June 24, 2017

Animal Law

When citizens hear the word law, a variety of images including crime dramas and individuals being on trial for varying offenses may come to mind. However, law does not stop with human beings. Rather it can cover all different types of things including animals. As one may expect, there are various types of laws that cover the wide variety of animals currently living in the United States. Some laws will control the hunt for a species. Others will outline exactly what types of pets are acceptable in certain locations. A third type may apply to the animal itself.

Hunting and Fishing

Many people all over the country look forward to two times of year where they can grab their stuff, head outdoors and enjoy nature. In the summer, it’s time to fish! Exactly what types of fish one can go after as well as whether or not they have to be caught and then released back into the wild are items regulated on a state by state basis. If you are planning on doing any type of fishing this summer, make sure you check with your state on how to obtain a fishing license. You may also need to check on the age requirement of such licenses to ensure that all parties that are of age hold the proper paperwork.

As the crisp fall air settles in just a few months from now, many minds will turn to the sport of hunting.  Unlike fishing there are a variety of weapons that can be used during hunting season, so be sure you know the exact time frame for the type of animal you wish to hunt and the type of weapon you wish to use. Just like fishing, you will also need to be properly licensed.

Exotic Animals

By definition animals are exotic when they are introduced to an area they are not native too. Even though there are plenty of warnings against keeping these animals as pets, many people still do. For that reason, many areas have strict laws regulating exotic creatures. If you plan to purchase one of these, be sure to check with your local ordinances to make sure it is legal for you to possess them!

Small Breed Domestics

In this instance small breed domestics refer to smaller animals you would commonly find as pets in homes, like cats and dogs. While both are subject to laws regarding rabies shots and other vaccinations, dogs seem to encounter the stricter of the laws. Due to the potential for violent behavior, some areas are now enacting breed specific legislation. These regulations are put in place to restrict what types of dogs are allowed to live within certain areas. If you have questions about whether or not your potential pet may fall under these laws, check with your local animal control.

Large Breed Domestics

Large breed domestics refer to larger animals that may reside on your property. Take horses for example, many people keep them for a variety of reasons from personal riding to breeding. Equine law protects these creatures and their owners in a variety of legal matters such as preparing or reviewing contracts regarding the horses and establishing bloodline paper work.

Law extends beyond human beings. Prior to interacting with animals of any type make sure you know exactly what laws apply to your situation, both federal and according to your local government.

Tim Loshe is a lawyer and wildlife enthusiast with over 25 years of experience in law. When Tim isn’t outdoors, he enjoys blogging about environmental laws, animal laws, and just the outdoors in general. 

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