×

DEC wants to expand list of dangerous pets

The state Department of Environmental Conservation is proposing an expansion of its dangerous animal list following several incidents around the state.

The DEC currently considers American alligators, caimans, venomous snakes, native bears, wolves, large cats (lion, tiger, leopard), large reptiles and gorillas as dangerous. Facilities with proper approvals may keep these animals for public viewing, but not as pets.

The department has now proposed adding the following:

¯ serval, caracal, Eurasian lynx, and all other non-endangered or threatened Felid species except domestic cats

¯ Arctic fox, swift fox, bat eared fox and all other non-endangered or threatened Canid species except domestic dogs and the fennec fox

¯ squirrel monkey, common marmoset, capuchin monkey and all other non-endangered or threatened non-human Primate species

¯ Asian black bear, sun bear and spectacled bear

¯ African forest elephant

¯ dwarf caiman

¯ wolverine

¯ badger

¯ bat

¯ skunk

¯ raccoon.

The proposed regulation change would also grant DEC clear authority to regulate the licensing of these animal species.

“These changes were prompted by a growing number of incidents involving dangerous animals that have posed a risk to public safety and the environment, including: DEC seizures of alligators, caimans, and other animals kept in inhumane conditions in Wappingers Falls; an individual airlifted to a hospital after being bitten by one of the approximately 150 vipers illegally in his possession; an escaped, and recaptured, anaconda in Suffolk County; and DEC seizures of more than 20 dangerous animals including vipers, cobras, rattlesnakes, anacondas, alligators, and caimans in Madison County,” a press release from the DEC said. “Under the changes, facilities that possess these animals would be allowed to keep the animals they currently possess. However, some facilities or individuals may not meet the proposed, new requirements of obtaining additional dangerous animals for exhibition purposes.”

The DEC is taking public comments on the proposed changes until Nov. 18. Text of the proposed rule change can be found at www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/34113.html#Part_180 under the Part 180.1 section header. Comments can be mailed to Joseph Therrien, NYSDEC, Division of Fish and Wildlife, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4754, or by email to SpecialLicenses@dec.ny.gov.