Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3 Animals as Pets in Tennessee


In the state of Tennessee wild and exotic animals are divided into five categories called Class 1, Class 2, Class 3 and so on. Class 1 animals in Tennessee are considered inherently dangerous and therefore are not allowed to be kept as pets. A Personal Possession Permit is required to keep a Class 2 animal as a pet in Tennessee. You don't need a permit to own a Class 3 animal as a pet in Tennessee. In this article, you will discover the animals that are considered Class I, Class II, and Class III in Tennessee.

Three monkeys

Class I Animals in Tennessee

As mentioned earlier, Class I animals are considered inherently dangerous to humans and may not be kept as pets in Tennessee. Below are the species that fall under the Class 1 category:

All species of bears, all species of wolves, chimpanzees, orangutans, gorillas, gibbons, siamangs, Gelada baboons, mandrills, drills, tigers, lions, jaguars, cheetahs, leopards, cougars, elephants, rhinoceroses, Hippopotamus, African buffalos, Crocodiles and alligators, all poisonous snakes, all poisonous Amphibians, and hybrids of Class I parents.

Only zoos, circuses and commercial propagators may possess a Class I animal in Tennessee.

Class II Animals in Tennessee

Animals that fall under the Class 2 category include native nonpoisonous reptiles and amphibians, native fur-bearing animals, and other animals native to Tennessee

Some examples of Class II animals in Tennessee include but are not limited to: Gray Foxes, Bobcats, Red Foxes, Coyotes, Raccoons, Appalachian cottontails, Eastern Cottontails, Swamp Rabbits, Southern Flying Squirrels, Northern Flying Squirrels, Eastern Gray Squirrels, Eastern Fox Squirrels, Red Squirrels, River Otters, American Minks, Fishers, Common Muskrats, Woodchucks, American Beavers, Coypus, Least Weasels, Long-Tailed Weasels, Eastern Spotted Skunks, Striped Skunks, Virginia Opossums, Nine-Banded Armadillos, and Eastern Chipmunks.

As mentioned earlier, you need to apply for and obtain a Personal Possession Permit before keeping a Class II species as a pet in Tennessee. However, a Possession Permit is not required for the following Class II species in Tennessee: Wolf hybrids, native game birds/waterfowl, nonpoisonous amphibians and nonpoisonous reptiles. Some nonpoisonous reptiles include the African ball python, Gopher Snake, Kingsnake, chameleon, and bearded dragon.

Only captive-bred animals may be kept as pets under a Personal Possession Permit in Tennessee. It is illegal to catch an animal from the wild and keep it as a pet in Tennessee, except where specifically authorized.

The Personal Possession Permit comes with a $31 application fee. One of the requirements for the permit includes a document indicating that the animal originated from a legal source.

Class III Animals in Tennessee

A Possession Permit is not required to own a Class 3 animal as a pet in Tennessee. The Class III category includes all species not listed in other classes. Some examples of Class III animals in Tennessee include but are not limited to Hamsters, Gerbils, sheep and goats, Vietnamese Pot-bellieds, squirrels, hares, guinea pigs, capybaras, chinchillas, ferrets, moles and shrews, mice, rats, prairie dogs, camels, kangaroos, alpacas, Llamas, bison, Ostriches, cassowaries, monkeys, fennec foxes, Four-toed hedgehogs, savannah cats, Bengal cats, caimans, and gavials.

Class 4 and 5

Some species, including Wild Turkeys, white-tailed deer, and American black bear fall under the Class 4 category and are illegal to keep as pets in Tennessee. Also, Class 5 species are illegal to keep as pets in Tennessee. These species include African clawed frogs, Monk parakeets, Black-Hooded parakeets, Zebra mussels, Swamp eels, Marbled crayfish, New Zealand mud snails, Rudd, Snakeheads, Silver carps, Bighead carps, Blueback herrings, Black carps.


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