Indiana Swap Meets
Brief Summary of Swap Meet Laws Zoé Friedland (). Animal swap meets are places where people buy, sell or trade animals in an open-air. Related: animals cartoons, sincap cartoons, forest animal cartoon, wolf cartoon, cartoon bear cute, safari cartoon animals, animal collection, animal cartoon set. Animal Planet's Monster Week Programming causes controversial media By Maren Hunsberger | Aug 11 Cable division, said in a press release at the time that they wanted to swap “a drab narrator saying that a lion is about to kill its prey for the blood-curdling scream of the doomed creature as it meets its demise. ”.
Even though animal cruelty laws vary from state to state, egregious cases of animal cruelty are felonies in all fifty states. Some states make animal neglect a felony as well. Swap meet prosecutions would probably rely on animal neglect laws, since a lack of adequate space, food, and water would most likely fall into that category. Some states punish specific forms of animal neglect that would be particularly applicable to swap meets.
For instance, California penal codes prohibit impounding a domestic animal without necessary food and water for a prolonged period of time and keeping animals confined without proper exercise. California also explicitly prohibits the sale of dogs under eight weeks old except under certain circumstances.
Additionally, states like IllinoisMaineOregon and Michigan have the most stringent animal cruelty laws that specifically define standards of basic care that could be used to prosecute animal swap meet vendors and operators who are responsible for animal mistreatment. Predictably, however, lack of enforcement is the main barrier to using animal cruelty laws to regulate the treatment of animals bought and sold at swap meets. Animal cruelty prosecutions are rare as it is, and persuading law enforcement to prosecute animal neglect cases may be challenging.
This is especially true when law enforcement decisions are made locally and there is an accepted culture of swap meets and the unregulated sale of animals. It is ultimately up to local law enforcement to enforce animal neglect laws, and because these cases are exceedingly rare, they are not a very effective vehicle through which to regulate swap meets.
Detailed Discussion of Swap Meet Laws | Animal Legal & Historical Center
Twenty-one of these states require pet store owners to obtain licenses before selling animals. Other regulations vary significantly, and cover issues from sanitation, to food and water requirements, to prohibitions on the sale of unweaned animals. These laws and regulations typically do not apply to animal swaps. This definition would clearly exclude swap meets, which mostly sell animals for agricultural reasons and certainly sell animals bred and raised by the vendors.
This definition could arguably apply pet store regulations to swap meets. However, this interpretation may be rejected because swap meets simply do not look like pet stores, and some would argue that the legislature did not intend to regulate swap meets when they decided to regulate pet stores.
Some states also regulate live animal markets, which are retail food markets where consumers purchase live animals in order to eat them. These laws tend to regulate how animals are held before slaughter and how they are slaughtered. Although animal swaps do sell some animals for consumption, they are not generally retail food markets. Therefore, anti-cruelty measures codified in these laws do not protect animals sold at swap meets.
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Locational Restrictions for Selling Animals Finally, some states prohibit the sale of animals in certain places, like on streets, highways, and boardwalks. In other words, they prohibit the sale of animals in public spaces. These laws probably do not apply to swap meets, which organizers typically hold on private property. In fact, one common feature of a swap meet is that vendors and buyers must pay a fee in order to use the space.Waverly Iowa Animal Swap April 8th 2017
Although many laws regulate the treatment of animals and various establishments that handle animals, there is a legal vacuum for animal swap meets. The scarcity of animal neglect prosecutions and political barriers to enforcing animal neglect laws make criminal sanctions a mostly unhelpful tool for regulating swap meets. Additionally, pet store and live market regulations do not technically apply to swap meets.
This leaves swap meets in a legal grey area where vendors and buyers are free to sell, trade, and buy animals with few restrictions. Local Ordinances Some localities have adopted ordinances to regulate swap meets in their jurisdictions.
In the s, several California ordinances distinguished swap meets from covered malls, with some of them banning swap meets altogether. Prima County, Arizona and Memphis, Tennessee also have ordinances that prohibit the sale of animals at swap meets.
The penalties for violating these ordinances are minimal e. Other cities technically ban swap meets, but include major exceptions to the bans. Instead, they form a patchwork of outright bans often with major exceptions around the country. State Laws Regulating Animal Swap Meets At least five states CaliforniaNevadaVirginiaIllinoisand Nebraska have state laws that at least reference animal swap meets and regulate them in some way. Some of these laws enact comprehensive restrictions while others are limited to specific animals or impose only procedural requirements.
This section provides a brief survey of these laws and compares and contrasts their provisions.
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This section does not include statutes that define swap meets for tax and revenue purposes only. Illinois Illinois was the first state to regulate swap meets when it amended the Illinois Diseased Animal Act in Illinois only requires swap meet organizers to provide the state information about the swap meet 30 days before it occurs. The law also requires organizers to maintain records that include information about the kinds of animals present and any transfers that took place during the swap meet.
California Health and Safety Code sections to were passed in and took effect in January of The law allows animals to be sold at swap meets only if the local jurisdiction has adopted standards for the care and treatment of the animals at the swap meet, including the transport of animals to and from the swap meet. Local ordinances must meet certain minimum requirements detailed in the statute, including sanitation, proper ventilation, adequate nutrition, disease prevention, adequate space, proper documentation, recommendations for the new owner, and a business license.
Any peace officer, animal control officer, or humane officer is authorized to issue this fine. Notable exceptions to the law include state fairs and stockyards, and the sale of cattle, sheep, swine, goats and equines in public markets. The laws also exempts dog, cat and bird shows that meet certain requirements. Nevada InNevada added a section to its comprehensive animal cruelty statute that addresses animal swap meets.
The Nevada law follows a similar structure to the California law, and requires animal swap meet vendors to operate in jurisdictions that have adopted local ordinances that meet certain minimum requirements.
A vendor who sells or attempts to sell an animal at a swap meet in violation of the law is guilty of a misdemeanor. The minimum requirements for the local ordinances are not listed in the statute itself. These sections include a wide range of regulations.
Finally, only section It requires a retailer or dealer to reimburse a purchaser and pay for certain expenses if the purchased pet has a terminal disease or condition that requires immediate hospitalization. The incorporated cruelty laws also prohibit the sale of a diseased animal. It is unclear whether this means the ordinances cannot explicitly authorize cruelty or whether they must actively prohibit it. It does not apply to the sale or transfer of livestock or any event with a primary purpose of selling livestock or agricultural implements.
It also does not apply to outdoor adoption events for dogs and cats, or to people who do not charge fees for the adoption or transfer of animals that are properly vaccinated. This law essentially prohibits the sale of dogs and cats at swap meets anywhere in the state, but does not prohibit swap meets altogether or regulate the sale of any other kind of animal at swap meets.
Exotic animals include animals not commonly sold as livestock, like small mammals except dogs and cats and birds. The law requires venue organizers to obtain permits thirty days in advance, maintain detailed records, and ensure veterinary inspections are conducted.
Important Features Analysis Of these laws, only Nevada and California address swap meets comprehensively. Although they both regulate swap meets by requiring local ordinances to meet certain minimum criteria, those criteria are very different.
The California law, which was enacted independently instead of tacked on to an existing law, details the criteria in the law itself and applies to all animals at swap meets. The Nevada law, on the other hand, requires local ordinances to adopt most laws pertaining to the treatment of dogs and cats, which include very strict standards for confinement and nourishment.
Limiting the minimum requirements to laws that impact dogs and cats does not force localities to regulate the treatment of most animals sold at swap meets.
This is a bizarre way to limit ordinances since localities are bound by state anti-cruelty statutes anyway. Conversely, if the ordinance has to explicitly prohibit acts of cruelty, it would at least provide an additional avenue for enforcement. The laws also impose significantly different penalties. The California law has a very limited penalty of a few hundred dollars, even for repeat offenders.
The Nevada law, on the other hand, makes violations a criminal offense. In short, the Nevada law is somewhat more limited and less clear than the California law, but it has more teeth. In sharp contrast to the NevadaCaliforniaand Virginia laws, Illinois and Nebraska impose mainly procedural requirements on swap meets and their organizers. These laws seem less motivated by animal welfare and more motivated by keeping swap meets safe and disease-free.
Record-keeping is a key element of both laws, which seek to regulate swap meets by keeping the state apprised of key information rather than by policing animal welfare. All of the substantive provisions exclude most livestock, including cattle and horses.
The Virginia law even excludes dogs used for farming purposes. Animals used in agriculture, on the other hand, have historically been granted fewer protections, a trend that holds true for animal swap meet laws. California Law Case Study The California swap meet law is the most comprehensive one of its kind in the country.
It is a standalone law that requires local ordinances to adopt specific minimum requirements before animals can be legally sold and traded at swap meets. Yet it also has a very low penalty for noncompliance and significant exceptions. Delving into the legislative history of the law provides valuable insight into what prompted its passage and how it developed.
The bill was sponsored and written by Senator Roger Dickinson. However, for rural farming communities, swap meets can be a way to purchase needed livestock and sell extra animals.
Common complaints include animals being kept in cramped spaces, sometimes piled on top of each other, a lack of water and food even in hot climates, and animals that are too young to be weaned being sold apart from their mothers. Additionally, documented cases of unregulated breeding and unsanitary practices in the transport, display, and sale of these animals can result in high, unmet needs for veterinary care. Consequently, swap meets may contain disease, with customers buying and trading sick animals and spreading zoonotic diseases.
Animal swaps can be regulated in three ways: Sometimes this includes requirements that vendors provide food, water, and sufficient space for the animals.
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Other times, however, swap meets are advertised informally on message boards with no restrictions. Additionally, some localities have adopted ordinances to regulate swap meets in their jurisdictions. The penalties for violating these ordinances are typically minimal. However, the scarcity of animal neglect prosecutions and political barriers to enforcing animal neglect laws make criminal sanctions a mostly unhelpful tool for regulating swap meets.
Additionally, pet store and live market regulations do not technically apply to swap meets. This leaves swap meets in a legal grey area where vendors and buyers are free to sell, trade, and buy animals with few restrictions.
A handful of states have sought to address this legal vacuum in the last few years by passing legislation directly regulating swap meets.
The law allows animals to be sold at swap meets only if the local jurisdiction has adopted standards for the care and treatment of the animals, including the transport of animals to and from the swap meet.
Local ordinances must meet certain minimum requirements detailed in the statute, including sanitation, proper ventilation, adequate nutrition, disease prevention, adequate space, proper documentation, recommendations for the new owner, and a business license. If vendors violate the law, they must pay a fine.
However, the minimum requirements for the local ordinances are not listed in the statute itself. The penalty for violating the Nevada law is a misdemeanor. Illinois and Nebraska have procedural requirements for swap meet organizers, and Virginia regulates the sale of dogs and cats at swap meets.
All of these laws have broad exceptions: Based on the legislative history of these five laws, it seems politically impractical to ban animal swap meets altogether.