15A NCAC 10H .0302      MINIMUM STANDARDS (effective until december 31, 2019)

(a)  Exemptions.  Publicly financed zoos, scientific and biological research facilities, and institutions of higher education that were granted an exemption by the Commission from the standards of this Rule prior to December 1, 2005 are exempt from the standards set forth in this Rule for all birds and animals except the black bear so long as the captivity license in effect on that date has not expired or been revoked.

(b)  With the exception of those entities named in Paragraph (a) of this Rule who have received exemption from the Commission, all holders of captivity licenses shall comply with the following requirements:

(1)           Deer, Elk and other species of the family Cervidae

(A)          Enclosure.  The enclosure shall be on a well-drained site containing natural or manmade shelter for shade.  The minimum size of the enclosure for all cervids except Muntjac deer shall be not less than one-half acre for the first three animals and an additional one-fourth acre for each additional animal held provided that no more than 25 percent shall be covered with water.  At no time shall the number of cervids in the enclosure exceed the number allowed by the captivity license, except that fawns and calves shall not count towards the total number of cervids in a facility from the time they are born until March 1 of the following year.  The enclosure shall be surrounded by a fence of sufficient strength and design to contain the animal under any circumstances, at least eight feet high, and dog-proof to a height of at least six feet.  For enclosures exclusively holding Muntjac deer, the minimum pen size shall be 800 square feet for the first three animals and 200 square feet for each additional animal.  No exposed barbed wire, nails, or other protrusions that may cause injury to the animal shall be permitted within the enclosure.  Captive cervids shall not be contained within or allowed to enter a place of residence.

(B)          Sanitation and Care.  Licensees shall provide an ample supply of clear water and salt at all times.  Food shall be placed in the enclosure as needed, but not less than three times weekly. An effective program for the control of insects, ectoparasites, disease, and odor shall be established and maintained.  The animal(s) shall be protected against fright or harm from other animals.

(2)           Wild Boars

(A)          Enclosure.  The enclosure shall be on a site containing trees or brush for shade.  The minimum size of the enclosure shall be not less than one-half acre for the first three animals and an additional one-fourth acre for each additional animal held.  The enclosure shall be surrounded by a fence at least five feet high and of sufficient strength to contain the animals. No exposed barbed wire or protruding nails shall be permitted within the enclosure.  A roofed building large enough to provide shelter in both a standing or a lying position for each boar must be provided.  This building shall be closed on three sides.  A pool of water for wallowing or a sprinkler system shall be provided on days when heat could cause stress to the animal(s).

(B)          Sanitation and Care.  Licensees shall provide an ample supply of clear water at all times. Food shall be placed in the enclosure as needed, but in any case, not less than three times weekly. An effective program for the control of insects, ectoparasites, disease, and odor shall be established and maintained.

(3)           Wild Birds

(A)          Enclosure.  The enclosure shall be large enough for the bird or birds to assume all natural postures.  The enclosure shall be designed in such a way that the birds cannot injure themselves and are able to maintain a natural plumage.  Protection from sun, weather, and predators shall also be provided.

(B)          Sanitation and Care.  The cage shall be kept clean, dry, and free from molded or damp feed. Ample food and clean water shall be available at all times.

(4)           Alligators

(A)          Enclosure.  The enclosure shall be surrounded by a fence of sufficient strength to contain the animals and that shall prevent contact between the observer and alligator.  The enclosure shall contain a pool of water large enough for the animal to completely submerge itself.  If more than one animal is kept, the pool must be large enough for all animals to be able to submerge themselves at the same time.  A land area with both horizontal dimensions at least as long as the animal shall also be provided.  In case of more than one animal, the land area shall have both horizontal dimensions at least as long as the longest animals to occupy the land area at the same time without overlap.

(B)          Sanitation and Care.  The water area shall be kept clean and food adequate to maintain good health provided.  Protection shall be provided at all times from extremes in temperature that could cause stress to the animal.

(5)           Black Bear

(A)          Educational Institutions and Zoos Operated or Established by Governmental Agencies

(i)            Enclosure.  A permanent, stationary metal cage, at least eight feet wide by 12 feet long by six feet high and located in the shade or where shaded during the afternoon hours of summer, is required.  The cage shall have a concrete floor in which a drainable pool one and one-half feet deep and not less than four by five feet has been constructed.  The bars of the cage shall be of iron or steel at least one-fourth inch in diameter, or heavy gauge steel chain link fencing may be used.  The gate shall be equipped with a lock or safety catch, and guard rails shall be placed outside the cage so as to prevent contact between the observer and the caged animal.  The cage must contain a den at least five feet long by five feet wide by four feet high and so constructed as to be easily cleaned.  A "scratch log" shall be placed inside the cage.  The cage shall be equipped with a removable food trough.  Running water shall be provided for flushing the floor and changing the pool.

(ii)           Sanitation and Care.  Food adequate to maintain good health shall be provided daily; and clean, clear drinking water shall be available at all times.  The floor of the cage and the food trough shall be flushed with water and the water in the pool changed daily.  The den shall be flushed and cleaned at least once each week in hot weather.  An effective program for the control of insects, ectoparasites, disease, and odor shall be established and maintained.  Brush, canvas, or other material shall be placed over the cage to provide additional shade when necessary for the health of the animal.  The use of collars, tethers or stakes to restrain the bear is prohibited, except as a temporary safety device.

(B)          Conditions Simulating Natural Habitat.  Black bears held in captivity by other than educational institutions or governmental zoos shall be held without caging under conditions simulating a natural habitat.  All of the following conditions must exist to simulate a natural habitat in a holding facility:

(i)            The method of confinement is by chain link fence, wall, moat, or a combination of such, without the use of chains or tethers.

(ii)           The area of confinement is at least one acre in extent for one or two bears and an additional one-eighth acre for each additional bear.

(iii)          Bears are free, under normal conditions, to move throughout such area.

(iv)          At least one-half of the area of confinement is wooded with living trees, shrubs and other perennial vegetation capable of providing shelter from sun and wind.

(v)           The area of confinement contains a pool not less than one and one-half feet deep and not less than four by five feet in size.

(vi)          Provision is made for a den for each bear to which the bear may retire for rest, shelter from the elements, or respite from public observation.

(vii)         The area of confinement presents an overall appearance of a natural habitat and affords the bears protection from harassment or annoyance.

(viii)        Provisions are made for food and water that are adequate to maintain good health and for maintenance of sanitation.

(ix)          The applicant shall document that the applicant owns or has a lease of the real property upon which the holding facility is located, provided that if the applicant is a lessee, the lease is for a duration of at least five years from the point of stocking the facility.

(6)           Cougar

(A)          Educational or scientific research institutions and zoos supported by public funds.

(i)            Enclosure.  A permanent, stationary metal cage, at least nine feet wide by 18 feet long by nine feet high and located in the shade or where shaded during the afternoon hours of summer, is required.  The cage shall have a concrete floor.  The bars of the cage shall be of iron or steel at least one-fourth inch in diameter, or heavy gauge steel chain link fencing may be used.  The gate shall be equipped with a lock or safety catch, and guard rails shall be placed outside the cage so as to prevent contact between the observer and the caged animal.  The cage shall contain a den at least five feet long by five feet wide by four feet high and so constructed as to be easily cleaned.  A "scratch log" shall be placed inside the cage.  The cage shall be equipped with a removable food trough.  Running water shall be provided for flushing the floor and changing the pool.

(ii)           Sanitation and Care.  Food adequate to maintain good health shall be provided daily; and clean, clear drinking water shall be available at all times.  The floor of the cage and the food trough shall be flushed with water and the water in the pool changed as necessary to maintain good health of the animal.  The den shall be flushed and cleaned at least once each week.  An effective program for the control of insects, ectoparasites, disease, and odor shall be established and maintained. Brush, canvas, or other material shall be readily available to be placed over the cage to provide additional shade when necessary.  The use of collars, tethers or stakes to restrain the cougar is prohibited, except as a temporary safety device.

(B)          Cougars held in captivity by other than educational or scientific institutions or publicly supported zoos shall be held without caging under conditions simulating a natural habitat. Applicants for a captivity license to hold cougar shall apply to the Commission on forms provided by the Commission, and shall provide plans that describe how the applicant's facility will comply with the requirement to simulate a natural habitat.  All of the following conditions must exist to simulate a natural habitat in a holding facility.

(i)            The method of confinement is by chain link fence, without the use of chains or tethers, provided that:

(I)            Nine gauge chain link fencing shall be at least 12 feet in height with a four foot fence overhang at a 45 degree angle on the inside of the pen to prevent escape from climbing and jumping.

(II)          Fence posts and at least six inches of the fence skirt shall be imbedded in a six inch wide by one foot deep concrete footer to prevent escape by digging.

(ii)           The area of confinement shall be at least one acre for two cougars with an additional one-eighth acre for each additional cougar.  If, following a site evaluation, the Commission determines that terrain and topographical features offer sufficient escape, cover and refuge, and meet all other specifications, and that the safety and health of the animal(s) will not compromised, smaller areas shall be permitted.

(iii)          Cougars shall be free under normal conditions to move throughout the area of confinement.

(iv)          At least one-half of the area of confinement shall be wooded with living trees, shrubs and other perennial vegetation capable of providing shelter from sun and wind; and a 20 foot wide strip along the inside of the fence shall be maintained free of trees, shrubs and any other obstructions which could provide a base from which escape through leaping could occur.

(v)           The area of confinement shall contain a pool not less than one and one-half feet deep and not less than four by five feet in size.

(vi)          Each cougar shall be provided a den to which the cougar may retire for rest, shelter from the elements, or respite from public observation.  Each den shall be four feet wide by four feet high by four feet deep.  Each den shall be enclosed entirely within at least an eight feet wide by ten feet deep by 12 feet high security cage.  The security cage shall be completely within the confines of the facility, cement-floored, shall have nine gauge fencing on all sides and the top, and shall have a four foot, 45 degree fence overhang around the outside top edge to prevent cougar access to the top of the security cage.

(vii)         The area of confinement shall protect the cougar from harassment or annoyance.

(C)          Provisions shall be made for maintenance of sanitation and for food and water adequate to maintain good health of the animal(s).

(D)          The applicant shall document that the applicant owns or has a lease of the real property upon which the holding facility is located, provided that if the applicant is a lessee, the lease is for a duration of at least five years from the point of stocking the facility.

(7)           Other Wild Animal Enclosures.

(A)          General Enclosure Requirements.

(i)            The enclosure shall provide protection from free ranging animals and from sun or weather that could cause stress to the animals.

(ii)           A den area in which the animal can escape from view and large enough for the animal to turn around and lie down shall be provided for each animal within the enclosure.

(iii)          No tethers or chains shall be used to restrain the animal.

(iv)          Either a tree limb, exercise device, or shelf large enough to accommodate the animal shall be provided to allow for exercise and climbing.

(v)           Sanitation and Care.  Fresh food shall be provided daily, and clean water shall be available at all times.

(vi)          An effective program for the control of insects, ectoparasites, disease, and odor shall be established and maintained.

(B)          Single Animal Enclosures for certain animals.  The single-animal enclosure for the animals listed in this Subparagraph shall be a cage with the following minimum dimensions and horizontal areas:

 

                                                                Dimensions in Feet

 

Animal                                                   Length                   Width                     Height                    Per Animal

 

Bobcat, Otter                                        10                           5                              5                              50

Raccoon, Fox, Woodchuck                 8                           4                              4                              32

Opossum, Skunk, Rabbit                     6                           3                              3                              18

Squirrel                                                    4                           2                              2                                8

 

(C)          Single Enclosure Requirements for animals not mentioned elsewhere in this Rule.  For animals not listed above or mentioned elsewhere in this Rule, single animal enclosures shall be a cage with one horizontal dimension being at least four times the nose-rump length of the animal and the other horizontal dimension being at least twice the nose-rump length of the animal.  The vertical dimensions shall be at least twice the nose-rump length of the animal. Under no circumstances shall a cage be less than four feet by two feet by two feet.

(D)          Multiple Animal Enclosures.  The minimum area of horizontal space shall be determined by multiplying the required square footage for a single animal by a factor of 1.5 for one additional animal and the result by the same factor, successively, for each additional animal. The vertical dimension for multiple animal enclosures shall remain the same as for single animal enclosures.

(E)           Young animals.  The young of any animal may be kept with the parent in a single-animal enclosure only until weaning.  After weaning, if the animals are kept together, the requirements for multiple-animal enclosures apply.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 19A-11; 106-549.97(b); 113-134; 113-272.5, 113-272.6;

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Amended Eff. December 1, 1990; June 1, 1990; July 1, 1988; November 9, 1980;

Temporary Amendment Eff. October 8, 2002;

Amended Eff. May 1, 2010; December 1, 2005; August 1, 2004;

Temporary Amendment Eff. February 27, 2015;

Temporary Amendment Expired December 11, 2015.

 

15A NCAC 10H .0302      MINIMUM STANDARDS (effective January 1, 2020)

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 19A-11; 106-549.97(b); 113-134; 113-272.5, 113-272.6;

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Amended Eff. December 1, 1990; June 1, 1990; July 1, 1988; November 9, 1980;

Temporary Amendment Eff. October 8, 2002;

Amended Eff. May 1, 2010; December 1, 2005; August 1, 2004;

Temporary Amendment Eff. February 27, 2015;

Temporary Amendment Expired December 11, 2015;

Repealed Eff. January 1, 2020.