Skunks, raccoons and bats would be added to the Dangerous Animals List, joining a much expanded list of more dangerous species of reptiles and mammals. The revised list adds all other non-endangered or threatened primates, and Canid and Felid species, except domestic dogs and cats and fennec foxes to the list of animals which cannot be kept as pets.
Comments can be submitted to DEC on the proposal through the close of business on Nov. 18, 2019.
“These regulations will help further ensure public safety, protect indigenous species, and the well-being of the dangerous animals being sought for exhibition.” Commissioner Basil Seggos said in an announcement of the proposed changes sent to the press. Seggos said the the measures would also help protect animals held at facilities for exhibition purposes.
These changes were prompted by a growing number of incidents involving dangerous animals that have posed a risk to public safety and the environment, the DEC announcement says. These include 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 the seizures of more than 20 dangerous animals including vipers, cobras, rattlesnakes, anacondas, alligators, and caimans in Madison County.
DEC already regulates the possession of dozens of dangerous animals for exhibition purposes, including American alligators, caimans, venomous snakes, native bears, wolves, large cats (lion, tiger, leopard), large reptiles, and gorillas which can be owned by zoos, game farms, and other private facilities that allow public viewing, but not as pets.
The proposed regulation change expands the list of animals that pose a threat to public safety or indigenous wildlife to include the following species: 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 monkeys, and all other non-endangered or threatened non-human Primate species; Asian black bear, sun bear, spectacled bear; African forest elephant; Dwarf caiman; wolverine; badgers; bats; skunks; and raccoons.
The proposed regulation also provides DEC with additional regulatory authority to implement current licensing requirements that will prevent dangerous animals held at private facilities for exhibition purposes from posing a threat. DEC’s announcement says that 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.
Text of Proposed Regulation (PDF, 34 KB) – underlines contained in the text denote new material. Brackets [ ] indicate material to be deleted.
Text of the proposed rule and information on how to provide comments can be accessed on DEC’s webpage.
Comments must be submitted in writing to: Joseph Therrien, NYSDEC, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4754 or e-mail comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org; subject line “Animals Considered Dangerous.”
Photo of rattlesnake skull courtesy Wikipedia user.