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Mississippi State Laws Governing Private Possession of Exotic Animals

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MISS. CODE ANN. §49-8-5 - Animals inherently dangerous to humans.

The following wild animals are classed as animals inherently dangerous to humans:

(a) Order Primates:

(i) Family Pongidae (gibbons, orangutan, chimpanzees, siamangs and gorillas) - all species;

(ii) Family Cercopithecidae:

  1. Genus Macaca (macaques) - all species;

  2. Genus Papio (mandrills, drills and baboons) - all species;

  3. Theropithecus Gelada (Gelada baboon);

(b) Order Carnivora:

(i) Family Canidae:

  1. Genus Canis (wolves, jackals and dingos; all species, including crosses between wolves and domestic animals);

  2. Chrysocyon brachyurus (maned wolf);

  3. Cuon alpinus (red dog);

  4. Lycaon pictus (African hunting dog);

(ii) Family Ursidae (bears) - all species;

(iii) Family Mustelidae - Gulo gulo (wolverine);

(iv) Family Hyaenidae (hyenas) - all species;

(v) Family Felidae:

  1. Genus Leo or Panthera or Neofelis (lions, tigers, jaguars and leopards) - all species;

  2. Unica unica (snow leopard);

  3. Acinonyx jubatus (cheetah);

  4. Felis concolor (cougar) - all subspecies;

(c) Order Proboscidae: Family Elephantidae (elephants) - all species;

(d) Order Perissodactyla: Family Rhinocerotidae (rhinoceroses) - all species;

(e) Order Artiodactyla:

(i) Family Hippopotamidae - Hippopotamus amphibius (hippopotamus);

(ii) Family Bovidae: Syncerus caffer (African buffalo).

MISS. CODE ANN. §49-8-7 - Possession of wild animals prohibited; permit required; exemptions.

(1)(a) It is unlawful for a person to import, transfer, sell, purchase or possess any wild animal classified inherently dangerous by law or regulation unless that person holds a permit under paragraph (b) or is exempted under paragraph (c).

(b)(i) Any person who possesses a wild animal on May 1, 1997, may receive a fee-exempt temporary permit for that animal if the person applies by July 1, 1997. The temporary permit shall be valid until such time as the department notifies the person of the adoption of the regulations for wild animals and of the date the person must apply for an annual permit. After notification, the person shall apply for an annual permit.

(ii) A person must obtain a permit before that person takes possession of a wild animal. The applicant must comply with all the requirements of this chapter and the regulations promulgated by the commission to obtain the permit. Prior to the issuance of a permit, the applicant must provide proof of liability insurance in the amount of One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000.00) for each wild animal up to a maximum of One Million Dollars ($1,000,000.00). An applicant shall have the burden of proving that any wild animals subject to this chapter are or will be imported, transferred, sold, purchased or possessed in compliance with this chapter and regulations.

(c) Public zoos, university research facilities, governmental agencies, transient circuses and rehabilitation and sanctuary facilities may be exempted from having a permit if the exemption is approved by the commission.

(d) Any permit issued under this chapter shall be valid for one (1) year and only for the species specified. A permit is required for each wild animal possessed. A permit for a female wild animal shall cover her progeny only while her progeny are physically dependant upon her or until her progeny are three (3) months old, whichever period is longer.

(2)(a) It is unlawful for any person to sell, transfer, deliver or give a wild animal classified as inherently dangerous to any other person unless the other person holds a permit for the wild animal or is exempt from holding a permit.

(b) Owners of unpermitted wild animals who do not qualify for a permit to possess the wild animal shall dispose of the wild animal according to law or regulation within thirty (30) days of notification by the department. Each day of possession of the unpermitted wild animal after the thirty-day period constitutes a separate violation.

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