(Click the headings below to navigate to the different groups of laws.)
First created 27 February, 2011. Last updated 21 December, 2017.
IMPORTANT NOTE 1-19-2021 – This resource hasn’t been updated in over three years, which means it’s likely full of broken links. I am super busy these days and I have NO idea when or if I am going to be able to do a full update with fixed links. I’m sorry I haven’t been able to keep up on this, but it’s done on a completely volunteer basis and I’ve had to put more time toward making sure the bills get paid, particularly since the pandemic hit. I promise you it’s still on my very long to-do list.
Note: If you have appreciated this resource, you may wish to check out the more detailed exploration I do of some of the more widespread laws in my book, Vulture Culture 101: A Book For People Who Like Dead Things.
When buying and selling animal parts, including making artwork with it (my own being an example), it can get pretty confusing figuring out what’s allowable in your state/country, never mind the rest of them! To help facilitate my own as well as others’ knowledge, I have taken the time to compile this chart of laws and links. I AM NOT A LAWYER, AND THIS DOES NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL ADVICE. I AM NOT LIABLE FOR ANY LEGAL ISSUES ANYONE REFERENCING THIS PAGE MAY BE INVOLVED IN. THIS SHALL NOT BE CONSIDERED A COMPLETE AND EXHAUSTIVE REVIEW OF STATE, FEDERAL OR INTERNATIONAL LAWS ON COMMERCE IN OR POSSESSION OF ANIMAL PARTS. I highly recommend reading the pages at the links provided, and not just the shorthand here. Many of these laws are long and involved and may take you a while to decipher, especially to find the parts relevant to possessing, buying and/or selling animal parts, but I strongly encourage you to read through them as best as you can. If you have any questions, please contact your state fish and wildlife department.
I’ve tried to highlight things that may be of particular interest to those of us who collect animal parts, and/or who buy and sell them either as-is or incorporated into art and other products. To that end, I’ve attempted to include information on restricted species, information on roadkill legalities, and permits/licenses for fur/antler/etc. dealers. The actual wording of the law itself should be taken as superior to my commentary. Again, I strongly urge you to read through all relevant laws and not just use this page as your only resource, and please do not take my advice as legal advice. If you don’t see a state’s law on a particular subject (for example, picking up roadkill), you may want to assume it is illegal until you can confirm otherwise with that state’s fish and wildlife department.
It may be helpful to Google “[name of state/country] statutes”, click on the link for the official state website for these laws, and then look up the specific laws associated with fish and game, wildlife, natural resources, and similar topics. AnimalLaw.info is a collection of animal-related laws sorted by state and other metrics which may also be of interest. Be aware there may be local, city or county laws not listed here that you need to be aware of.
If you think your religious or spiritual path exempts you from these laws, here’s my perspective on the subject.
To report broken links or additional information/laws not covered here, or if you feel there is a specific part of a law that ought to be highlighted in the Notes/Links section that is not already mentioned there, email me at lupa.greenwolf(at)gmail.com. Please include, if possible, links to any relevant laws or regulations, as opposed to anecdotal evidence.