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(a) Unless otherwise provided in Code Section 27-5-5, it shall be unlawful for any person to import, transport, transfer, sell, purchase, or possess any wild animal listed in Code Section 27-5-5 or specified by the board by regulation without first obtaining a wild animal license from the department as provided in Code Section 27-2-23 or a wild animal permit as provided in this Code section; provided, however, anyone holding a deer-farming license is not required to have a wild animal license or permit to possess farmed deer. Unless otherwise specified by the department, such license or permit shall be effective from April 1 through March 31 and may contain such conditions and restrictions, including restrictions as to numbers and species of animals, as the department determines appropriate in light of the provisions of this chapter. An applicant for a wild animal license or permit shall have the burden of proving that any wild animals subject to such license or permit are or will be imported, transported, transferred, sold, purchased, or possessed in compliance with this chapter.
(b)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, wild animal licenses will be issued only to persons engaged in the wholesale or retail wild animal business or persons exhibiting wild animals to the public. Wild animal permits will be issued at no cost and only to persons for scientific or educational purposes, to persons with a permanent disability or disease as provided and for the purpose described in paragraph (2) of this subsection, or to a pond owner for grass carp or grass carp hybrids where the department has determined that the possession of such carp by the pond owner will not constitute a threat to wildlife; provided, however, that no such permit shall be required for persons buying triploid grass carp from properly licensed wild animal dealers authorized to sell grass carp where the bill of sale is retained by the buyer as proof of such sale and where the triploid grass carp are to be stocked only into a private pond; provided, further, that no such license or permit shall be required solely for the transportation of wild animals through this state where the animals remain in this state no more than 24 hours and are not sold or transferred while in this state.
(2) The department shall issue a wild animal permit only for an animal in the genus Cebus (capuchin monkeys) to any person who establishes to the satisfaction of the department that:
(A) Such person has a permanent disability or disease which interferes with the person's ability to perform one or more routine daily living activities;
(B) The animal for which the permit is to be issued has been trained to assist the person in performing his or her daily living activities;
(C) The animal will be humanely treated and will not present a health or safety threat;
(D) The animal for which the permit is to be issued is the only wild animal to be possessed by that person;
(E) The permittee does not have a history of violating this chapter; and
(F) The organization furnishing the animal to the applicant:
(i) Is reputable, lawful, and does not have any history of violating this chapter;
(ii) Provides to the department documentation and data sufficient to establish that the organization has a proven record, over at least a ten-year period, of furnishing animals which provide meaningful assistance to persons with disabilities; and
(iii) Has received and maintained a nonprofit, tax-exempt status.
(3) Permits issued under the provisions of paragraph (2) of this subsection shall be issued only to individuals and are nontransferable.
(4) Capuchin monkeys possessed under the provisions of paragraph (2) of this subsection are exempt from the requirements of paragraph (5) of subsection (k) of this Code section but must be treated humanely and shall be kept only in the residence of the permittee. When transported, the monkey must be in a USDA approved carrier and there shall be no contact allowed between the public and monkey when outside the permittee's residence. Under no circumstances may the monkey be present on premises where food is sold.
(c) It shall be unlawful for any person to sell, transfer, deliver, or surrender a wild animal listed in Code Section 27-5-5 or specified by the board by regulation to any other person unless that other person holds a license or permit issued pursuant to this chapter for such wild animal or is exempt from the requirement for such a permit or license by the provisions of subsection (d) of this Code section.
(d) No wild animal license or permit shall be required for a carrier regulated either by the Interstate Commerce Commission, the Civil Aeronautics Board, or the Department of Public Safety to import or transport any wild animal.
(e) Any licenses issued by the department to any person for public exhibition purposes shall be conditioned so that the person operating a wild animal exhibition in a nontraveling, fixed facility shall make the facility open to the public for a time no less than 30 hours per week for at least six months each year; and the person operating a wild animal exhibition in a transient facility shall make the facility open to the public for a reasonable period of time and for reasonable hours of the day, depending upon the nature of the exhibition. The department is authorized to issue such licenses in accordance with this chapter requiring adequate facilities for the humane handling, care, and confinement of wild animals and ensuring public safety. Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, exhibitions of wild animals by federal, state, city, county, or municipal governments or their agencies and transient circuses, which circuses can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the department that 10 percent of the proceeds from such exhibitions shall be devoted to charitable purposes in this state, shall not be required to purchase a wild animal license but shall be required to obtain the license, at no charge, from the department; provided, however, all other provisions of this chapter and all regulations relating to the humane handling, care, and confinement of wild animals must be complied with.
(f) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, a wild animal license or permit is required for the possession of any wild animal listed in subsection (b) of Code Section 27-5-5 or as required by regulation of the board. Liability insurance is required for the possession of any wild animal that is classified as being inherently dangerous to people in subsection (a) of Code Section 27-5-5 or as required by regulation of the board. Prior to the issuance of a wild animal license or permit for animals classified as being inherently dangerous to people, any applicant other than a governmental agency or university research facility must provide proof of liability insurance from a company licensed to do business in this state or an unauthorized insurer if permitted by Chapter 5 of Title 33. Such insurance must be maintained in force and effect and cover claims for injury or damage to persons or property in an amount equal to $40,000.00 for each inherently dangerous animal up to a maximum of $500,000.00. The insurance company shall notify the department at least 30 days prior to the termination of the policy by the company. Liability insurance is not required for wild animals that are not considered to be inherently dangerous to people.
(g) Any license or permit issued in accordance with this chapter shall be valid only for the species and numbers of wild animals referenced on the application and the license or permit. The license or permit to hold a female wild animal shall cover her progeny only while the progeny are physically dependent upon her or until her progeny are two months of age, whichever period is longer. It shall also be unlawful to transfer any license or permit issued by the department from one person to another person.
(h) It shall be unlawful for any person holding a license or permit issued pursuant to this chapter to import, transport, sell, transfer, or possess any wild animal in facilities not approved by the department as described in Code Section 27-5-6.
(i) In the event that a determination has been made to revoke, suspend, deny, or refuse to renew any license or permit issued pursuant to this chapter, the applicant for the license or permit may appeal the determination according to the provisions stated in Code Section 27-2-25.
(j) It shall be unlawful for any person holding a license or permit pursuant to this chapter to import, purchase, transport, sell, or transfer any wild animal and fail to record in a record book, within 24 hours after the completion of such a transaction, the date, place, manner, and names and addresses of all persons involved in such a transaction. It shall also be unlawful to fail to maintain such records for a period of 12 months or to fail to provide the department access to such records during all regular business hours.
(k) Wild animal licenses shall not be issued unless the following conditions are met:
(1) The applicant must be at least 18 years of age;
(2) Applicants requesting a license for mammals must obtain a license from the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the United States Department of Agriculture or provide written documentation that the applicant is exempt from such requirements;
(3) Applicants must submit documentation verifying that the proposed construction of facilities and the holding of wild animals is not prohibited by county or municipal ordinances;
(4) The applicant must obtain required business licenses; and
(5) Facilities for holding or exhibiting wild animals must be completely separated from a residence and meet specifications for humane handling, care, and confinement as provided in Code Section 27-5-6.
Cite this article: FindLaw.com - Georgia Code Title 27. Game and Fish § 27-5-4 - last updated April 14, 2021 | https://codes.findlaw.com/ga/title-27-game-and-fish/ga-code-sect-27-5-4/
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