Originally Posted by Faraday40
I don't think I needed a permit for the Prairie Dogs, but I'm sure that has changed by now. One year (maybe 2003) there was a huge monkey pox scare. Basically some new PD owners contracted this African disease via a batch of infected PDs. The state immediately reacted by killing all the PDs & other rodents in pet stores & making the sale of PDs illegal. They contacted me to see if we were ill. Then they let know that they would kill our prairie dogs for us (like it was a favor). They thought I was crazy for wanting to keep them. At that time I had owned PDs for almost 6 yrs & had never gotten monkey pox. To this day, Yahoo was the best pet I ever had. I answered all the state's questions & faxed my sales receipts with health certificates. To me it was obvious that the illness may have been transmitted via a few PDs, but could not have possibly originated there. They told me that PDs were now illegal but my current PDs could be grand-fathered in. They would have to remain at my address & could never be sold or transported off the property. Eventually the state was able to trace the history of the infected PDs back to a train ride from TX to IL where the 200 PDs were shipped next to a sick African pouched rat. Those PDs went to a distributor who then sold them throughout IL, WI, & IN. I don't blame the gov. for reacting quickly in an attempt to prevent a monkey pox epidemic, but in less than 3 weeks, we knew the source had nothing to do with PDs. The news was still reporting that PDs were spreading monkey pox. Besides the pet store inventories, huge wild exterminations were taking place in the western US. The gov in a panic made PDs illegal, but it took over 5 years to repeal the rushed law. That law made it very difficult to buy their proper food & see a vet. (Was I breaking the law when I brought my beloved pets to the exotic vet for their annual physicals?)
This kind of hassle is when the USDA licence comes in handy, I'm sure they could still push culling on a break out, but beyond that the USDA license is the same license that zoos have and thus you are legally a zoo at that point and enjoy exemptions from most state or local bans as most governments don't want to ban animals shows, carnivals, circuses, movie crews or even live performances with animals...
For example here is the exemption in Illinois Dangerous Animals Act
Edited by MeepBeep - 5/6/16 at 9:39pm
585/1. Dangerous animals prohibited--Exceptions
§1. No person shall have a right of property in, keep, harbor, care for, act as custodian of or maintain in his
possession any dangerous animal except at a properly maintained zoological park, federally licensed exhibit,
circus, scientific or educational institution, research laboratory, veterinary hospital or animal refuge in an
Amended by P.A. 84-28, §3, eff. Jan. 1, 1986.