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CVMA Policy on Private Ownership of Wild Animals

The CVMA supports regulatory efforts to prohibit private ownership, and the importation for the purpose of private ownership, of indigenous and non-native wild animals except under special circumstances such as recognized conservation and research programs. This is especially true when such ownership poses a significant risk to public health, domestic animal health, or the ecosystem, as well as those species whose welfare is unacceptably compromised.  Whenever ownership is allowed, it must be in full compliance with California state laws and regulations.

Definitions:

  • Private ownership – Ownership by individuals, non-public entities or institutions that are exempt from the Federal Animal Welfare Act.
  • Wild – Species that have not yet been subjected to domestication or that may be in the process of being domesticated. These species may be indigenous to North America or non-native (exotic).
  • Non-native (Exotic) – Originally imported species that are not native to North America and not domesticated.
  • Indigenous – Native to North America.

(April 2012)

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