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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, 08:57 PM   #1
South Carolina state law issues

State Homepage -

State Legislature -

State Statutes/Code -
Old 04-13-2004, 09:53 AM   #2
Link to their Fish and Game Laws:

(It was buried under several other links - difficult to find)
Old 05-16-2012, 07:13 AM   #3
Greenville County Ordinances


4-11 Definitions

Wild animal/wildlife: Any animal indigenous to this state that is not domesticated. Furthermore, all animals commonly accepted as being “wild” and including, but is not limited to, the following, no matter how domesticated they may be:

(a) Alligators and crocodiles;

(b) Bears (ursidae);

(c) Cat family (felidae) that includes, but is not limited to, bobcats, tigers, leopards, lions and panthers, except commonly domesticated cats;

(d) Coyotes, foxes, wolves, including the offspring of 1 of the foregoing with a domestic dog, wherein the proportion of wild animal exceeds 1/4;

(e) Porcupine (erethizontiade);

(f) Non-human primates (hominidae);

(g) Raccoon (procynmidae);

(h) Skunks;

(i) Venomous snakes, constrictor snakes that grow larger than 5 feet in length, or venomous lizards; and

(j) Weasels (mustelidae), except “European” ferrets.

However, the definition of a wild animal shall not be construed to apply to “exotic” birds or animals that are not dangerous to humans and may lawfully be purchased at pet stores or commercial locations, except for those animals specifically mentioned above.

Furthermore, this section shall not apply to domesticated herds of deer, antelope, buffalo or similar herd animals that may be lawfully possessed and are maintained in safe and secure fenced areas for commercial, educational or entertainment purposes, so long as all other provisions concerning humane treatment of animals are complied with.

(1976 Code, § 4-11) (Ord. No. 301, § 2; Am. Ord. 731, § 2; Am. Ord. 1954, §§ 2, 3, 3-21-89; Am. Ord. 2130, §§ 2, 3, 4(1), 6-5-90; Am. Ord. 4099, § 3, 4-3-07; Am. Ord. 4396, § 3, 11-16-2010)


(a) Prohibition. No person shall keep or permit to be kept on his premises any wild, dangerous or vicious animal as a pet, for display or exhibition purposes, without first obtaining a permit therefor.

(b) Permit applications. Permit applications must be submitted annually to the animal control office, or its designee(s), on a form approved by the animal control office, which shall state the name, address and telephone number of the applicant; and the breed, sex, color and age of the animals. The applications must be accompanied by a $50 application fee and a $10 fee for each animal. The fee will be paid annually each by July 1. No permit shall be granted unless the applicant provides satisfactory assurances that said animal(s) is not capable of being returned to its natural environment (in the case of wild animals); and will be provided with sufficient good and wholesome food and water, proper shelter and protection from the weather, veterinary care when needed to prevent suffering, and humane care and treatment; and that the animal(s) will not be cruelly ill treated, tormented, overloaded, overworked or otherwise abused; and that adequate protective devices are provided to prevent it from escaping or injuring the public. The applicant shall further specify the duration, method, location and dimensions of any cages, pens or confinement area. Public or traveling exhibitions of wild or vicious animals shall be subject to random inspection of the premises and the animal(s) possessed, displayed or exhibited. The applicant shall further comply with S.C. Code § 47-3-760(E) prior to the issuance of the permit by the county. No permit shall be issued unless the applicant has complied with all state and federal regulations concerning the possession, display or exhibition of wild or vicious animals. All applicants must be 18 years of age or older.

(c) Denial or revocation of permit. The animal control office may decline to grant a permit or may revoke a permit if the annual fees are not paid by July 1, and in the opinion of the animal control officer, said animal(s) is capable of being returned to its natural environment (in the case of wild animals); or has not or will not be provided with sufficient good and wholesome food and water, proper shelter and protection from the weather, veterinary care when needed to prevent suffering, and humane care and treatment; or that the animal(s) have been or will be cruelly ill treated, tormented, overloaded, overworked or otherwise abused; or that adequate protective devices are not provided to prevent it from escaping or injuring the public. Upon a determination that a permit should not be granted, all fees shall be returned and a written explanation for the denial shall be thereupon provided. Upon a determination that a permit shall be revoked, no fees shall be returned, but a written explanation for the revocation shall be provided. Any person aggrieved by this section may appeal to the County Administrator who, after due investigation, may modify, overturn or amend the determination of the animal control office. The County Administrator, with the consent of county council, may delegate this appeals review authority to such individuals, entities or organizations, other than the animal control office, which possesses the ability and willingness to handle such reviews. The determination of the Administrator or delegate shall be final.

(d) Temporary permits. The animal control office may issue a temporary permit, when appropriate, without a fee, for the keeping, care and protection of an infant animal native to this area, which has been deemed to be orphaned or displaced from its natural environment and is unsuitable for return to the wild, due to its age. An applicant may obtain said permit through verbal or telephonic communication, provided that a written application is submitted and physical examination of the animal by an animal control officer is conducted within 15 days. No permit shall be issued unless state and federal regulations have been fully complied with.

(e) Release of wild animals held under permit. The animal control office shall have the power to release or order the release of any infant wild animal kept under temporary permit and deemed capable of survival, and may take custody of any infant wild animal when the applicant is unable to properly care for and protect the animal.

(f) Euthanasia. No wild animal will be subject to euthanasia unless, through consultation and cooperation with state wildlife officials, it is determined to be the only humane alternative for said animal. The animal control office and shelter, in cooperation with state wildlife officials, shall exercise due diligence to return a wild animal to its natural environment or, if the animal is not suitable for return, then alternative and humane placement shall be diligently sought.

(g) Exclusions. An animal shelter, a publicly owned zoological park, veterinary hospital, public laboratory, publicly owned facility for education, a facility operated for scientific purposes, and all governmental entities shall be exempt from the requirements of this section. This section shall not apply to the possession of wild animals for motion picture filming where otherwise permitted by law, if reasonable precautions are taken for the safety of the public and welfare of the animal. This section shall not apply to persons raising members of Mustelidae species as a business for pelts.

(1976 Code, § 4-19) (Ord. No. 2130, § 7, 6-5-90; Ord. No. 4099, § 3, 4-3-07) es$fn=default.htm$3.0$vid=amlegal:greenvillecocode _sc
(might have to copy and pate link)
Old 01-18-2021, 10:24 PM   #4
USARK Alert: South Carolina Tegu Ban

ALERT: South Carolina tegu ban

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) has proposed a ban on the Argentine black and white tegu. This species would be listed as Restricted Nonnative Wildlife. The regulation will include restrictions on possession, sale, offer for sale, transfer of possession, import, release, reproduction, and escape of designated species and associated permitting.

Specifically, the listing will:

1. Create restrictions for black and white tegus.
2. Allows the Department to issue permits.
3. Establish a registration period for current owners (grandfather period).
4. Require tegus to be microchipped (PIT-tagged).
5. Establish permit rules.
6. Prohibit reproduction of this species.
7. Establish caging criteria.
8. Require reporting of escapes and missing tegus.
9. States permits are void upon the death of registered tegus (no additional tegus can be kept after current, permitted animal(s) die.
10. Ban the in-state sale of tegus.

Comments may be directed to Emily Cope no later than January 25, 2021.

Emily Cope email:
Emily Cope phone: 803-734-3886
Mailing address: Wildlife & Freshwater Fisheries Division, Department of Natural Resources, Post Office Box 167, Columbia, SC 29202

Read the SCDNR proposal at

Read the proposed regulation text at the bottom of this alert.
Talking Points
These can be used in your comments. Please edit and personalize.
If SCDNR must regulate tegus, there must be a common-sense approach allowing responsible keepers and breeders continued trade activities.
Reptile enthusiasts want to protect our State’s environment and work with SCDNR on non-native species issues.
Tegus can be bred in South Carolina while still protecting the State’s environment.
Responsible herpetoculturists can certainly keep this species without harming South Carolina’s wildlife and environment.
Irresponsible persons should be punished but a ban that does not consider current tegu breeders is overreaching and unjust.
Responsible herpetoculturists want to address problems but SCDNR should realize that we responsible keepers are not the problem and attention should be focused on any bad actors who are causing the problems within our state.
A ban without common-sense exceptions and permits will create additional issues, such as creating an underground black market or causing additional releases.
Proposed Regulation Text


Non-Game and Endangered Species

123-152. Regulations for Nonnative Wildlife.

The Department has determined that the species designated as Restricted Nonnative Wildlife have the potential to become established in this State in sufficient numbers so as to become a nuisance and pose a demonstrable deleterious and widespread threat to wildlife, agriculture, or human health and safety. As used in this regulation, Restricted Nonnative Wildlife and the associated Listing Date are:
Black and White Tegu (Salvator merianae and, as used in this regulation, their hybrids) (listing date:[effective date of regulation])
Unless otherwise authorized by the Department, no person, firm, corporation, partnership, association, or any other entity shall possess, sell, offer for sale, transfer possession of, import, bring, release, reproduce, allow to escape, or cause to be brought or imported into the State of South Carolina any Restricted Nonnative Wildlife. Pursuant to the Department’s authority to regulate nonnative wildlife under S.C. Code Section 50-15-55, the provisions of S.C. Code Section 50-16-60 do not apply to Restricted Nonnative Wildlife.
The Department may issue a permit for the possession, import, release, reproduction, and transfer of Restricted Nonnative Wildlife for scientific and other special purposes at its discretion, provided that any such permit shall be conditioned to minimize risks of the hazardous exposure, release and proliferation of the Restricted Nonnative Wildlife.
Additional provisions for specific Restricted Nonnative Wildlife
Black and White Tegu
A person, firm, corporation, partnership, association, or any other entity possessing a Black and White Tegu has 120 days from the listing date, the Registration Period, to register the total number of Black and White Tegu in their possession with the Department and obtain a permit, as conditioned herein, in order to retain the registered animals. During the Registration Period, Black and White Tegus may be possessed, bought, sold, or transferred but may not be imported, brought, released, reproduced, or allowed to escape in South Carolina.
All Black and White Tegus must be microchipped with a unique identification number, at the owner’s expense. The unique identification number must be supplied to the Department at the time of registration and to receive a permit.
iii. Permits for registered animals are valid for three years and must be renewed within 30 days of expiration. After the Registration Period, no Black and White Tegu may be possessed without a permit issued by the Department. Permits may not be transferred. If Black and White Tegus are removed from South Carolina, the permit becomes void and must be surrendered to the Department within five days

Reproduction of permitted Black and White Tegus is not allowed.
Black and White Tegus must be kept indoors in escape proof enclosures, or outdoors in locked enclosures with primary and secondary containment barriers, each sufficient to prevent escape.
Escaped or missing Black and White Tegus must be reported to the Department within 24 hours.
vii. Upon death of the Black and White Tegu, possession permits become void and must be surrendered to the Department within five days.

Failure to comply with permit terms and conditions is a violation of these regulations. Violations of these regulations are subject to the penalties and enforcement provisions of S.C. Code Section 50-15-80.
Old 05-10-2021, 12:38 PM   #5

Click link for contact info and where to send comments!

UPDATE: There must be constant phone calls and emails today and tomorrow morning (May 10/11) if there is any chance to stop this! We have new sample letters and more below. If you already called/emailed, do it again! If either bill passes tomorrow, phone calls and emails must be immediately redirected to the Governor’s office (see below). There are also herpetoculturists gathering at the Capitol on May 11 to bring attention to this unjust action. Details at

Contact the SC legislators ASAP! It only takes a few minutes! This is a backdoor effort to completely ban non-native venomous reptiles just before the last day of the session. This was done to hide from the opposition and it makes a mockery of the legislative process and American government. After returning from a short recess, the vote will happen on Tuesday (May 11).

Two bills moving through the South Carolina legislature regarding non-herpetoculture matters were amended to include a ban on non-native venomous reptiles. Both bills were nearly through the legislative process when the amendments were added. H3539 adds the ban to the previous text regarding swine. H3056 completely stripped the previous bill language regarding various SCDNR laws and replaced it with this ban.

The bills vary slightly but both will:
1.ban all non-native venomous reptiles of the class Reptilia belonging to the families Elapidae, Crotalidae, Viperidae, and Hydrophiidae;
2.ban all non-native venomous reptiles in the genus Heloderma;
3.ban all non-native venomous reptiles in the family Colubridae belonging to the genera: Rhabdophis, Boiga, Dispholidus, Thelatornis, and Atractapsi;
4.make it unlawful for a person to import into, possess, keep, purchase, have custody or control of, reproduce, or sell a non-native venomous reptile, including transactions conducted via the Internet;
5.find that a person who possesses non-native venomous reptiles may be guilty of a felony and may be fined up to five thousand dollars or imprisoned up to five years.

Exceptions allowed only for:
•Association of Zoos and Aquariums accredited facilities;
•any business engaged in the public exhibition of non-native venomous reptiles. The exhibition must be at a non-traveling, fixed facility that is open to the public for a time no less than thirty hours per week for at least six months each year.

Bill differences (we have links to both bill texts at the bottom of the alert):
•H3056 is an immediate, overnight ban! You cannot keep current animals and you are an instant criminal if it passes.
•H3539 does allow for current animals to be kept (but no breeding, sales, future acquisitions, etc.) if you register them, pay a fee (one hundred dollars per non-native venomous reptile), and follow the new rules of compliance.
•Violation of either bill would be a felony and the person may be fined up to five thousand dollars or imprisoned up to five years.

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