Controlled Exotic Snake Permit (a.k.a. Nonindigenous Snake Permit)
Frequently Asked Questions
Relating to the Possession, Purchase, Sale, or Transportation of Certain Snakes
- Q. What statute regulates the possession of certain species of non-indigenous constrictor and venomous snakes?
- A. Parks and Wildlife (PWC) Code, Chapter 43, Subchapter V.
- Q. What snakes are regulated by PWC, Chapter 43, Subchapter V?
- A. All non-indigenous (species not native to Texas) venomous snakes and the following constrictors: African rock python (Python sebae), Asiatic rock python (Python molurus), green anaconda (Eunectes murinus), reticulated python (python reticulates), and southern African python (Python natalensis).
- Q. When does the new statute take effect?
- A. Effective September 01, 2007, no person may intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence release or allow the release from captivity of a snake covered by the statute. The statute also requires the department to implement a permit for the possession and transport of non-indigenous venomous snakes and constrictors by April 1, 2008. After that time, a permit will be required for the possession or transport of any regulated snake.
- Q. Has the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) adopted new regulations under the authority of PWC, Chapter 43, Subchapter V?
- A. Yes. TPWD has adopted new regulations (31 TAC §§55.651-65.656) governing the possession, transportation, release and permitting.
- Q. Where can I get a permit?
- A. Permits will be available directly from the department and wherever licenses are sold. The permits will be available on April 01, 2008.
- Q. Will I be allowed to breed or sell snakes regulated by the department?
- A. Yes. TPWD has established a commercial permit for breeding and/or sale of regulated snakes.
- Q. What permits are available?
- A. Permits available are:
- $20.00 – Recreational Controlled Exotic Snakes (RCES) Permit (Item 580):
- Allows posssession and/or transportation of an unlimited number of snakes, but does not allow sale.
- Sales receipt for purchase of affected snake serves as a 21-day temporary RCES permit for purchaser.
- $60.00 – Commercial Controlled Exotic Snakes (CCES) Permit (Item 581):
- Allows possession, transportation, and/or sale of an unlimited number of snakes.
- CCES permit required and must be maintained on premises for each permanent place of business.
- Legible copy of CCES permit required on permittee's person if regulated activity occurs off-site.
- Daily activity log for purchases and sales must be maintained and available for inspections - Commercial Controlled Exotic Snake Permit Report (PWD 1195) (Word 105.5 KB).
- Q. Are hybrids species governed by the statute?
- A. Yes. Anyone who possesses, buys, or sells hybrids of a listed species must obtain an appropriate permit.
- Q. Are there exceptions that allow individuals to be exempt from obtaining the permit?
- A. Yes. State or county officials performing official duties; licensed zoos and research facilities; and individuals assisting a TPWD employee in handling or transporting regulated snakes are exempt from obtaining a permit.
- Q. Can I release a regulated snake into the wild?
- A. No. A person who intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence releases a regulated snake from captivity commits a Class A Misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $4,000; and/or confinement in jail for a term not to exceed one year.
- Q. What are the penalties for violating the rules?
- A. A person convicted of a violation of this subchapter or a rule adopted under this subchapter may not obtain a permit before the fifth anniversary of the date of the conviction [§43.851(e)].
A violation of Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43, Subchapter V, or a rule adopted by the commission under authority of Chapter 43, Subchapter V is a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of between $25 and $500.
The release of a controlled exotic snake, is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of between $500 and $4,000, imprisonment for up to one year, or both.
- Q. Where can I obtain a copy of the statutes and regulations?
- A. Please visit www.capitol.state.tx.us to review statutes and regulations.
Statutes – (Parks and Wildlife Code) Chapter 43, Subchapter V §43.851 - §43.856
Regulations – (Administrative Code) Chapter 55 Subchapter J §55.652 - §55.657
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