State of Washington
68th Legislature
2023 Regular Session
BySenators Liias, Boehnke, Dhingra, Hunt, Kuderer, Lovelett, Nguyen, Nobles, Rolfes, Stanford, and Trudeau
Prefiled 01/04/23.Read first time 01/09/23.Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources & Parks.
AN ACT Relating to prohibiting the display of wild or exotic animals for public entertainment or amusement; adding a new chapter to Title 16 RCW; and prescribing penalties.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1. The legislature finds that this chapter is necessary to promote the protection of wild or exotic animals by prohibiting the display of wild or exotic animals for public entertainment or amusement.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2. The definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter unless the context clearly requires otherwise.
(1) "Circus" means any  institution featuring exhibits for the purpose of entertainment or amusement and includes, but is not limited to, exhibitions and performances by clowns, acrobats, or animals. However, nothing in this chapter may be construed as authorizing any display of wild or exotic animals otherwise prohibited by this chapter.
(2)(a) "Display" means to undertake any exhibition, act, circus, public show, trade show, photographic opportunity, carnival, ride, parade, petting zoo, race, performance, or similar undertaking in which animals are required to perform tricks, fight, or participate in performances or shows for the amusement or entertainment of an audience.
(b) "Display" does not include the use or exhibition of animals for educational purposes by persons or organizations, including those that are accredited or available for accreditation by the American zoological association, or by the association of sanctuaries.
(3) "Displayed" means to be the subject thereof.
(4) "Person" means any individual, partnership, corporation, joint venture, association, trust, estate, or any other legal entity and any officer, member, shareholder, director, employee, agent, or representative of such entities.
(5)(a) "Wild or exotic animal" means any or all of the animals identified in this subsection, whether bred in the wild or in captivity, and also any or all of their hybrids with domestic species. The animals identified in this subsection are intended as examples only and the list of animals is not to be construed as an exhaustive list or to otherwise limit each group of animals:
(i) Nonhuman primates and prosimians, such as chimpanzees and monkeys;
(ii) Felids, except domesticated cats;
(iii) Canids, including wolf hybrids and except domesticated dogs;
(iv) Ursids, inclusive of all species of bears;
(v) Elephants;
(vi) Cetaceans, namely marine mammals, such as whales, dolphins, otters, porpoises, seals, and sea lions;
(vii) Crocodilians, namely alligators and crocodiles;
(viii) Marsupials, such as kangaroos and opossums;
(ix) Snakes and reptiles;
(x) Ungulates, such as hippopotamus, rhinoceros, giraffe, camel, zebra, and deer;
(xi) Hyenas;
(xii) Mustelids, such as skunks, weasels, otters, and badgers;
(xiii) Procyonids, such as raccoons and coatis;
(xiv) Endentates, such as anteaters, sloths, and armadillos;
(xv) Viverrids, such as mongoose, civets, and genets;
(xvi) Camels; and
(xvii) Raptors or birds of prey.
(b) It is not the intent of this subsection to include domesticated species such as horses, cows, sheep, or llamas.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3. No person may display or sponsor a display of wild or exotic animals on any public or private property.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 4. This chapter may be enforced by the authorities listed under RCW 16.52.015.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 5. Any violation of this chapter is a class 2 civil infraction under RCW 7.80.120 and the criminal penalties set forth in chapter 16.52 RCW do not apply.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 6. The provisions of this chapter do not apply to persons or organizations that display wild or exotic animals for educational purposes, including those persons or organizations that are accredited or available for accreditation by the American zoological association, or by the association of sanctuaries.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 7. This chapter may be known and cited as the wild or exotic animal protection act.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 8. Sections 1 through 7 of this act constitute a new chapter in Title 16 RCW.
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