South Carolina Legislature

         1100 Gervais Street

         Columbia, SC 29201

Sessions: 2 year (odd-even)

Convenes: Jan (2nd Tue)

Adjourns: Jun (1st Tue)

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During Session: 5 days except Sun
After Session: 2 days after next

Pocket Veto: No
South Carolina Constitution Art 4 Sec 21

Bill Effective Date

20th day
SC Code of Laws Tit 2 Ch 7 Art 1 Sec 10


Department of Natural Resources

   Rembert C. Dennis Building

   1000 Assembly Street

   Columbia, SC 29201 
   (803) 734-3888

Board: Natural Resources Board

Meets: Monthly (3rd Thu) 




Wildlife Permits

(803) 734-3833   


NEW: Effective 1/1/2018, bans the possession, sale, import and breeding of large wild cats (lion, tiger, leopard, jaguar, cheetah, snow leopards, and clouded leopard), non-native bears and great apes.  It also revises the public contact to make it default to the Animal Welfare Act Handling of Animals. 


  • Registers with animal control authority by 1/1/2018 with name, address, phone, inventory of such animals, photograph or microchip number per animal, site address along with $500 site fee and $100 per animal
  • Promptly notifies animal control authority of any information changes
  • Maintain records that show prior acquisition and present to animal control or law enforcement upon request
  • Complies with USDA basic housing standards and protecting the public and allows animal control to conduct inspections
  • Immediately notifies animal control authority, local sheriff and police department of any escapes
  • Complies with all other laws


  • Duly incorporated nonprofit animal protection organizations holding one temporarily upon request
  • Federal/state wildlife enforcement officers
  • Animal control or law enforcement agencies or officers
  • Veterinary hospitals, clinics, veterinarians and employees
  • USDA Class R university, college, laboratory, research facility
  • USDA Class A, B or C (current and future)
  • USDA Class C circus temporarily in the state
  • Intermediate handler for USDA licensee transporting through the state


  • Allows animal control authority to confiscate if they have probable cause to believe that one is held in violation of this chapter, it poses an imminent, immediate threat to public health or safety or it is in imminent danger of loss of life from the possessor as determined by a vet
  •  Animals must be returned if animal control or law enforcement determine the above not to apply; if not returned, animals must be sent to exempt facility or out-of-state
  • Owner must be notified of seizures by mail and is liable for costs during determination
  • Does not require a city or county to adopt an ordinance to comply with the chapter
  • Violations are max of $1000 or max 30 days jail for 1st offense and max $5000 and up to 90 days jail for 2nd offense

(H 3531 – 5/11/17)

No carnivores not normally domesticated, including hybrids, may be sold as pets.  USDA licensed publicly owned zoos and dealers licensed on the effective date are exempt, but they may not sell to pet owners, and public displays must prevent public contact.  Ferrets are exempt but sellers must display a special sign and give a copy to buyers.  (South Carolina Code 47-5-20, 47-5-50)


Possession and importation of wolves requires a permit (South Carolina Code 50-11-1765). 

The Captive Alligator Propagation Act requires $100 annual permit for propagation of American alligators for commercial purposes which authorizes purchasing live alligators and eggs, selling to other propagators or outside the state, selling alligator products and exhibition. (S 714/Act 159/South Carolina Code 50-15, 4/14/2014) 

Other Herp: Spotted turtles require a Spotted Turtle Permit, but adult spotted turtles may not be sold and only 9 adults may be wild caught.  BANS Southern hognose snakes and sea turtles except for research and education under a permit. 

(SC Code Regulations Ch. 123 Art. 5 123-151.1, 123-150.1, 123-153, 123-151.2)


BANS importation of coyotes and foxes except for exhibition (South Carolina Code 50-11-2640).  The importation of furbearers (red and gray foxes, raccoons, opossums, muskrats, minks, skunks, otters, bobcats, weasels, and beavers), Cervidaes, nondomestic pigs, peccaries, Bovidaes, coyotes, bears, turkeys and non native marine or estuarine or freshwater fish, crustacean, mollusk, or other marine invertebrate requires a permit except for exhibition by state wildlife departments, municipal zoos or parks, public museums, public zoological parks, public scientific or educational institutions, and transient circuses.  Certain birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians imported as pets are also exempt.  (South Carolina Code 50-16)