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FGC Sec 2116-2127 Generally (IMPORTATION, TRANSPORTATION, AND SHELTERING OF RESTRICTED LIVE WILD ANIMALS)
FISH AND GAME CODE
2116. As used in this chapter, "wild animal" means any animal of
the class Aves (birds), class Mammalia (mammals), class Amphibia
(frogs, toads, salamanders), class Osteichtyes (bony fishes), class
Monorhina (lampreys), class Reptilia (reptiles), class Crustacea
(crayfish), or class Gastropoda (slugs, snails) which is not normally
domesticated in this state as determined by the commission.
2116.5. The Legislature finds and declares that wild animals are
being captured for importation and resale in California; that some
populations of wild animals are being depleted; that many animals die
in captivity or transit; that some keepers of wild animals lack
sufficient knowledge or facilities for the proper care of wild
animals; that some wild animals are a threat to the native wildlife
or agricultural interests of this state; and that some wild animals
are a threat to public health and safety. It is the intention of the
Legislature that the importation, transportation, and possession of
wild animals shall be regulated to protect the health and welfare of
wild animals captured, imported, transported, or possessed, to reduce
the depletion of wildlife populations, to protect the native
wildlife and agricultural interest of this state against damage from
the existence at large of certain wild animals, and to protect the
public health and safety in this state.
2117. As used in this chapter, "enforcing officers" means the
department, the state plant quarantine officers, the local law
enforcement agents, the county sheriffs, and the county agricultural
commissioners. These enforcing officers are authorized and empowered
to enforce the provisions of this chapter or any regulation
implementing this chapter.
2118. It is unlawful to import, transport, possess, or release
alive into this state, except under a revocable, nontransferable
permit as provided in this chapter and the regulations pertaining
thereto, any wild animal of the following species:
(a) Class Aves: (birds)
Family Cuculidae (cuckoos)
Family Alaudidae (larks)
Skylark, Alauda arvensis
Family Corvidae (crows, jays, magpies)
Family Turdidae (thrushes)
European blackbird, Turdus merula
Missel (or mistle), thrush, Turdus viscivorus
Family Sturnidae (starlings and mynas or mynahs)
All species of the family, except hill myna (or hill
Gracula religiosa (sometimes referred to as Eulabes
Family Ploceidae (weavers)
The following species:
Spanish sparrow, Passer hispaniolensis
Italian sparrow, Passer italiae
European tree sparrow, Passer montanus
Cape sparrow, Passer capensis
Madagascar weaver, Foudia madagascariensis
Baya weaver, Ploceus baya
Hawaiian rice bird, Munia nisoria
Red-billed quelea, Quelea quelea
Red-headed quelea, Quelea erythrops
Family Fringillidae (sparrows, finches, buntings)
Yellowhammer, Emberiza citrinella
(b) Class Mammalia (mammals)
All species except those in family Hominidae
Order Edentata (sloths, anteaters, armadillos, etc.)
Order Marsupialia (marsupials or pouched mammals)
Order Insectivora (shrews, moles, hedgehogs, etc.)
Order Dermoptera (gliding lemurs)
Order Chiroptera (bats)
Order Monotremata (spiny anteaters, platypuses)
Order Pholidota (pangolins, scaly anteaters)
Order Lagomorpha (pikas, rabbits, hares)
All species, except domesticated races of rabbits.
Order Rodentia (rodents)
All species, except domesticated golden hamsters, also
as Syrian hamster, Mesocricetus auratus;
races of rats or mice (white or albino; trained,
or spinning, laboratory-reared); and domestic
guinea pig (Cavia porcellus).
Order Carnivora (carnivores)
All species, except domestic dogs (Canis familiaris)
and domestic cats (Felis catus).
Order Tubulidentata (aardvarks)
Order Proboscidea (elephants)
Order Hyracoidea (hyraxes)
Order Sirenia (dugongs, manatees)
Order Perissodactyla (horses, zebras, tapirs,
All species except those of the family Equidae.
Order Artiodactyla (swine, peccaries, camels, deer, elk,
except elk (genus Cervus) which are subject to
Section 2118.2, moose, antelopes, cattle, goats,
All species except: domestic swine of the family
Suidae; American bison, and domestic cattle, sheep
of the family Bovidae; races of big-horned sheep
canadensis) now or formerly indigenous to this
Mammals of the orders Primates, Edentata, Dermoptera,
Monotremata, Pholidota, Tubulidentata, Proboscidea,
Perissodactyla, Hyracoidea, Sirenia and Carnivora
are restricted for the welfare of the animals, except
animals of the families Viverridae and Mustelidae in
the order Carnivora are restricted because such
are undesirable and a menace to native wildlife, the
agricultural interests of the state, or to the public
health or safety.
(c) Class amphibia (frogs, toads, salamanders)
Family Bufonidae (toads)
Giant toad or marine toad, Bufo marinus
(d) Class Monorhina (lampreys)
(e) Class Osteichthyes (bony fishes)
Family Serranidae (bass)
White perch, Morone or Roccus americana
Family Clupeidae (herring)
Gizzard shad, Dorosoma cepedianum
Family Sciaenidae (croakers)
Freshwater sheepshead, Aplodinotus grunniens
Family Characidae (characins)
Banded tetra, Astyanax fasciatus
All species of piranhas
Family Lepisosteidae (gars)
Family Amiidae (bowfins)
(f) Class Reptilia (snakes, lizards, turtles, alligators)
(g) Class Crustacea (crustaceans)
Genus Cambarus (crayfishes)
Genus Astacus (crayfishes)
Genus Astacopsis (crayfishes)
(h) Class Gastropoda (slugs, snails, clams)
All species of slugs.
All species of land snails.
(i) Other classes, orders, families, genera, and species
of wild animals which may be designated by the commission
in cooperation with the Department of Food and Agriculture,
(1) when the class, order, family, genus, or species is
proven to be undesirable and a menace to native wildlife or
the agricultural interests of the state, or (2) to provide
for the welfare of wild animals.
(j) Except as expressly authorized in this code, any live
nonindigenous Atlantic salmon or the roe thereof into the
Smith River watershed.
(k) Classes, families, genera, and species in addition to
those listed in this section may be added to or deleted from
the above lists from time to time by commission regulations
in cooperation with the Department of Food and Agriculture.
2118.2. Except as provided in Section 1007, it is unlawful to
import any elk (genus Cervus) into this state. The department may
import elk pursuant to Section 1007, if prior to such importation,
the department issues written findings justifying the need for and
explaining the purpose of the importation.
This section shall not apply to zoos certified by the United
States Department of Agriculture.
2118.3. No part of any elk horn or antler shall be removed from any
live elk for commercial purposes.
2118.4. The department shall seize any elk imported in violation of
2118.5. The commission may designate wild animals which may be
possessed without a permit.
2119. The Department of Fish and Game shall publish from time to
time as changes arise, a list of animals which may not be imported or
transported into this State.
2120. (a) The commission, in cooperation with the State Department
of Food and Agriculture, shall promulgate regulations governing (a)
the entry, importation, possession, transportation, keeping,
confinement, or release of any and all wild animals which will be or
which have been imported into this state pursuant to the provisions
of this chapter, and (b) the possession of all other wild animals.
The regulations shall be designed to prevent damage to the native
wildlife or agricultural interests of this state resulting from the
existence at large of any such wild animals, and to provide for the
welfare of wild animals.
(b) The regulations shall also include criteria for all of the
(1) Receiving, processing, and issuing of a permit and conducting
(2) Contracting out inspection activities.
(3) Responding to public reports and complaints.
(4) Notification of the revocation, termination, or denial of
permits, and related appeals.
(5) The method by which the department determines that the
breeding of wild animals pursuant to a single event breeding permit
for exhibitor and a breeding permit is necessary and will not result
in unneeded or uncared for animals, and the means by which the
criteria will be implemented and enforced.
(6) How a responding agency will respond to an escape of a wild
animal. This shall include, but not be limited to, the establishment
of guidelines for the safe recapture of the wild animal and
procedures outlining when lethal force would be used to recapture the
(c) These regulations shall be developed and adopted by the
commission, on or before January 1, 2007.
2121. No person having possession or control over any wild animal
legally imported under the provisions of this chapter shall
intentionally free, or knowingly permit the escape, or release of
such animals, except in accordance with the regulations of the
2122. The commission shall promulgate regulations in cooperation
with the State Department of Food and Agriculture for the guidance of
enforcing officers. Such regulations shall include a list of the
wild animals for which permits that may be issued under this chapter
will be refused, and the disposition of such wild animals illegally
imported into this state.
2123. The department in cooperation with the State Department of
Food and Agriculture shall furnish descriptive and illustrative
material concerning the wild animals enumerated in or designated
pursuant to Section 2118, as well as explanatory material setting
forth the reasons for designating such animals as undesirable and a
menace to native wildlife or to the agricultural interests of this
state for the information and guidance of the enforcing officers.
2124. (a) Except as otherwise authorized by this code or
regulations adopted pursuant thereto, including, but not limited to,
those provisions that authorize raising deer to produce venison for
market it is unlawful for any person to possess, transport, import,
export, propagate, purchase, sell, or transfer any live mammal listed
under Section 2118 for the purposes of maiming, injuring, or killing
the mammal for gain, amusement, or sport. Except as otherwise
authorized by this code or regulations adopted pursuant thereto, the
buyer of a live mammal listed in Section 2118 shall not resell the
live mammal to another buyer who has the intent to maim, injure, or
kill that mammal for purposes of gain, amusement, or sport.
(b) This section does not apply to the meat, hide, or parts of a
2125. (a) In addition to any other penalty provided by law, any
person who violates this chapter or any regulations implementing this
chapter, is subject to a civil penalty of not less than five hundred
dollars ($500) nor more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for each
violation. Except as otherwise provided, any violation of this
chapter or of any regulations implementing this chapter is a
misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for not
more than six months, or by a fine of not more than one thousand
(b) The Attorney General, or the city attorney of the city or the
district attorney or county counsel of the county in which a
violation of this article occurs, may bring a civil action to recover
the civil penalty in subdivision (a) and the costs of seizing and
holding the animal listed in Section 2118, except to the extent that
those costs have already been collected as provided by subdivision
(d). The civil action shall be brought in the county in which the
violation occurs and any penalty imposed shall be transferred to the
Controller for deposit in the Fish and Game Preservation Fund in
accordance with Section 13001.
(c) In an action brought under this section, in addition to the
penalty specified in subdivision (a), the reasonable costs of
investigation, reasonable attorney's fees, and reasonable expert
witness' fees may also be recovered and those amounts shall be
credited to the same operating funds as that from which the
expenditures for those purposes were derived.
(d) (1) If an animal is confiscated because the animal was kept in
contravention of this chapter or any implementing regulations, the
person claiming the animal shall pay to the department or the new
custodian of the animal an amount sufficient to cover all reasonable
expenses expected to be incurred in caring for and providing for the
animal for at least 30 days, including, but not limited to, the
estimated cost of food, medical care, and housing.
(2) If the person claiming the animal fails to comply with the
terms of his or her permit and to regain possession of the animal by
the expiration of the first 30-day period, the department may
euthanize or place the animal with an appropriate wild animal
facility at the end of the 30 days, unless the person claiming the
animal pays all reasonable costs of caring for the animal for a
second 30-day period before the expiration of the first 30-day
period. If the permittee is still not in compliance with the terms
of the permit at the end of the second 30-day period, the department
may euthanize the animal or place the animal in an appropriate wild
(3) The amount of the payments described in paragraphs (1) and (2)
of this subdivision shall be determined by the department, and shall
be based on the current reasonable costs to feed, provide medical
care for, and house the animal. If the person claiming the animal
complies with the terms of his or her permit and regains possession
of the animal, any unused portion of the payments required pursuant
to paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subdivision shall be returned to
the person claiming the animal no later than 90 days after the date
on which the person regains possession of the animal.
2126. (a) Except as otherwise authorized by this code or
regulations made pursuant thereto, it is unlawful for any person to
take any mammal as identified by Section 2118.
(b) This section does not prohibit the euthanasia of a mammal as
appropriately directed by a licensed veterinarian or animal health
2127. (a) The department may reimburse eligible local entities,
pursuant to a memorandum of understanding entered into pursuant to
this section, for costs incurred by the eligible local entities in
the administration and enforcement of any provision concerning the
possession of, handling of, care for, or holding facilities provided
for, a wild animal designated pursuant to Section 2118, by any
(b) The department may enter into memorandums of understanding
with eligible local entities for the administration and enforcement
of any provision concerning the possession of, handling of, care for,
or holding facilities provided for, a wild animal designated as such
pursuant to Section 2118, or a cat specified in Section 3005.9.
(c) The Fish and Game Commission shall adopt regulations that
establish specific criteria an eligible local entity shall meet in
order to qualify as an eligible local entity.
(d) For purpose of this division, "eligible local entity" means a
county, local animal control officer, local humane society official,
an educational institution, or trained private individual that enters
into a memorandum of understanding with the department pursuant to