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USA State Specific Issues Issues that are specific to a particular state, or subregion within a state, should be appended to the existing relevant thread. NEW threads cannot be created in this forum.

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Old 07-23-2003, 09:01 PM   #1
Tennessee state law issues

State Homepage - http://www.state.tn.us/

State Legislature - http://www.legislature.state.tn.us/

State Statutes/Code - http://www.tennesseeanytime.org/main...ment/laws.html
Old 04-02-2005, 01:32 PM   #2
On the TN Dept. of Ag site, I could only find this:

0080-2-1-.13 Native Wildlife and Other Wild Animals

Consult Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Chief of Game Management, P.O. Box 40747, Melrose Station, Nashville, Tennessee 37204, for import requirements.

0080-2-1-.14 Other Animal Species not Named

(Psittacine birds, primates, zoo animals, etc.) No requirements by Tennessee Department of Agriculture.


I have asked TN herp people if they know the state laws, but apparently ignorance is bliss. I am a transplant and I wanted to know that my animals are legal here. From what I have found so far, my animals are OK. I'd be interested to learn more, if anyone here has more updated information.

Old 04-02-2005, 01:49 PM   #3
Kristina...do you have the proper permits for them? I live in Tennessee and I have to have permits to breed and sell my snakes I also have to get a permit to import indigenous species into the state. If you aren't breeding your snakes, then you will just need an importation permit. You can get a one-time permit for them. If you plan on breeding your snakes, then you will also need a propagation permit.

Please check with Walter Cook at TWRA to get the info you need to make your snakes legal.

His e-mail address is: walter.cook@state.tn.us
Old 04-02-2005, 02:20 PM   #4
Thank you, CornCrazy, for your prompt reply!

I do not have snakes, I have African chameleons.
I will email Mr.Cook for permit information. Thank you so much for this resource!

Old 04-02-2005, 02:33 PM   #5
Since you have African Chams, you probably do not need permits. I would check with Mr. Cook, though, just in case.

I'm glad I could be of some help! If you have any other questions, then feel free to e-mail or PM me.
Old 05-22-2010, 11:05 PM   #6
I know this is a bit of an old thread, but I thought I'd post this here anyway, just in case someone else needs it.

As far as I know, the only regulated species here in Tennessee are kingsnakes, cornsnakes, turtles, and venomous reptiles. As has already been stated, the corns and kings are legal if you have the proper paperwork (and futher paperwork and permits if you intend to breed and sell), but turtles and venomous reptiles are not legal unless you are a zoo or other institution approved to keep/display them. I have also been told within the last two days that while false water cobras were once legal in the state, they no longer are. I look for other rear-fanged species (such as hognoses) to be added to the list soon, unfortunately.
Old 05-23-2010, 12:56 AM   #7
I'm sure it's implied but I also wanted to add that I've been told on a couple of occassions by TWRA officers that "turtles" includes native AND non native turtle and land tortoise species. It's kind of controversial though depending on who you ask.
Old 05-25-2010, 06:47 PM   #8
Originally Posted by liltanker View Post
I'm sure it's implied but I also wanted to add that I've been told on a couple of occassions by TWRA officers that "turtles" includes native AND non native turtle and land tortoise species. It's kind of controversial though depending on who you ask.
Yes, that is very true. It does include all species of turtles/tortoises. It can be controversial too, as I've been told that if you claim you are keeping the turtle because you "intend to eat it one day", then it's legal, but if it's a "pet" it's illegal. Makes no sense to me. Haha Some of our laws are a bit extreme regarding certain species, or even confusing.
Old 05-26-2010, 01:26 AM   #9
LOL that's creative. I'll have to tell people that one if they want to get a turtle.
Old 05-26-2010, 11:05 AM   #10

Also, for those who are interested:

Quote reference: http://www.angelfire.com/mo2/animals...le/turtle.html
There are approx 294 species of chelonians alive today. They all share a basic appearance, with a hard shell made up of scutes (hard, bony skin) that can be described as either a hard or soft shell. This shell consists of two parts: the top dorsal carapace and the plastron (the part that protects the belly). Chelonians are a well-known group and can be found in ponds, streams, lakes, and oceans. Several species are endangered. There are three main groups of chelonians: turtles (medium-sized freshwater chelonians and large saltwater chelonians), tortoises (large land dwelling chelonians sometimes found in the desert), and terrapins (small turtles, in North America considered to be one species with hollow plates on the carapace, and in Great Britain considered to be a number of species of pond turtles). There are 11 families:

Chelydridae (snapping turtles, alligator snapping turtles) 3 spp
Emydidae (pond turtles, box turtles, terrapins) 111 spp
Testudinidae (tortoises) 48 spp
Dermatemydidae (river turtles) 1 spp
Kinosternidae (mud turtles, musk turtles) 27 spp
Carettochelyidae (pignose turtles) 1 spp
Trionychidae (softshell turtles) 25 spp
Cheloniidae (sea turtles) 6 spp
Dermochelyidae (leatherback turtles) 1 spp
Pelomedusidae (Afro-American sidenecked turtles) 23 spp
Chelidae (Austro-American sidenecked turtles) 48 spp

Now I'm wondering how they rate whether your claim of food source is true or not. [-( Because for obvious reasons I would never want to eat my pet tortoise.

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