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S. 2731 (108th): Captive Exotic Animal Protection Act of 2004

The text of the bill below is as of Jul 22, 2004 (Introduced). The bill was not enacted into law.

S 2731 IS


2d Session

S. 2731

To amend title 18, United States Code, to prohibit certain interstate conduct relating to exotic animals.


July 22, 2004

Mr. LAUTENBERG (for himself, Mr. BIDEN, Mr. KENNEDY, Mr. LEVIN, Mr. CORZINE, Mrs. FEINSTEIN, Mr. FEINGOLD, Mr. KOHL, Mr. DURBIN, and Mr. SCHUMER) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


To amend title 18, United States Code, to prohibit certain interstate conduct relating to exotic animals.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


    This Act may be cited as the ‘Captive Exotic Animal Protection Act of 2004’.


    Congress finds the following:

      (1) The ethic of hunting involves the consideration of fair chase, which allows the animal the opportunity to avoid the hunter.

      (2) At more than 1,000 commercial canned hunt operations across the country, trophy hunters pay a fee to shoot captive exotic animals, from African lions to giraffes and blackbuck antelope, in fenced-in enclosures.

      (3) Clustered in a captive setting at unusually high densities, confined exotic animals attract disease more readily than more widely dispersed native species who roam freely.

      (4) The transportation of captive exotic animals to commercial canned hunt operations can facilitate the spread of disease across great distances.

      (5) The regulation of the transport and treatment of exotic animals on shooting preserves falls outside the traditional domains of State agriculture departments and State fish and game agencies.

      (6) This Act is limited in its purpose and will not limit the licensed hunting of any native mammals or any native or exotic birds.

      (7) This Act does not aim to criticize those hunters who pursue animals that are not enclosed within a fence.

      (8) This Act does not attempt to prohibit slaughterhouse activities, nor does it aim to prohibit the routine euthanasia of domesticated farm animals.


    (a) IN GENERAL- Chapter 3 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

‘Sec. 49. Exotic animals

    ‘(a) PROHIBITION- Whoever, in or substantially affecting interstate or foreign commerce, knowingly transfers, transports, or possesses a confined exotic animal, for the purposes of allowing the killing or injuring of that animal for entertainment or for the collection of a trophy, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both.

    ‘(b) DEFINITIONS- In this section--

      ‘(1) the term ‘confined exotic animal’ means a mammal of a species not historically indigenous to the United States, that has been held in captivity, whether or not the defendant knows the length of the captivity, for the shorter of--

        ‘(A) the majority of the animal’s life; or

        ‘(B) a period of 1 year; and

      ‘(2) the term ‘captivity’ does not include any period during which an animal lives as it would in the wild--

        ‘(A) surviving primarily by foraging for naturally occurring food;

        ‘(B) roaming at will over an open area of not less than 1,000 acres; and

        ‘(C) having the opportunity to avoid hunters.


      ‘(1) IN GENERAL- Any person authorized by the Secretary of the Interior, acting through the Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, may--

        ‘(A) without a warrant, arrest any person that violates this section (including regulations promulgated under this section) in the presence or view of the arresting person;

        ‘(B) execute any warrant or other process issued by an officer or court of competent jurisdiction to enforce this section; and

        ‘(C) with a search warrant, search for and seize any animal taken or possessed in violation of this section.

      ‘(2) FORFEITURE- Any animal seized with or without a search warrant shall be held by the Secretary or by a United States marshal, and upon conviction, shall be forfeited to the United States and disposed of by the Secretary of the Interior in accordance with law.

      ‘(3) ASSISTANCE- The Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service may use by agreement, with or without reimbursement, the personnel and services of any other Federal or State agency for the purpose of enforcing this section.’.

    (b) TECHNICAL AMENDMENT- The analysis for chapter 3 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

‘Sec. 49. Exotic animals’.