(a) A person may possess a large carnivore only if:
(1) The person was in possession of the large carnivore and was the legal possessor of the large carnivore on or before August 12, 2005; and
(2) The person applies for and is granted a permit for personal possession for each large carnivore in the person's possession not more than one hundred eighty (180) days after August 12, 2005.
(b)(1) A person under subsection (a) of this section shall annually obtain a permit for personal possession.
(2) After August 12, 2005, any additional large carnivore shall not be brought into possession under the authority of a permit for personal possession.
(c)(1) An applicant shall file on forms provided by the sheriff's department an application to receive a permit for personal possession with the sheriff's department of the county where the large carnivore is kept.
(2) The application shall include:
(A) The name, address, and telephone number of the applicant;
(B) A description of each large carnivore, including the scientific classification, name, gender, age, color, weight, and distinguishing marks or coloration that would aid in the identification of the animal;
(C) A photograph of the large carnivore;
(D) The location where the large carnivore is kept; and
(E) The name, address, and telephone number of the person from whom the applicant obtained the large carnivore, if known.
(3) The application shall be signed by the veterinarian who is expected to provide veterinary care to the large carnivore and shall include the veterinarian's name, address, and telephone number.
(d) The county sheriff's department shall not grant a permit unless:
(1) An annual permit fee of two hundred fifty dollars ($250) for each large carnivore accompanies the application;
(2) The applicant is eighteen (18) years of age or older;
(3) The applicant has not pleaded nolo contendere or guilty to or been found guilty of any animal cruelty violations in the past ten (10) years or to a felony offense for possession, sale, or use of illegal narcotics in the past ten (10) years;
(4) The facility and the conditions in which the large carnivore is kept comply with this subchapter; and
(5) The applicant has obtained the liability insurance coverage for the large carnivore as required under this subchapter.
(e)(1) The county sheriff's department shall keep records of persons issued a valid permit for personal possession of a large carnivore and provide copies of the records to the Arkansas State Game and Fish Commission when each permit is issued.
(2) A permit holder shall notify the county sheriff's department of any changes of the permit holder's information, including the death of the large carnivore.
(f)(1) In addition to the other requirements for issuance of a permit for personal possession, the large carnivore shall be spayed or neutered before a permit is issued to the possessor unless a veterinarian confirms that spaying and neutering would endanger the large carnivore.
(2) A record of the large carnivore's being spayed or neutered by a veterinarian is to be kept on file by the permit holder.
(g) All fees levied and collected for permits of personal possession under this section shall be deposited into the county treasury to be used by the county sheriff's department to offset the cost of issuing permits of personal possession, for any costs involved in controlling large carnivores located within the county, and for any other animal control costs.
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