Licenses and Permits


Do I need a license to have a ___________?

In most states, many animals that are considered non-dangerous are not required to be state- licensed if they are kept as pets, or are not sold. USDA covers exotic and some domestic animals that are to be sold or used in research. Certain non-dangerous small mammals at one time, did not require USDA licensing even if sold when they went directly to the end user - the pet owner. Check to see current regs. If the seller markets the animals to or through a pet store, broker, auction house, etc. a USDA license is required on them also. The USDA is concerned with the welfare of the animal.

In all instances, dangerous animals (many carnivores and other animals) require state and/or local licenses. In many instances, some animals are restricted or totally banned from various municipalities or states. Certain animals also, are considered injurious and not allowed in the US without a very special permit which is nearly impossible to get.

In some states, if you have a USDA license, you will not need a state license. This is not the case in every state. In some areas you will need a USDA, state and municipal license or permit.

In addition, certain endangered animals require a USDI permit to cross state or country boundries.

You will need to check with your state, local and USDA to see if you require a license for an animal you wish to keep.

Most of these agencies have specific confinement requirements for enclosures or cages. These requirements may differ for the same species, so it is a good idea to check each agency out and build to suit the most stringent requirement.


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