Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Illegal Possession of Alligator: Exotic Animal Law of Kentucky


Pursuant to NBC News, a New York couple was arrested for possession of guns, drugs and an alligator.  The gator was 3.5 feet long, and a picture of the same can be viewed at the following web address:


Want to know about the law on exotic animal possession in Kentucky?  You’re in luck.

Many states have statutes or regulations prohibiting the possession of exotic animals.  Until recently, Kentucky was not one of those states.  You could own just about whatever kind of animal you wanted to, because in this great Commonwealth, we (used to) recognize that this is America.  And you’re supposed to have some individual liberties.

That changed in 2005.

Just because some people who didn’t have enough faith in God got bitten when they took up some exotic beasts, we all have to suffer.*

The current version of the Kentucky Administrative Regulations, and specifically at 301 KAR 2:082, prohibits the ownership of most fun animals.

Even more specifically, the following species are prohibited under subsections 4(1) and 4(2):

      (a) Baya weaver (Ploceus philippinus);
      (b) Blackbirds (Genus Agelaius), except native species;
      (c) Cape sparrow (Passer melanurus);
      (d) Cowbirds (Genus Molothrus), except native species;
      (e) Cuckoo (Family Cuculidae), except native species;
      (f) Dioch or red-billed quelea (Quelea quelea);
      (g) European blackbird (Turdus merula);
      (h) Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris);
      (i) Flying fox or fruit bat (Genus Pteropus);
      (j) Gambian giant pouched rat (Cricetomys gambianus);
      (k) Giant, marine, or cane toad (Bufo marinus);
      (l) Hawaiian rice bird or spotted munia (Lonchura punctulata);
      (m) Jack rabbit (Genus Lepus);
      (n) Java sparrow (Padda oryzivora);
      (o) Madagascar weaver (Foudia madagascariensis);
      (p) Mistle thrush (Turdus viscivorus);
      (q) Monk or Quaker parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus);
      (r) Multimammate rat (Genus Mastomys);
      (s) Mute swan (Cygnus olor);
      (t) Nutria (Myocastor coypus);
      (u) Prairie dog (Cynomys spp.);
      (v) Raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides);
      (w) San Juan rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus);
      (x) Sky lark (Alauda arvensis);
      (y) Song thrush (Turdus philomelus);
      (z) Starling (Family Sturnidae) including pink starlings or rosy pastors (Sturnus roseus), except for Indian Hill mynahs (Gracula religiosa);
      (aa) Suricate or slender-tailed meerkat (Genus Suricata);
      (bb) Tongueless or African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis);
      (cc) Weaver finch (Genus Passer), except Passer domesticus;
      (dd) White eyes (Genus Zosterops);
      (ee) Wild European rabbit (also called the San Juan Rabbit) not distinguishable morphologically from native wild rabbits;
      (ff) Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella); or
      (gg) A member of the following families:
      1. Suidae (pigs or hogs), except for domestic swine;
      2. Viverridae (civits, genets, lingsangs, mongooses and fossas); or
      3. Tayassuidae (peccaries and javelinas).

      (2) Except as specified in Section 5 of this administrative regulation, a person shall not import or possess the following species of inherently dangerous wildlife:
      (a) Alligators or caimans (Family Alligatoridae);
      (b) African buffalo (Syncerus caffer);
      (c) Bears (Family Ursidae);
      (d) Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus);
      (e) Clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa);
      (f) Crocodiles (Family Crocodylidae);
      (g) Elephants (Family Elephantidae);
      (h) Gavials (Family Gavialidae);
      (i) Gila monsters or beaded lizards (Family Helodermatidae);
      (j) Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius);
      (k) Honey badger or ratel (Mellivora capensis);
      (l) Hyenas (Family Hyaenidae), all species except aardwolves (Proteles cristatus);
      (m) Lions, jaguars, leopards or tigers (Genus Panthera);
      (n) Old world badger (Meles meles);
      (o) Primates, nonhuman (Order Primates);
      (p) Rhinoceroses (Family Rhinocerotidae);
      (q) Snow leopard (Uncia uncia);
      (r) Venomous exotic snakes of the families Viperidae, Atractaspididae, Elapidae, and Colubridae, except for hognose snakes (Genus Heterodon);
      (s) Wolverine (Gulo gulo); or
      (t) Hybrids of all species contained in this list.


If you acquired your Gila Monster prior to July 13, 2005, if it hasn’t eaten you, and if you wish to keep it, you should read subsection (5) which states: “(5) A person who legally possessed wildlife listed in Section 4(2) of this administrative regulation prior to July 13, 2005, may continue to possess the animal and shall maintain:
      (a) Veterinary records;
      (b) Acquisition papers for the animal; or
      (c) Any other evidence that establishes that the person possessed the animal in Kentucky prior to July 13, 2005.”

That's all I got.  Hope you enjoyed this post.

If you or someone you know has been cited or arrested for harboring a dangerous exotic animal, call 502.473.6464 for a free consultation.  Murphy & Powell, PLC.

*May or may not have anything to do with this law.

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