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Code of Regulations

Department of Natural Resources


Regulations for Species or Subspecies of Non-game Wildlife.


Exchange and Transfer for Certain Native Reptiles and Amphibians.

123-151.3. Exchange and Transfer for Certain Native Reptiles and Amphibians.

A. No native reptile or amphibian, including parts, products, eggs, and derivatives may be sold, purchased, traded, exchanged, bartered, exported or shipped, transferred and/or re-homed, except:

1. Transferring possession of a native reptile or amphibian to the Department or the Department's designated recipient. The circumstances of acceptance shall be at the Department's discretion.

2. Transferring possession of native reptiles or amphibians when lawfully possessed and transfer is specifically authorized pursuant to other applicable federal or state laws, including those in Title 50. With respect to S.C. Code Section 50-16-60 this exception shall not apply and the provisions of S.C. Code Section 50-15-15 and the associated regulations in 123-151.3 and 123-151.4 shall have priority concerning possession and transfer of reptiles and amphibians.

3. Zoos and Aquaria maintaining accreditation or certification by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, accredited research institutions under Institutional Care and Use Committees, and schools and educational displays open to the public may transfer and receive transferred reptiles and amphibians and must provide written notification to the Department specifying the number and species prior to transfer. Any such transfer may not be a sale, purchase, barter, or other commercial transaction. This exception also applies to the donor of a native reptile or amphibian to the above entities.

4. Venom or venom derivatives obtained or produced by a laboratory.

5. Any non-native phenotype (i.e. - "morph" or genetic mutation) of native snake species.

6. Any native wild phenotype of the following species reproduced in captivity and under 10 inches in total length, eastern garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis), mole king snake (Lampropeltis calligaster), and eastern milksnake (Lampropeltis triangulum).

7. Any native wild phenotype of the following species reproduced in captivity and under 20 inches in total length, corn snake (Pantherophis guttatus), rat snake (Pantherophis sp.), and eastern king snake (Lampropeltis getula)

8. Any native wild phenotype of the following species reproduced in captivity and, or under 24 inches in total length, pine snake (Pituophis melanoleucus).

9. The yellow-bellied slider (Trachemys scripta) species and the common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) species if these turtles were taken from a) a permitted aquaculture facility or b) a private pond pursuant to a permit issued by the Department at the request of the owner or owner's agent. Any person transporting more than five yellow-bellied sliders (Trachemys scripta) species or common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) species must be in possession of a permit pursuant to which the turtles were taken or acquired. A person selling, offering to sell, or purchasing these species must have documentation from the aquaculture facility or permitted private pond as to the origin of the turtles.

10. American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis), alligator eggs, alligator parts, and alligator products, while subject to regulation under other provisions of Title 50.

11. Bull Frogs Lithobates (Rana) catesbeianus.

12. Native reptiles and amphibians may be transferred to department-permitted wildlife rehabilitators for the purpose of rehabilitation and release. Any transfer may not be a sale, purchase, barter, or other commercial transaction. Wildlife rehabilitators may be permitted by the Department by demonstrating the following:

a. All captive reptiles and amphibians must receive proper care to ensure:

i. appropriate bedding, cover, temperature regulation, and secure shelter;

ii. potable water is accessible at all times or sufficient to meet daily requirements;

iii. food of a quantity and nutritive value to meet normal requirements; and

iv. an effective program for the control of diseases, parasites, and pests is established and maintained.

b. Any permitted wildlife rehabilitator must show proof of veterinary care either:

i. by being a licensed veterinarian; or

ii. with a letter from the treating or consulting veterinarian, or veterinary practice, listing the permit holder and those species for which the veterinary practice will provide treatment or consultation.

c. Providing an annual report documenting all reptiles and amphibians transferred to the permitted individual or facility and from the permitted individual or facility and will describe the final disposition of each individual.

13. Native American Indian tribes recognized Federally or by the State of South Carolina's Commission for Minority Affairs, pursuant to S.C. Code Section 1-31-60, and their members may transfer possession of parts of dead native reptiles when such parts are or will be incorporated in Native American cultural items and religious items, including but not limited to regalia, decorative attire, religious items, and musical instruments. This exception does not apply to live animals.

B. An otherwise lawful collection of native reptiles or amphibians may be exported from the State of South Carolina if an export permit is first obtained from the Department. Export permits are only available when an individual or legal entity is permanently relocating to another state.

C. Temporary export permits for native reptiles and amphibians may be granted at the discretion of the Department for the purposes of education, rehabilitation, and conservation where the animals will return to their state of origin.

D. Any state endangered or threatened and in need of management species are subject to the protections provided by S.C. Code Sections 50-15-10, et seq. and shall not be possessed or transferred except by permit issued by the Department.

E. The penalties for violation of this regulation are prescribed in S.C. Code Section 50-15-80.

HISTORY: Added by SCSR 45-5 Doc. No. 5007, eff May 28, 2021.

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