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Liability of Owning Exotic Pets in Michigan


Michigan has specific laws and regulations regarding the ownership and possession of exotic pets. While these fascinating creatures may captivate our imagination, their presence can sometimes lead to unfortunate and dangerous situations. 

This article delves into Michigan’s legal framework concerning exotic pets, focusing on the liability and safety measures when these animals cause injury.

Exotic Pets and Liability

Michigan law recognizes that the ownership of exotic pets comes with inherent risks. The state’s liability laws aim to protect both the owner and the public from potential harm caused by these creatures. If an exotic pet inflicts injury or damage to another person, the owner may be held legally responsible.

Strict Liability

Under Michigan’s strict liability doctrine, exotic pet owners are accountable for any harm caused by their animals, regardless of whether they were aware of their pet’s dangerous propensity. If an exotic pet causes injury, the owner may be liable for medical expenses, pain and suffering, property damage, and other related costs.

The Role of Negligence

In addition to strict liability, negligence can play a significant role in determining liability in exotic pet-related injury cases. If the owner failed to exercise reasonable care in handling or restraining the animal, they may be found negligent. For instance, if an owner allows an exotic pet to roam freely without proper supervision and it attacks someone, their negligent actions could be a basis for liability.

Permitting and Prohibited Species

Michigan law also regulates the possession of certain exotic animals through permitting and prohibited species lists. A special permit is required to possess a prohibited species, including large carnivores like lions and tigers. The Department of Natural Resources issues these permits and has strict criteria that must be met to ensure public safety and animal welfare.

Safety Measures and Enclosures

Michigan law mandates exotic pet owners take adequate safety measures to prevent escapes or incidents involving their animals. Owners are typically required to have secure enclosures or cages designed to safely contain the animal. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in penalties and the potential seizure of the exotic pet.

Michigan’s laws and regulations regarding exotic pets emphasize the importance of responsible ownership and public safety. By implementing strict liability and permitting systems, the state aims to hold owners accountable for any harm caused by their animals. 

Safety measures and enclosure requirements also help minimize the risks associated with exotic pets. Both owners and the public need to understand and abide by these laws to prevent unfortunate incidents and ensure the well-being of humans and exotic animals in Michigan.

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Here at Haque Legal, we always have your back. Make sure that on your first free consultation, we tell you everything that you need to know about your case as well as the cost and the expenses that would be associated with the filing of your lawsuit. 

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Our law firm is dedicated to making sure that the law will protect those who are innocent and that the full extent of justice will be used. 


The article that you have read is based on general applications of the law. It is not legal advice, and it is not to be construed as any legal consultation with the firm. No client-attorney relationship is created when you read the articles we have provided.

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