View Full Version : California state law issues

01-14-2003, 12:29 AM
Sorry for the delay; I meant to this post this earlier, for the CA vendors to peruse.

State law requires care instructions
<I>Starting today , pets will come with instruction manuals.

It's part of a new California law that requires pet stores to issue written information on the proper care, handling and feeding of pets they sell, or face fines of up to $250 per incident.
</I> ....

New law means pets in California will come with instructions
Pet shop owners in California will have to do more than sell their customers the food, leashes and other supplies a cute ball of fur needs when a new state law takes effect next year.

Beginning Jan. 1, pet stores will be required to provide customers printed instructions that explain how to care for their cats, birds, rodents and reptiles, a rule that some Southern California shop owners said barks up the wrong tree.
</I> ....

State unleashing a new pet-store law
Owners, managers howl that order to provide care sheets with sold animals is too vague.
<I>California pet-shop owners are in for a new, uh, pet peeve.

On New Year's Day, the state will begin requiring pet sellers to provide information sheets that educate customers about the care their new pets will need.</I>

Shop owners race to meet law on pet-care guides
When Pek Choo opened his reptile store in La Habra 19 years ago, he made sure all his employees were properly trained and would be able to tell customers how to take care of the animals he sells, which range from garden snakes to large lizards.
</I> ...

From pets to parks, new laws in force
If Chris Estep manages to sell his ultra-rare million-dollar white Nile monitor to a Las Vegas casino, he will throw in a free book about how to care for the reptile.

That gesture would more than satisfy requirements of a new law taking effect today that forces pet merchants to provide a brief written description of the pet's traits and tips on feeding and care with each sale. </I> ...

01-14-2003, 12:38 AM
Now if only the schools out here taught people how to read;)

01-14-2003, 12:45 AM
From California legistation website re: SB1357


01-14-2003, 12:52 PM
LOL--no kidding Dan

I remember seeing this law and wondering if it would also apply to reptile shows.
If so, those fly by nighters are going to have a lot more work to do!!!


01-14-2003, 04:56 PM
The only hitch in this law is that it doesn't say the caresheets have to be accurate. PetCrapCo and PetStupid will still be putting out the same dangerously inaccurate caresheets they always have.

Then again, could we really trust the state to standardize caresheets? If they did, who would they go to? Dedicated breeders of each species, who may be highly knowledgable but not have name recognition, or "authorities" on herp keeping, who may have a broader but shallower knowledge level of individual species care? I've seen vets who are ARAV members who have given horribly bad advice on reptile husbandry, most zoos may have knowledgeable people, yet keep few of the pet trade species, and most of the self-proclaimed pet trade book publishing experts have gaping holes in their knowledge of specific species.

State authorities here haven't had a great history of caring about pet stores abusing herps, and do not have many herp knowledgeable people on staff. I've called in complaints for stores leaving dead animals ROT in cages with live animals, and nobody even knew which agency to call. At least this is a step towards the state doing something about petstore abuse of herps.

Mike and Erica @ MotherGecko
01-14-2003, 04:57 PM
I think that's an incredible idea. I only hope it spreads thoughout the states. I am one personally whom likes the government out of my hobby and business as much as possible, but this is what it should all be about. This should help give the public a better understanding altogether, and hopefully all those pet shop horror stories may decrease. I see the incompetent pet store thing all to often here in Florida. Although, there are some good ones in the area that I fequent. We personallyhand out caresheets to all concerned parties at shows and wish all vendors did. I wonder if pet shops and vendors will have to adhear to the caresheets they offer. Like if a product they seel is one that's frowned on for husbandry. One of the products I hate most in the entire pet trade is the infamous, turtle death bowl. You know the one, it's a clear blue plastic bowl, with the cheesy plastic palm tree. Everytime I see one of those leave a petshop or show, I see it as a little turtle tombstone. Maybe this is the start of something good. Anyhow glad to see it happen. Mike

Seamus Haley
01-14-2003, 05:13 PM
Foolish, poorly worded and dangerous law just about sums that up... While the spirit of better education is nice to see, the implementation in this format is terrible.

Outside of the difficulty in acquiring short care guides for every species that can potentially be sold, there is an increased cost in time, effort and money to the dealer and it damages potential book sales. Many people have a distinct desire to have written information about the animal in question and will seek out a book on at least general reptile care if there isn't a species specific one available, the force of care sheets will lower those numbers to some degree.

It also removes individual attention and determination of proper care from the seller. Individuals with lifetime experience caring for these animals may find themselves arguing with their customers over what the care sheet says unless they write it themselves and include multiple possibilities encompassing every potential situation the animal may encounter.

Taking a quick look at the website that was designed specifically for this purpose, there are a whopping seven species of herp with care guides (And they suggest less than stellar informational sources, for the species where the care guide is even truly existent)... Does this mean that the specialty stores that cater to the herping community and that have long been bastions of ideal and educated information in their own rights need to bang out three or four hundred care sheets to encompass every species they have in stock, and then another half dozen or so every time they get in a new shipment of animals?

The fines certainly won't punish or impose any tangible restriction on the majority of stores that aren't giving out proper information to start, they will simply phase out herps and focus on small animals and birds where there are fewer species to deal with (in the pet trade).

One other significant question would be the need to do this for fish and other aquatic organisms, a bill of this nature with this wording could put many an aquarium retailer out of business or severely debilitate their ability to properly conduct their enterprise. There are a large number of herps that may pass through a specialty store but there are literally thousands upon thousands of species that will end up moving through an aquarium specialty shop.

What about feeder animals? Does every cricket need a proper care guide?

Stupid wording to a stupid law supported by stupid people which will have an effect diametrically opposed to that which was intended.

It also occurs to me to ask about the languages and forms this information is provided in. California has a fairly significant non-english speaking population, does the law require that these care sheets be available in every language?

How about in Braille for the blind?

To see that the people supporting this also provide links to HSUS and PETA operated websites and that the state approved website has care sheets by my FAVORITE person just pounds in the fact that this law has nothing to do with proper education, it's merely an attempt to restrict private ownership of the animals involved and designed to damage the pet industry.

Seamus Haley
01-14-2003, 05:15 PM
Stupid wording to a stupid law supported by stupid people which will have an effect diametrically opposed to that which was intended.

Sorry that should have read "Stupid wording to a stupid law initiated by stupid people..." etc.

Sorry for the typo.

Darin Chappell
01-14-2003, 05:36 PM
Aside from the fact that the State has more important things to do than to dictate that pet owners have to be innundated with worthless pieces of paper (I say they're "worthless" because giving them out won't make a bad owner good, and good owners would have found out the same info on their own!), here's my problem with State-mandated care sheets being given out with each animal sold:

We're not selling toasters!

There isn't a care sheet in the world that can cover all of the various possibilities that go right or wrong with a newly acquired animal, because each one is different from all the others that could have been seleceted fromt he same table, let alone from a competitors. To have a care sheet that gives the basics about a particular species with each purchased INDIVIDUAL animal, may make some do-gooders in Sacramento feel better about themselves, but I doubt seriously that it will do much to change the way things really are int he long run.

To that end, let me just ad that any legislation that cannot make a real change in the real world is useless, and useless legislation is bad legislation. At best it will cause people wanting to effect real change to be ignored in the future because "we already have a law on the books about that subject;" at worst, it will propigate poorly worded and untrue information being handed out as State-approved care sheets.

Let me ask you this: With CA being the most litigious State of them all, how long do you suppose it will be before someone gets sued over their written contracts' (read that as "care sheet's") contents? If I buy an animal from you and it dies (never mind that I had it too close to the TV and the vibrations sent it over the edge), do you thinkI won't be scouring over that care sheet to see if you thought far enough in advance to cover all of the possible stupid things I might do to harm my new pet?

Watch out everyone!


Mike and Erica @ MotherGecko
01-14-2003, 11:50 PM
I suppose I didn't read the links thorougly as I should have. I could see how the law could be manipulated to serve as a source of revenue if citations were issued for non-compliance of the law, and that scares me. Uncle Sam makes it hard enough to run a legitimate business as it is. I think it would also be ridculious for pet stores to have specific care sheets for each individual fish species, or feeders for that matter. Maybe a general caresheet for community fish, aggressive fish, and so on. It just bothers me more that a customer can go to a pet store, and walk out with a turtle, and death bowl, and leave thinking they are giving the right care and have the proper set up. What bothers me more is that the seller either knows it can't survive in the plastic crap and it's just a sale to them, or doesn't know that it will die in those conditions, and I'm not sure which disturbs me more. I just think that with all the lack of knowledge by the general 'pet stores' this could be a positive thing if implied carefully, the keyword being carefully.

Seamus Haley
01-15-2003, 12:30 AM
A positive incarnation might be rewarding positive educational businesses with tax breaks or state funded vetrinary care for animals, not fines.

What's worse is that there is an "official" website that care sheets can be downloaded at and they're worthless.

01-15-2003, 12:49 AM
Originally posted by Darin Chappell

Let me ask you this: With CA being the most litigious State of them all, how long do you suppose it will be before someone gets sued over their written contracts' (read that as "care sheet's") contents? If I buy an animal from you and it dies (never mind that I had it too close to the TV and the vibrations sent it over the edge), do you thinkI won't be scouring over that care sheet to see if you thought far enough in advance to cover all of the possible stupid things I might do to harm my new pet?

In the text of the law:

(2) If a seller of pet animals distributes material prepared by a
third party, the seller shall not be liable for damages caused by any
erroneous information in that material unless a reasonable person
exercising ordinary care should have known of the error causing the

I have to ask a friend of mine who's a gecko breeder in So. Cal. to peruse the literature he received from the County. Also, he relayed to me and I dont have any specific details yet re: the banning of sales of birds in Orange County. Now, I dont know if this is a temporary thing (due to the outbreak of Exotic Newcastle disease) or permanent. When I get more details, I'll post in the bird arena.

01-15-2003, 01:30 AM
(2) If a seller of pet animals distributes material prepared by a third party, the seller shall not be liable for damages caused by any erroneous information in that material unless a reasonable person exercising ordinary care should have known of the error causing the damage.

And the cost of a lawyer to defend or define the above will take 50 leopard gecko sales to cover (at least). How soon will this drive pet stores out of the reptile business? Oh, by the way CA government can't figure out why so many businesses are fleeing the state and their lack of revenue has helped in driving our state broke. If AZ had a beach I'd be out of here.

The intentions on the surface of this law are good (as Mike pointed out) but government is rife with the inability to apply common sense to law and as such will cause nothing but problems for pet stores, hobbyists and the casual collector. Probably this was the original intent, to get rid of all reptile sales.

Fred Albury
01-16-2003, 11:32 AM
I'm going to go out on a limb here,I kind of like the idea...

Before everyone jumps down my throat, let me say that if I had proper care sheets,I wouldnt have to answer the LITANY of questions lobbed at me by buyers and potential buyers at every show and for every internet sale. Customers OFTEN are too lazy or uninformed to SEARCH and seek their own information, even with the advent of the internet which brings the information to your finger tips. And actually reading a book might be dangerous to some peoples helath.

So...care sheets might help lead the clueless
I can see, in this sue happy state, where it could be *thouroughly* abused and leave the seller open for a lawsuit, but since I am so damn poor anyway, sueing me is a virtual waste of time.

As far as stores like Petco handing out care sheets,thats a joke, giving an info packet on an animal thathas been mistreated, malnutritioned and came in sick to begin with is redudndant.

With Grey"Tax them andraise their electricity" Davis as our Governor, we are on a crash course for destruction anyway.
Maybe an earthquake will come and separate us from the mainland....theres always hope.

My opinions,

Fred Albury

Darin Chappell
01-16-2003, 02:48 PM
As long as the Raiders go with Fred . . .as long as the raiders go with you!!!


07-22-2003, 12:53 AM
State Homepage - http://www.state.ca.us/

State Legislature (Assembly) - http://www.assembly.ca.gov/

State Legislature (Senate) - http://www.senate.ca.gov/

State Statutes/Code - http://www.osp.dgs.ca.gov/

12-05-2004, 01:00 PM
hi my dad wants to get a mongoose and i wanted to know if they are illegal in california because i know that ferrets are.

12-30-2004, 12:48 PM

Section 671. Importation, Transportation and Possession of Wild Animal.
(They are considered wild regardless of being captive bred or wild caught.)

07-22-2011, 01:59 AM
does anyone on here know about the laws for the captive breeding and selling of wild caught native snakes?

07-22-2011, 02:05 AM
mainly northern rubber boas and gopher snakes.

07-22-2011, 06:08 PM
In order to legally breed and sell any native species in this state you need a propagation permit, even if the animals you have are captive bred or morphs. You also require a collection permit to catch any native wildlife.

07-22-2011, 06:18 PM
Oh and btw the collection permit is required any time native wildlife is kept reguardless if its for resale or if mr smith goes and catches a blue belly on a hiking trail. You also want to educate yourself on native species because we do have alot of invasives here which Id assume are open to collection but then again we have rules on hunting wild boar and those are invasive and then some so who knows, also there are a few native species that even with permits can't be collected or owned period so do your homework.

04-08-2018, 05:17 PM
Question re: California red-sided garter snakes. Obviously San Francisco Garters are endangered and are a no-no to own here in the state unless you have that rare permit. However, are we allowed to buy California Red-sided garter snakes which don't appear to be restricted from what I can tell? Are they wild caught only via collection permit? Red mentioned in a post above you need one to "sell or catch" but didn't see anything about buying.

Thanks in advance!

07-11-2018, 07:38 PM
There is no exception for purchased animals to my knowledge.