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South Carolina

Code of Laws of South Carolina 1976 Annotated. Title 47. Animals, Livestock and Poultry. Chapter 5. Rabies Control. 47-5-50. Prohibition on sale of wild carnivores as pets; sale of domesticated ferrets.

Statute Details
Printable Version
Citation: Code 1976 47-5-20, 47-5-50

Citation: SC ST 47-5-20, 47-5-50


Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 12/2013

Summary:   This South Carolina law provides that no carnivores, which normally are not domesticated, may be sold as pets in this State. A carnivore kept by an individual must not be allowed to run at large and then returned to confinement. A normally wild animal indigenous to this State, if held captive for a period of time, may be released to the wild. This section does not apply to domesticated ferrets. However, no ferret may be sold in this State without proper and current vaccination against rabies. Each business that sells ferrets must also display a notice about the potential danger of unprovoked attacks against humans.


Statute in Full:

§ 47-5-20. Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

(1) “Carnivore” means a flesh-eating animal and includes those animals known to be reservoirs of rabies including, but not limited to, raccoons, foxes, skunks, and bobcats and related species including, but not limited to, coyotes, wolves, wolf dogs, weasels, civet cats, spotted skunks, and lynx or the offspring born to any combinations of crossbreeding between these wild animals and domestic dogs or cats.

(2) “Department” means the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, including county health departments.

(3) “Domesticated animal” means owned or stray cats, dogs, and ferrets or other animals for which there exists a rabies vaccine approved by the department and licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture.

(4) “Inoculation against rabies” means the injection, subcutaneously, intramuscularly or otherwise, of antirabic vaccine as approved by the department and by the United States Department of Agriculture.

(5) “Licensed veterinarian” means a person licensed by law to practice veterinary medicine in this State.

(6) “Owner” means any person who:

(a) has a right of property in a pet;

(b) keeps or harbors a pet or who has it in his care or acts as its custodian; or

(c) permits a pet to remain on or about any premises occupied by him.

(7) “Pet” means only domesticated cats, dogs, and ferrets.

(8) “Quarantine” means a prescribed, restricted confinement of a pet or other animal up to and including a state of enforced isolation. The quarantine is for the purpose of observation of the animal for signs or symptoms, or both, of rabies and for the prevention of potential rabies transmission by the animal to a person, other pets, or other animals. The location, conditions, and length of the quarantine must be prescribed by the department.

CREDIT(S)

HISTORY: 1962 Code § 6-122; 1952 Code § 6-122; 1950 (46) 2406; 1969 (56) 803; 1971 (57) 301; 1979 Act No. 134 § 1; 2002 Act No. 343, § 1, eff July 3, 2002.

 

§ 47-5-50. Prohibition on sale of wild carnivores as pets; sale of domesticated ferrets.

(A) No carnivores, which normally are not domesticated, may be sold as pets in this State. A carnivore kept by an individual must not be allowed to run at large and then returned to confinement. A normally wild animal indigenous to this State, if held captive for a period of time, may be released to the wild. This section does not apply to domesticated ferrets. However, no ferret may be sold in this State without proper and current vaccination against rabies. Evidence of rabies vaccination is a certificate signed by a licensed veterinarian. A person who purchases or possesses a domesticated ferret shall maintain proper vaccination treatment for it annually.

(B) Purchasers of a domesticated ferret must be provided with a notice not less than eight inches by eleven inches which shall bear the following inscription in letters not less than three-fourths inch high:

“FERRETS HAVE A PROPENSITY TO MAKE UNPROVOKED ATTACKS THAT CAUSE BODILY INJURY TO A HUMAN BEING”.

(C) Each business establishment in this State, to which has been issued a retail sales tax license, which offers ferrets for sale must prominently display a notice not less than eight inches by eleven inches which shall bear the following inscription in letters not less than three-fourths inch high:

“FERRETS HAVE A PROPENSITY TO MAKE UNPROVOKED ATTACKS THAT CAUSE BODILY INJURY TO A HUMAN BEING”.

(D) This section does not apply to the sale, purchase, donation, or transfer of ownership of carnivores between publicly-owned zoos or animal dealers located in this State and licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) under the Animal Welfare Act on the effective date of this chapter. These exemptions do not allow for the sale, purchase, donation, or transfer of ownership to private individuals in this State. Any public displays, showings, or exhibitions of wild carnivores, primates, or any other animals for which a USDA licensed rabies vaccine does not exist are allowed only when these displays, showings, or exhibitions prevent any possible contact by these animals with the members of the general public.

CREDIT(S)

HISTORY: 1962 Code § 6-124.1; 1971 (57) 301; 1979 Act No. 134 § 2; 2000 Act No. 217, § 1, eff February 25, 2000; 2002 Act No. 343, § 1, eff July 3, 2002.

EFFECT OF AMENDMENT

The 2000 amendment designated the existing section as subsection (A), amended it to permit the sale of domesticated ferrets, and added subsections (B) and (C).

The 2002 amendment, in subsection (A), deleted the second sentence listing animals known to be reservoirs of rabies and at the beginning of the second sentence substituted “A carnivore” for “An animal provided for in this section and kept”, and added subsection (D).

 



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