Questions about Federal Legislation?


US Department of Agriculture


             4700 River Road
             Riverdale, MD 20737

             (816) 737-4200





US Fish & Wildlife Service

         1849 C Street, NW
          Washington, DC 20240





Division of Management Authority


Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) 

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

PURPOSE: Issues licenses for commercial purposes ONLY (zoo, facilities, breeders, sanctuaries open to the public, educators using animal programs, etc.) - NOT needed for noncommercial purposes like pets or sanctuaries closed to the public


  • Class A - Breeding and selling animals
  • Class B - Wholesale and brokers
  • Class C - Public exhibition
  • Research license


  1. Animal Welfare Act - Regulates enclosures and care and rules for public exhibition
  2. Captive Wildlife Safety Act - Regulates prohibited wildlife species (cheetah, cougar, jaguar, leopards, lion, and tiger)
    • Prohibits import/export and transport, sale, receipt, acquisition or purchase of a prohibited wildlife species across state lines
    • Does NOT apply to aquiring one within the same state
    • Exemptions:
      • USDA license
      • State college or university
      • State agency
      • State licensed wildlife rehabilitator
      • State licensed veterinarian
      • Wildlife sanctuary that does NOT propagate, commercial trade or allow public contact with such species
      • Transporting an animal to one of the above

UNITED STATES Fish and Wildlife Service

 PURPOSE: Issues licenses for threatened and endangered species, protected species and international import and export


  1. Falconry
  2. Migratory Bird Permit (various)
  3. Endangered Species
    • Captive Bred Wildlife Registration
      • Unlimited import/interstate commerce - Must prove it will enhance the propagation or survival of the species and submit an annual report
    • Interstate Commerce Permit
      • One time use permit
  4. Injurious Species - Import, Acquisition, Transport of Injurious Wildlife Permit


  1. Migratory Bird Treaty Act
    • Requires special permit to take, possess, import, export, transport, sell, purchase, barter, or offer for sale, purchase, or barter any listed migratory bird
    • Allows scientific collecting, banding and marking, falconry, raptor propagation, depredation, import, export, taxidermy, waterfowl sale and disposal, and special purposes - No pets
  2. Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act
    • Provides special protection for eagles
    • Allows scientific, educational, and Indian religious purposes, depredation, and falconry - No pets
  3. Marine Mammal Protection Act
    • Special protection for marine mammals
    • Allows scientific research, public display, enhancing the survival or recovery of a species or stock, educational or commercial photography, and Canada polor bear trophy import - No pets
  4. Wild Bird Conservation Act
    • Requires special permit for import of exotic birds on CITES except US native species, budgie, cockatiel, ducks, goose, swan, guan, currasow, emu, crane, megapod, guinea fowl, pheasant, quail, rhea, ostrich and those on the Approved List of Captive-Bred Species
    • Allows research, zoos and pets
  5. Endangered Species Act
    • Selling or transporting listed species in interstate commerce and also regulates taking of such species
    • Permits not required for possession, buying and selling within the same state or even trades of similar species
    • Permit required for both species - allows research, enhancement of species and incidental take for endangered and zoo, educational use, and special purposes for threatened
  6. Injurious Wildlife (under Lacy Act)
    • Requires special permit for importing into the US or transport across state lines - Not for pets

Species lists for all categories can be found:


US Congress

US House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

US Senate

Washington, DC 20515

Sessions: 2 Years (even-odd)

Convenes: Jan 3 (unless another day appointed)

Adjourns: Usually Dec

Bill Search





Who Represents Me?

Find Your Representatives

Find Your Senators - See Senator list

How A Bill Becomes Law

Legislative Process

Bill Signing Deadlines

During Session: 10 days (exc. Sun)

After: Automatic veto

Pocket Veto: Yes

Bill Effective Date

As specified in bill