff. July 31, 2007.

 

§ 20-19-502. Prohibited acts

(a) Except as permitted under this subchapter, it is unlawful for a person to:

(1) Own or possess a large carnivore;

(2) Breed a large carnivore; or

(3) Transfer ownership or possession of or receive a transfer of ownership or possession of a large carnivore, with or without remuneration.

(b) Except as permitted under this subchapter, it is unlawful for a person or other entity in control of any property, residence, or business premises to knowingly permit any other person to be in possession of a large carnivore upon the property, residence, or business premises.

CREDIT(S)

Acts of 2005, Act 2226, § 1, eff. Aug. 12, 2005.

 

§ 20-19-503. Exemptions

This subchapter does not apply to:

(1) Institutions accredited by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association;

(2) Registered nonprofit humane societies;

(3) Animal control officers or law enforcement officers acting under the authority of this subchapter;

(4) Veterinary hospitals or clinics;

(5) A person or organization with a United States Department of Agriculture Wildlife Exhibition Permit;

(6) Employees of the Arkansas State Game and Fish Commission in the performance of their duties;

(7) Persons holding a valid Arkansas State Game and Fish Commission Scientific Collection Permit applicable to a large carnivore; or

(8) Persons or organizations with an Arkansas State Game and Fish Commission Wildlife Breeder/Dealer Permit.

CREDIT(S)

Acts of 2005, Act 2226, § 1, eff. Aug. 12, 2005.

 

§ 20-19-504. Permit for personal possession

(a) A person may possess a large carnivore only if:

(1) The person was in possession of the large carnivore and was the legal possessor of the large carnivore on or before August 12, 2005; and

(2) The person applies for and is granted a permit for personal possession for each large carnivore in the person's possession not more than one hundred eighty (180) days after August 12, 2005.

(b)(1) A person under subsection (a) of this section shall annually obtain a permit for personal possession.

(2) After August 12, 2005, any additional large carnivore shall not be brought into possession under the authority of a permit for personal possession.

(c)(1) An applicant shall file on forms provided by the sheriff's department an application to receive a permit for personal possession with the sheriff's department of the county where the large carnivore is kept.

(2) The application shall include:

(A) The name, address, and telephone number of the applicant;

(B) A description of each large carnivore, including the scientific classification, name, gender, age, color, weight, and distinguishing marks or coloration that would aid in the identification of the animal;

(C) A photograph of the large carnivore;

(D) The location where the large carnivore is kept; and

(E) The name, address, and telephone number of the person from whom the applicant obtained the large carnivore, if known.

(3) The application shall be signed by the veterinarian who is expected to provide veterinary care to the large carnivore and shall include the veterinarian's name, address, and telephone number.

(d) The county sheriff's department shall not grant a permit unless:

(1) An annual permit fee of two hundred fifty dollars ($250) for each large carnivore accompanies the application;

(2) The applicant is eighteen (18) years of age or older;

(3) The applicant has not pleaded nolo contendere or guilty to or been found guilty of any animal cruelty violations in the past ten (10) years or to a felony offense for possession, sale, or use of illegal narcotics in the past ten (10) years;

(4) The facility and the conditions in which the large carnivore are [FN1] kept comply with this subchapter; and

(5) The applicant has obtained the liability insurance coverage for the large carnivore as required under this subchapter.

(e)(1) The county sheriff's department shall keep records of persons issued a valid permit for personal possession of a large carnivore and provide copies of the records to the Arkansas State Game and Fish Commission when each permit is issued.

(2) A permit holder shall notify the county sheriff's department of any changes of the permit holder's information, including the death of the large carnivore.

(f)(1) In addition to the other requirements for issuance of a permit for personal possession, the large carnivore shall be spayed or neutered before a permit is issued to the possessor unless a veterinarian confirms that spaying and neutering would endanger the large carnivore.

(2) A record of the large carnivore's being spayed or neutered by a veterinarian is to be kept on file by the permit holder.

(g) All fees levied and collected for permits of personal possession under this section shall be deposited into the county treasury to be used by the county sheriff's department to offset the cost of issuing permits of personal possession, for any costs involved in controlling large carnivores located within the county, and for any other animal control costs.

CREDIT(S)

Acts of 2005, Act 2226, § 1, eff. Aug. 12, 2005.

[FN1] So in original; probably should read “is”.

 

§ 20-19-505. Caging requirements

(a)(1) The possessor of a large carnivore is required to maintain the large carnivore in a cage that meets the requirements recommended by the United States Department of Agriculture or the American Zoo and Aquarium Association as in existence on January 1, 2005, for each species of large carnivore.

(2) Failure to provide the caging required by this section shall result in the cancellation of the permit for personal possession.

(b) Deviations from these caging requirements may be approved by the county sheriff of the county where the large carnivore is kept upon showing of good cause.

CREDIT(S)

Acts of 2005, Act 2226, § 1, eff. Aug. 12, 2005.

 

§ 20-19-506. Insurance--Signs--Notification

(a)(1) A possessor of a large carnivore shall maintain liability insurance coverage of not less than one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) for each occurrence for liability damages for destruction of or damage to property and for death or bodily injury to a person caused by the large carnivore.

(2) The possessor of a large carnivore shall provide a copy of the policy for liability insurance to the county sheriff's department on an annual basis to obtain or renew a permit.

(b)(1) The possessor of a large carnivore shall post and display a sign at each possible entrance onto the premises where a large carnivore is kept.

(2) The sign shall be clearly legible and easily readable by the public.

(3) The sign shall warn that there is a large carnivore on the premises.

CREDIT(S)

Acts of 2005, Act 2226, § 1, eff. Aug. 12, 2005.

 

§ 20-19-507. Inspection

The possessor of a large carnivore shall allow an official of the county sheriff's department, an animal control officer, Arkansas State Game and Fish Commission Wildlife Officer, or a law enforcement officer of the municipality or county where the large carnivore is kept to enter the premises to ensure compliance with this subchapter.

CREDIT(S)

Acts of 2005, Act 2226, § 1, eff. Aug. 12, 2005.

 

§ 20-19-508. Public contact--Warnings of escape

(a) The possessor of a large carnivore shall not bring a large carnivore to any commercial or retail establishment unless the possessor is bringing the large carnivore to a veterinarian clinic.

(b)(1) If a large carnivore escapes or is released, the possessor of the large carnivore shall immediately contact the Arkansas State Game and Fish Commission and law enforcement officials of the city or county where the possessor resides to report the escape or release.

(2) The possessor is liable for all expenses associated with efforts to recapture the large carnivore.

(c) A person or an organization with a United States Department of Agriculture Wildlife Exhibition Permit may take the large carnivore to schools and other exhibitions for educational or fundraising purposes.

CREDIT(S)

Acts of 2005, Act 2226, § 1, eff. Aug. 12, 2005.

 

§ 20-19-509. Confiscation

(a) A large carnivore may be immediately confiscated by a county sheriff's department if:

(1) The possessor does not have a permit for personal possession;

(2) The possessor does not have the liability insurance coverage required under this subchapter;

(3) Conditions under which the large carnivore is kept are directly or indirectly dangerous to human health and safety; or

(4) The caging requirements of § 20-19-505 are not met.

(b)(1) If a large carnivore is confiscated, the possessor shall be liable for the costs of placement and care for the large carnivore from the time of confiscation until the time the large carnivore has been relocated to an alternative facility.

(2) The county sheriff's department shall seek to place the confiscated large carnivore with a wildlife sanctuary, humane society, or an institution accredited by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association.

CREDIT(S)

Acts of 2005, Act 2226, § 1, eff. Aug. 12, 2005.

 

§ 20-19-510. Penalties

A person who is in violation of the prohibitions of § 20-19-502 is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

CREDIT(S)

Acts of 2005, Act 2226, § 1, eff. Aug. 12, 2005.

 

§ 20-19-511. Rules and regulations

(a) The county sheriff's department of each county may collect the fees for the permits for personal possession required under this subchapter.

(b) The Arkansas State Game and Fish Commission may adopt rules and regulations to implement and enforce this subchapter.

CREDIT(S)

Acts of 2005, Act 2226, § 1, eff. Aug. 12, 2005.

 

Link to Wolf-Dog Hybrid Law (AR ST § 20-19-401 - 408)

 



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