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Dangerous Wild Animals

Ohio Governor John Kasich signed Senate Bill 310, a law regulating the possession of dangerous wild animals (DWA) and restricted snakes, into law on June 5, 2012. 

This law generally prohibits any person from:

  • Owning, trading, selling or offering for sale a dangerous wild animal (unless the animal was owned prior to the law taking effect, and a permit has been issued by our department)
  • Knowingly removing a microchip that is implanted in a dangerous wild animal
  • Allowing a dangerous wild animal or restricted snake to roam off the property where it is confined
  • Removing any teeth or claws from a dangerous wild animal or restricted snake
  • Knowingly releasing a dangerous wild animal or restricted snake into the wild
  • Failing to comply with the following signage requirements:
    • On each cage in which a dangerous wild animal is confined, signs warning the public that a dangerous wild animal is confined in the cage
    • At each entrance to the property where a dangerous wild animal is confined, a sign warning the public that a dangerous wild animal is on the property
    • On a vehicle that is used to transport a dangerous wild animal, a sign warning that a dangerous wild animal is in the vehicle


Commonly asked questions about Dangerous Wild Animals in Ohio:

What animals are considered "Dangerous Wild Animals"?

"Dangerous wild animal" means any of the following, including hybrids unless otherwise specified:

(1) Hyenas;

(2) Gray wolves, excluding hybrids;

(3) Lions;

(4) Tigers;

(5) Jaguars;

(6) Leopards, including clouded leopards, Sunda clouded leopards, and snow leopards;

(7) All of the following, including hybrids with domestic cats unless otherwise specified:

(a) Cheetahs;

(b) Lynxes, including Canadian lynxes, Eurasian lynxes, and Iberian lynxes;

(c) Cougars, also known as pumas or mountain lions;

(d) Caracals;

(e) Servals, excluding hybrids with domestic cats commonly known as savannah cats.


(8) Bears;

(9) Elephants;

(10) Rhinoceroses;

(11) Hippopotamuses;

(12) Cape buffaloes;

(13) African wild dogs;

(14) Komodo dragons;

(15) Alligators;

(16) Crocodiles;

(17) Caimans, excluding dwarf caimans;

(18) Gharials;

(19) Nonhuman primates other than lemurs and the nonhuman primates specified in division (C)(20) of Ohio Revised Code 935;

(20) All of the following nonhuman primates:

(a) Golden lion, black-faced lion, golden-rumped lion, cotton-top, emperor, saddlebacked, black-mantled, and Geoffroy's tamarins;

(b) Southern and northern night monkeys;

(c) Dusky titi and masked titi monkeys;

(d) Muriquis;

(e) Goeldi's monkeys;

(f) White-faced, black-bearded, white-nose bearded, and monk sakis;

(g) Bald and black uakaris;

(h) Black-handed, white-bellied, brown-headed, and black spider monkeys;

(i) Common woolly monkeys;

(j) Red, black, and mantled howler monkeys.

I want a pet monkey!  What species am I allowed to own in Ohio?

Marmosets, capuchins, lemurs, and squirrel monkeys.  Please check with local authorities to ensure these species are allowed in your area.

Can I possess a "Dangerous Wild Animal?"

In order to legally possess a DWA, you must:

(a) Have owned the animal prior to the law taking effect, and been issued a permit by our department at that time.


(b)  Meet one of the exemptions listed below:

 (No ODA permit required)

  • Accredited Association of Zoos and Aquariums facility
  • Accredited Zoological Association of America facility
  • Research facility as defined in federal Animal Welfare Act
  • Research facility accredited by Association for the Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International
  • U.S.D.A. licensed circus
  • Veterinarians providing temporary care
  • Wildlife shelters accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries
  • Individuals travelling through the state who are not in the state for more than 48 hours and who do not exhibit the animal(s) or bring them into contact with the public
  • Educational institution that displays a single dangerous wild animal as a mascot
  • Persons or facilities possessing certain Ohio Department of Natural Resources permits
  • Service spider monkey trained by non-profit organization

I saw an alligator for sale on Craigslist.  Who do I report that to?

If you would like to make a complaint about dangerous wild animals, please contact our department at (614)728-6220 or email dwa.cdb@agri.ohio.gov.

Applying for a License or Permit Disqualifying Offenses

The Ohio Department of Agriculture adopts the following list of criminal offenses, the conviction of which may disqualify an individual from obtaining the specific license issued or conferred by ODA.  In addition to the offenses specifically provided herein, ODA includes any existing or former municipal ordinance or law of this or any other state or the United States that is substantially equivalent to any section or offense. (ORC 9.78 and 9.79)


The conviction of a disqualifying offense may be overcome if the individual applying for the license, or if applicable, the individual’s employee, holds a certificate of disqualification for employment issued under section 2953.25 of the Revised Code or a certificate of achievement and employability issued under section 2961.22 of the Revised Code.


The certificate of qualification for employment website is maintained by the department of rehabilitation and correction at Certificate of Qualification for Employment (CQE) (ohio.gov)





Ohio Revised Code Title [29] XXIX CRIMES - PROCEDURE

Chapter 2903 | Homicide And Assault

Section 2903.01 | Aggravated murder.

Section 2903.02 | Murder.

Section 2903.03 | Voluntary manslaughter.

Section 2903.04 | Involuntary manslaughter.

Section 2903.041 | Reckless homicide.

Section 2903.05 | Negligent homicide.

Section 2903.06 | Aggravated vehicular homicide - vehicular homicide - vehicular manslaughter.

Section 2903.08 | Aggravated vehicular assault; vehicular assault.

Section 2903.09 | Unlawful termination of another's pregnancy.

Section 2903.10 | Functionally impaired person, caretaker defined.

Section 2903.11 | Felonious assault.

Section 2903.12 | Aggravated assault.

Section 2903.13 | Assault.

Section 2903.15 | Permitting child abuse.

Section 2903.16 | Failing to provide for a functionally impaired person.

Section 2903.32 | Female genital mutilation.

Section 2903.33 | Patient abuse and neglect in care facilities definitions.

Section 2903.34 | Patient abuse or neglect.

Section 2903.341 | Patient endangerment.

Section 2903.41 | Definitions related to violent offender database.

Section 2903.42 | Enrollment in violent offender database; presumption.

Section 2903.421 | Qualifying out-of-state offenders.

Section 2903.43 | Offenders who have VOD duties; enrollment.

Section 2903.44 | Out-of-state offenders with VOD duties; enrollment.

Chapter 2905 | Kidnapping And Extortion

Section 2905.01 | Kidnapping.

Section 2905.02 | Abduction.

Section 2905.05 | Criminal child enticement.

Section 2905.32 | Trafficking in persons.

Chapter 2907 | Sex Offenses

Section 2907.01 | Sex offenses general definitions.

Section 2907.02 | Rape.

Section 2907.03 | Sexual battery.

Section 2907.04 | Unlawful sexual conduct with minor.

Section 2907.05 | Gross sexual imposition.

Section 2907.06 | Sexual imposition.

Section 2907.07 | Importuning.

Section 2907.08 | Voyeurism.

Section 2907.10 | Preliminary polygraph test of sex offense victim.

Section 2907.11 | Suppression of names of victim and offender and details of the alleged offense.

Section 2907.17 | Notice of indictment of mental health professional sent to regulatory or licensing board or agency.

Section 2907.18 | Notice of conviction of mental health professional sent to regulatory or licensing board or agency.

Section 2907.19 | Commercial sexual exploitation of a minor.

Section 2907.31 | Disseminating matter harmful to juveniles.

Section 2907.311 | Displaying matter harmful to juveniles.

Section 2907.321 | Pandering obscenity involving a minor or impaired person.

Section 2907.322 | Pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor or impaired person.

Section 2907.323 | Illegal use of minor or impaired person in nudity-oriented material or performance.

Section 2907.39 | Permitting juvenile on premises of adult entertainment establishment - use of false information to gain entry.

Section 2907.41 | Person charged with subsequent sexual offense - setting of bail.

Chapter 2909 | Arson And Related Offenses

Section 2909.04 | Disrupting public services.

Section 2909.22 | Soliciting or providing support for act of terrorism.

Section 2909.23 | Making terroristic threat.

Section 2909.24 | Terrorism.

Section 2909.25 | Expenses of investigation, prosecution, response costs of terrorism.

Section 2909.26 | Criminal possession of chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear weapon or explosive device.

Section 2909.27 | Criminal use of chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear weapon or explosive device.

Section 2909.29 | Money laundering in support if terrorism.

Chapter 2917 | Offenses Against The Public Peace

Section 2917.47 | Improperly handling infectious agents.

Chapter 2919 | Offenses Against The Family

Section 2919.12 | Unlawful abortion.

Section 2919.121 | Unlawful abortion upon minor.

Section 2919.122 | Application of unlawful abortion on a minor law.

Section 2919.123 | Unlawful distribution of an abortion-inducing drug.

Section 2919.124 | Unlawful performance of a drug-induced abortion.

Section 2919.13 | Abortion manslaughter.

Section 2919.14 | Abortion trafficking.

Section 2919.15 | Dismemberment abortion.

Section 2919.151 | Partial birth feticide.

Section 2919.16 | Post-viability abortion definitions.

Section 2919.17 | Terminating or attempting to terminate human pregnancy after viability.

Section 2919.195 | Performance of abortion after detection of fetal heartbeat; penalty.

Section 2919.201 | Abortion after gestational age of 20 weeks.

Section 2919.22 | Endangering children.

Section 2919.222 | Parental education neglect.

Section 2919.223 | Child and family day-care facilities - definitions.

Section 2919.224 | Misrepresentation relating to provision of child care.

Section 2919.225 | Disclosure and notice regarding death or injury of child in facility.

Section 2919.226 | Child day-care disclosure form - immunity from prosecution.

Section 2919.227 | Information to be provided to prospective users - notice of death of child.

Section 2919.25 | Domestic violence.

Chapter 2921 | Offenses Against Justice And Public Administration

Section 2921.03 | Intimidation.

Section 2921.04 | Intimidation of attorney, victim or witness in criminal case or delinquent child action proceeding.

Section 2921.05 | Retaliation.

Section 2921.14 | Making or causing false report of child abuse or neglect.

Section 2921.31 | Obstructing official business.

Section 2921.321 | Assaulting or harassing police dog or horse or service dog.

Chapter 2923 | Conspiracy, Attempt, And Complicity; Weapons Control; Corrupt Activity

Section 2923.21 | Improperly furnishing firearms to minor.

Chapter 2925 | Drug Offenses

Section 2925.09 | Unapproved drugs - dangerous drug offenses involving livestock.

Chapter 2927 | Miscellaneous Offenses

Section 2927.01 | Abuse of a corpse.


Chapter 959  Offenses Relating to Domestic Animals

Section 959.02 Injuring animals

Section 959.03 Poisoning animals

Section 959.05 Drugging animal prior to competition

Section 959.13 Cruelty to animals

Section 959.131 Prohibitions concerning companion animals

Section 959.15 Animal fights

Section 959.16 Dogfighting offenses

Section 959.21 Sexual conduct with an animal


Section 2151.421 Reporting child abuse or neglect


Section 5101.63 Reporting abuse, neglect, or exploitation of adult