Connecticut’s Department of Agriculture (DoAg) reported it recently took part in a multi-state task force targeted at unlicensed animal importers bringing animals into the state illegally. The task force included state animal control officers from Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, as well as local and state police officers and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials.
The USDA licenses and regulates the transport and sale of animals, and Connecticut requires animal importers to register with DoAg and file notices prior to hosting an adoption or sale event.
The task force operation resulted in the arrest of one importer from Tennessee and citations issued to three other importers, two from Tennessee and one from Ohio. The importers were cited for not being licensed in Connecticut, not having proper health certificates for the animals, and failing to provide an event notice.
DoAg reminds people that in Connecticut, interested people can verify that a seller or importer is licensed by going to the state’s licensing website, www.elicense.ct.gov. Under Connecticut law, any animal importer who plans to offer a dog or cat for sale, adoption, or transfer at a public venue (e.g., at a parking lot or shopping center) must provide notice to DoAg and the local zoning enforcement officer at least 10 days before the event. Violators are subject to a fine of up to $100 per animal (CGS § 22-344(e)).