N.Y. Environmental Conservation Law Section 11-0538
Direct contact between public and big cats prohibited


1.

As used in this section:

(a)

“Big cat” shall mean any live species of lion (panthera leo), tiger (panthera tigres), leopard (panthera pardus) (with the exception of clouded leopards (neofelis nebulosa)), jaguar (panthera onca), mountain lion, sometimes called cougar (felis concolar) or any hybrid of such species.

(b)

“Direct contact” means physical contact or proximity where physical contact is possible, including, but not limited to, allowing a photograph to be taken without a permanent physical barrier designed to prevent physical contact between the public and big cats.

(c)

“Dealer” shall mean any person who, in commerce, for compensation or profit, delivers for transportation, or transports, except as a carrier, buys, sells, or negotiates the purchase or sale of any animals.

(d)

“Exhibitor” shall mean any person (public or private) exhibiting any animals, which were purchased in commerce or the intended distribution of which affects commerce, or will affect commerce, to the public for compensation, as determined by the commissioner, and such term includes carnivals, circuses, and zoos exhibiting such animals whether operated for profit or not.

2.

It shall be unlawful for any person licensed or required to be licensed as an exhibitor or dealer pursuant to the Animal Welfare Act, 7 USC 2132-2134, including agents or employees of such person, to knowingly allow the public to have direct contact with a big cat.

3.

Any person who violates the provisions of this section shall be subject to a penalty of not more than five hundred dollars for the first offense and not more than one thousand dollars for a second and subsequent offenses. Each instance of allowing direct contact of a big cat with the public in violation of this section shall constitute a separate offense.

4.

Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit or restrict veterinary examination, treatment or care of a big cat or transportation of the animal for such purpose.

Source: Section 11-0538 — Direct contact between public and big cats prohibited, https://www.­nysenate.­gov/legislation/laws/ENV/11-0538 (updated Feb. 13, 2015; accessed Jun. 15, 2024).

11‑0501
Fish and wildlife management practices cooperative program
11‑0503
Polluting streams prohibited
11‑0505
Interference with fish and wildlife
11‑0507
Liberation of fish, shellfish and wildlife
11‑0509
Water chestnut
11‑0511
Possession and transportation of wildlife
11‑0512
Possession, sale, barter, transfer, exchange and import of wild animals as pets prohibited
11‑0513
Pigeons
11‑0514
Eurasian boars prohibited
11‑0515
Licenses to collect, possess or sell for propagation, scientific or exhibition purposes
11‑0517
Taking for propagation and stocking
11‑0519
Disposition of fish, wildlife, game, shellfish, crustacea or protected insects seized by or surrendered to enforcement officers
11‑0521
Destructive wildlife
11‑0522
Urban deer management pilot program
11‑0522‑A
Long Island deer management pilot program
11‑0523
Destructive or menacing wildlife
11‑0524
Nuisance wildlife control operators
11‑0525
Control of rabies in wildlife
11‑0527
State aid to counties participating in control of rabies in wildlife
11‑0529
Cats hunting birds
11‑0531
Bounties prohibited
11‑0533
Licensing of guides
11‑0535
Endangered and threatened species, species of special concern
11‑0535‑A
Illegal ivory articles and rhinoceros horns
11‑0535‑B
Vulnerable species
11‑0535‑C
Endangered and threatened species mitigation bank fund
11‑0536
Sale of certain wild animals or wild animal products prohibited
11‑0537
Bald and golden eagles
11‑0538
Direct contact between public and big cats prohibited
11‑0539
New York natural heritage program
11‑0540
Prohibition on permits authorizing the use of elephants in entertainment acts

Accessed:
Jun. 15, 2024

Last modified:
Feb. 13, 2015

§ 11-0538’s source at nysenate​.gov

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