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Title 50 - Fish, Game and Watercraft
IMPORTATION OF WILDLIFE
SECTION 50-16-10. "Wildlife" defined.
For the purpose of this chapter, "wildlife" means a member of the animal kingdom including without limitation a mammal, fish, bird, amphibian, reptile, mollusk, crustacean, arthropod, or other invertebrate.
SECTION 50-16-20. Importation of wildlife for certain purposes prohibited; investigation; permit.
(A) It is unlawful for a person to import, possess, or transport for the purpose of release or to introduce or bring into this State any live wildlife of the following types without a permit from the department:
(1) a furbearer, a member of the family Cervidae, a nondomestic member of the families Suidae (pigs), Tayassuidae (peccaries), Bovidae (bison, mountain goat, mountain sheep), coyote, bear, or turkey (genus Meleagris). Furbearer includes, but is not limited to, red and gray fox, raccoon, opossum, muskrat, mink, skunk, otter, bobcat, weasel, and beaver;
(2) a species of marine or estuarine fish, crustacean, mollusk, or other marine invertebrate not already found in the wild, or not native to this State.
(3) a species of freshwater fish, crustacean, mollusk, or other freshwater invertebrate not already found in the wild or not native to this State.
(B) A permit may be granted only after the investigations and inspections of the wildlife have been made as the department considers necessary and the department approves the possession, transportation, or importation into the State. The department may not issue a permit unless it finds:
(1) the wildlife was taken lawfully in the jurisdiction in which it originated;
(2) the importation, release, or possession of the wildlife is not reasonably expected to adversely impact the natural resources of the State or its wildlife populations.
SECTION 50-16-25. Release of pigs for hunting purposes.
It is unlawful to release or transport for the purpose of release a member of the family Suidae (pig) for hunting purposes or in an attempt to establish or supplement a free roaming population; however, a landowner may capture and release a pig so long as: (1) the pig is captured pursuant to a permit issued without charge by the Department of Natural Resources, and (2) the pig is released on the same tract on which the pig was captured or on an adjoining tract with permission of the owner of the adjoining tract. Under no circumstances may a pig be released in a county other than the county in which the pig was captured.
SECTION 50-16-30. Importation of diseased animals prohibited.
It is unlawful for a person to possess, transport, or otherwise bring into the State or release or introduce into the State any diseased wildlife or other animal that reasonably might be expected to pose a public health or safety hazard as determined by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control after consultation with the department.
SECTION 50-16-40. Exception to permit requirement for wildlife imported for exhibition purposes.
Wildlife imported for exhibition purposes only by state wildlife departments, municipal zoos or parks, public museums, public zoological parks, and public scientific or educational institutions operated not for profit, and transient circuses are not required to procure a permit under Section 50-16-20. Nothing in this chapter prohibits the department or its duly authorized agents from possessing, importing, or releasing wildlife.
SECTION 50-16-50. Authority to promulgate regulations.
The department may promulgate regulations to effectuate the provisions of this chapter.
SECTION 50-16-60. Exception to permit requirement for certain wildlife imported for sale as pets.
The importation of the following wildlife for sale in the pet trade does not require a permit:
1. tropical fishes
2. rats and mice
6. shell parakeets
7. love birds
11. mynah birds
14. guinea pigs
The provisions of this section do not privilege the import or possession of a species otherwise protected or regulated by other provisions of this title.
SECTION 50-16-70. Penalties.
A person violating the provisions of this chapter is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.