Administrative Code

Creating a Report: Check the sections you'd like to appear in the report, then use the "Create Report" button at the bottom of the page to generate your report. Once the report is generated you'll then have the option to download it as a pdf, print or email the report.

Virginia Administrative Code
Title 4. Conservation And Natural Resources
Agency 15. Department of Wildlife Resources
Chapter 30. Definitions and Miscellaneous: Importation, Possession, Sale, etc., of Animals

4VAC15-30-50. Possession, transportation, and release of wildlife by authorized persons.

A. Department employees in the performance of their official duties; U.S. government agencies' employees whose responsibility includes fisheries and wildlife management; county, city, or town animal control officers in the performance of their official duties related to public health concerns or problem wildlife removal; and individuals operating under conditions of a commercial nuisance animal permit issued by the department pursuant to §§ 29.1-412 and 29.1-417 of the Code of Virginia will be deemed to be permitted pursuant to this section to capture, temporarily hold or possess, transport, release, and when necessary humanely dispatch wildlife, provided that the methods of and documentation for the capture, possession, transport, release, and humane dispatch shall be in accordance with director policy.

B. Local animal shelters operating under the authority of, or under contract with, any county, city, or town with animal control responsibilities shall be authorized to receive, temporarily confine, and humanely euthanize wildlife, except for state or federal threatened and endangered species, federally protected migratory bird species, black bear, white-tailed deer, and wild turkey, provided that the methods of and documentation for the possession, confinement, and euthanasia shall be in accordance with conditions defined by the agency director. Provided further that any person may legally transport wildlife, except for those species listed in this subsection, to an authorized animal shelter after contacting the facility to confirm the animal will be accepted.

C. Wildlife rehabilitators permitted by the department shall be authorized to receive, temporarily confine, provide medical care to, release, and humanely dispatch wildlife provided that the methods of and documentation for such activities shall be in accordance with permit conditions defined by the department. Any person may capture and transport an injured, debilitated, sick, or orphaned wild animal without unnecessary delay directly to a permitted wildlife rehabilitator, department employee, or other person authorized by the department to possess and transport these animals, but only after contacting the facility, employee, or authorized person to confirm the animal will be accepted. Prior to transport, no care may be provided to a wild animal, except as directed by a permitted wildlife rehabilitator or department employee. Following rehabilitation, transport and release of native wildlife shall be allowed as long as such activities are conducted in accordance with permit conditions.

D. Employees or agents of other state wildlife agencies while in the performance of their official duty in transporting wildlife through the Commonwealth will be deemed to be permitted pursuant to this section, provided that a list of animals to be transported, a schedule of dates and locations where those animals will be housed while in the Commonwealth, and a letter of authorization from both the forwarding and receiving state agencies are provided to the department 24 hours prior to the transporting of such animals, and further provided that such animals shall not be liberated within the Commonwealth.

E. Employees or agents of government agencies, while in the performance of their official duties, may temporarily possess, transport, and dispose of carcasses of wild animals killed by vehicles, except for state or federal threatened and endangered species, and federally protected migratory bird species.

F. With prior written approval from the director or the director's designee and under conditions of an applicable department permit, institutions with bona fide accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums may possess, transport, have transported, export, or import native and naturalized species defined in the List of Native and Naturalized Fauna of Virginia, which is incorporated by reference into 4VAC15-20-50.

Statutory Authority

§§ 29.1-103 and 29.1-501 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR325-01-2 § 5, eff. February 22, 1995; amended, Virginia Register Volume 19, Issue 19, eff. July 1, 2003; Volume 27, Issue 23, eff. July 1, 2011; Volume 29, Issue 25, eff. August 15, 2013; Volume 33, Issue 24, eff. August 1, 2017; Volume 35, Issue 23, eff. August 1, 2019.

Website addresses provided in the Virginia Administrative Code to documents incorporated by reference are for the reader's convenience only, may not necessarily be active or current, and should not be relied upon. To ensure the information incorporated by reference is accurate, the reader is encouraged to use the source document described in the regulation.

As a service to the public, the Virginia Administrative Code is provided online by the Virginia General Assembly. We are unable to answer legal questions or respond to requests for legal advice, including application of law to specific fact. To understand and protect your legal rights, you should consult an attorney.