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JoeLawyer, Lawyer (JD)
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Experience:  Attorney in practice since 1996
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Can you own a raccoon in IL Do you need a lisence

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Short answer: Yes you must have a permit.

Depending on the type of animal and purpose of having the animal, the permit one needs varies. I believe one needs a "Fur Bearing Mammal Breeder/Possession Permit" to own a raccoon. Class A permits are for possessing protected animals when you do not intend to sell them (i.e. non-commercial use) and these are $10, Class B permits are for possession protected animals when you do intend to sell them (i.e. commercial) and are $20, and Fur Bearing Mammal permits are for possessing and selling fur bearing mammals, which includes a raccoon, and I did not see the fee on these.

Also, the animal must have been obtained from a licensed breeder to get a permit to legally own it. One cannot trap or catch a raccoon and then get a permit to own it.

Long answer: Click on any of the statutes below if you want to view the statute.

Illinois Compiled Statute 520 ILCS 5/1.2g defines a raccoon as one of the animals deemed a "furbearing mammal" for code reference purposes.

Illinois Compiled Statute 520 ILCS 5/2.2 says that "It shall be unlawful for any person at any time to take, possess, sell, or offer for sale, any of these wild birds (dead or alive) and parts of wild birds (including their nests and eggs), wild mammals (dead or alive) and parts of wild mammals, including their green hides contrary to the provisions of this Act," and the Act specifically lists raccoons among those animals covered by the Act. The Act goes on to say that bona-fide public or state scientific, educational or zoological institutions can have these animals though if the animals were salvaged or legally obtained.

So, you have to comply with the Act to own a raccoon.

Illinois Compiled Statute 520 ILCS 5/3.23 says that "Before any person shall hold, possess or engage in the raising of game mammals, game birds or migratory game birds protected by this Act, he shall procure a permit from the Department to do so. Any person desiring to possess, propagate, hold in captivity but not offer for sale any species protected by this Act may do so by acquiring either a Class A Noncommercial bird breeders permit or a Class A Noncommercial game breeders permit. Any person desiring to possess, propagate, to hold in captivity, to sell alive, for propagation or hunting purposes, sell dressed for food purposes any species protected by this Act may do so by acquiring a Class B Commercial bird breeders permit or a Class B Commercial/game breeders permit."

So, a permit is required, and different permits are needed for different purposes.

Also of note is Illinois Compiled Statute 520 ILCS 5/2.30 says that you can only trap or hunt raccoons during the appropriate season. However, you cannot trap a raccoon and then apply for a permit, you can only get a permit to possess a raccoon if you got the raccoon from another permitted owner.

You can view the Illinois Department of Natural Resources website here. A link to the Illinois DNR page discussing permits and licenses is here. A link to the Class A and Class B wild game permits is here, and a link to the fur bearing mammal permit is here (pdf format). A link to the fur bearing mammal permit is here (pdf format).

I hope this helps and a positive feedback is always appreciated if this was useful to you.

LEGAL NOTICE: I am only licensed to pratice law in certain state(s) and I cannot give legal advice to someone who does not reside in a state in which I am licensed, nor shall anything I say in the above answer or elsewhere on this site be deemed legal advice, even to someone who resides in a state in which I am licensed. Fees I receive for answering questions are paid for information, not for legal advice. This forum is designed to provide general information only, and information herein is not warranted to be correct or applicable in any way since laws may have been misinterpreted herein, since laws change from time to time, and since the impact of those laws on any particular situation varies. The information presented in this site shall not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of an attorney-client relationship. Persons accessing this response are encouraged to seek independent legal counsel in their jurisdiction for guidance regarding their individual circumstances. Do not take any action or inaction based on information presented herein since it is informational and may not be accurate or applicable to you; it merely attempts to give you a basis of knowledge to help you formulate questions to ask a legal or other professional in a face-to-face meeting in your jurisdiction. Joseph Ross does not hold himself out to be a specialist or expert in any area, regardless of assertions made by any third party, and any implication of being an expert or specialist herein is made in error. I hope the information presented above is useful to you. Answer above (c) 2007 by Joseph Ross, all rights reserved.

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