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Import requirements for exotic animals

Basic import requirements

For exotics and wildlife, basic import requirements are:
  • Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) issued less than 30 days prior to entry
  • an import permit issued by this office. For a permit, call 503-986-4680. Staff is available Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Pacific time. Please be prepared to provide scientific name and state of origin. Disease testing and/or a special holding permit may be required.
  • Depending on species and source, there may be tests, vaccinations, holding permits or licenses, or special caging required. Call 503-986-4680 for detailed import requirements for specific wildlife species.

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Exotic Animal Facility Permit

An Exotic Animal Facility Permit, issued by the Oregon Department of Agriculture, is required to keep any of four kinds of animals:
  • non-human primates,
  • bears,
  • non-indigenous canines (except domestic dogs), and
  • non-indigenous felines (except domestic cats).
 
To request an Exotic Animal Facility Permit Application, call Oregon Department of Agriculture, at 503-986-4680, or send e-mail.

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Exotic regulations and law

"Exotic Animal" is defined in Oregon law (ORS 609.205 - 609.335) and includes only four kinds of animals:
  • non-indigenous felines, except domestic cats
    (Cougar, bobcat, & lynx fall under Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife [ODFW] regulations)
  • non-human primates,
  • non-indigenous bears,
    (American Black bears fall under ODFW regulations) and
  • wolves and non-indigenous canines, except domestic dogs
    (Coyote and fox (vulpes vulpes)  fall under ODFW regulations)
The administrative rules (OAR 603-011-0700) are very specific about caging requirements.
Anyone who keeps one or more of these four types of exotic animals must have either an ODA Exotic Animal Facility Permit or a Breeder, Dealer, or Exhibitor License from USDA Animal Care.
 
If you have one or more of these animals without the proper permit(s), please call us at 503-986-4680. We will help you comply with the law.

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Non-traditional livestock

Some people are raising what may best be called "non-traditional" livestock: reindeer, ostrich and emu, water buffalo, and American bison among others. Although perhaps not what we normally think of when we think of ranching, these animals do not fall under the Oregon Department of Agriculture's definition of exotic animals, nor does the Department of Agriculture have special requirements for keeping them in Oregon.
 
However, we do have regulations on import of any animal which may carry diseases which affect livestock or other animals or humans. Call 503-986-4680 for import requirements.
 
Please have the scientific name as well as the common name of all species you are considering importing and the name, address, and USDA license number of the seller. We will research disease control issues and respond as quickly as possible.

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Other regulatory agencies

Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife [ODFW] has regulations for holding native species and for species which could pose a threat to native species. Call 503-947-6300 for details.
 
USDA APHIS Animal Care requires licensing or registration for exhibitors, breeders, and dealers of many exotic or wildlife species (mammals only). Call 916-857-6205 for further details.
 
US Fish & Wildlife Service requires a permit to hold birds of prey (raptors: owls, falcons, hawks, kestrels, etc) and has information about requirements for holding threatened or endangered species. Call the Portland office at 503-682-6131.
 
Local jurisdictions may require owners of "exotic" pets to meet special requirements. Check with your city or county zoning compliance office or animal control office for details.

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Other unusual pets

ODA has no rules restricting or prohibiting private ownership of other "exotic" pets, whether mammals, birds, or reptiles (even venomous ones).  The Oregon Dept. of Fish & Wildlife or your city or county government agencies may have such regulations.
 
However, ODA does have regulations on import of many kinds of animals including livestock, pets, poultry and other birds. (Yes, a single pet pheasant, chicken, or duck counts as poultry.)

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Wildlife species

Aardvarks and antelopes,  cobras and capybaras, kinkajous and kangaroos, penguins and pheasants.
 
These and other animals we´re not accustomed to seeing every day are not covered by ODA´s Exotic Animal Law, but may fall under Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife rules. Call ODFW at 503-947-6300 to find out if there are special requirements for holding a particular wildlife species (native or non-native; mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, or fish).
 
For import requirements for wildlife species, call 503-986-4680. Please have scientific name of animal and name, address, and USDA license number of seller when you call. Wild captured mammals may not be imported.

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