California Penal Code Section 597.4
Legal Research Home >
California Laws > Penal Code > California Penal Code Section 597.4
597.4. (a) It shall be unlawful for any person to willfully do
either of the following:
(1) Sell or give away as part of a commercial transaction a live
animal on any street, highway, public right-of-way, parking lot,
carnival, or boardwalk.
(2) Display or offer for sale, or display or offer to give away as
part of a commercial transaction, a live animal, if the act of
selling or giving away the live animal is to occur on any street,
highway, public right-of-way, parking lot, carnival, or boardwalk.
(b) (1) A person who violates this section for the first time
shall be guilty of an infraction punishable by a fine not to exceed
two hundred fifty dollars ($250).
(2) A person who violates this section for the first time and by
that violation either causes or permits any animal to suffer or be
injured, or causes or permits any animal to be placed in a situation
in which its life or health may be endangered, shall be guilty of a
(3) A person who violates this section for a second or subsequent
time shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
(c) A person who is guilty of a misdemeanor violation of this
section shall be punishable by a fine not to exceed one thousand
dollars ($1,000) per violation. The court shall weigh the gravity of
the violation in setting the fine.
(d) A notice describing the charge and the penalty for a violation
of this section may be issued by any peace officer, animal control
officer, as defined in Section 830.9, or humane officer qualified
pursuant to Section 14502 or 14503 of the Corporations Code.
(e) This section shall not apply to the following:
(1) Events held by 4-H Clubs, Junior Farmers Clubs, or Future
(2) The California Exposition and State Fair, district
agricultural association fairs, or county fairs.
(3) Stockyards with respect to which the Secretary of the United
States Department of Agriculture has posted notice that the
stockyards are regulated by the federal Packers and Stockyards Act,
1921 (7 U.S.C. Sec. 181 et seq.).
(4) The sale of cattle on consignment at any public cattle sales
market, the sale of sheep on consignment at any public sheep sales
market, the sale of swine on consignment at any public swine sales
market, the sale of goats on consignment at any public goat sales
market, and the sale of equines on consignment at any public equine
(5) Live animal markets regulated under Section 597.3.
(6) A public animal control agency or shelter, society for the
prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, humane society shelter, or
rescue group regulated under Division 14 (commencing with Section
30501) of the Food and Agricultural Code. For purposes of this
section, "rescue group" is a not-for-profit entity whose primary
purpose is the placement of dogs, cats, or other animals that have
been removed from a public animal control agency or shelter, society
for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, or humane society
shelter, or that have been surrendered or relinquished to the entity
by the previous owner.
(7) The sale of fish or shellfish, live or dead, from a fishing
vessel or registered aquaculture facility, at a pier or wharf, or at
a farmer's market by any licensed commercial fisherman or an owner or
employee of a registered aquaculture facility to the public for
(8) A cat show, dog show, or bird show, provided that all of the
following circumstances exist:
(A) The show is validly permitted by the city or county in which
the show is held.
(B) The show's sponsor or permittee ensures compliance with all
federal, state, and local animal welfare and animal control laws.
(C) The participant has written documentation of the payment of a
fee for the entry of his or her cat, dog, or bird in the show.
(D) The sale of a cat, dog, or bird occurs only on the premises
and within the confines of the show.
(E) The show is a competitive event where the cats, dogs, or birds
are exhibited and judged by an established standard or set of ideals
established for each breed or species.
(9) A pet store as defined in subdivision (i) of Section 122350 of
the Health and Safety Code.
(f) Nothing in this section shall be construed to in any way limit
or affect the application or enforcement of any other law that
protects animals or the rights of consumers, including, but not
limited to, the Lockyer-Polanco-Farr Pet Protection Act contained in
Article 2 (commencing with Section 122125) of Chapter 5 of Part 6 of
Division 105 of the Health and Safety Code, or Sections 597 and 597l
of this code.
(g) Nothing in this section limits or authorizes any act or
omission that violates Section 597 or 597l, or any other local,
state, or federal law. The procedures set forth in this section shall
not apply to any civil violation of any other local, state, or
federal law that protects animals or the rights of consumers, or to a
violation of Section 597 or 597l, which is cited or prosecuted
pursuant to one or both of those sections, or to a violation of any
other local, state, or federal law that is cited or prosecuted
pursuant to that law.
Last modified: February 22, 2013