2010 Wisconsin Code
Chapter 943. Crimes against property.
943.75 Unauthorized release of animals.

943.75

943.75 Unauthorized release of animals.

943.75(1)

(1) In this section:

943.75(1)(ad)

(ad) "Animal" means all vertebrate and invertebrate species, including mammals, birds, fish and shellfish but excluding humans.

943.75(1)(am)

(am) "Humane officer" means an officer appointed under s. 173.03.

943.75(1)(b)

(b) "Local health officer" has the meaning given in s. 250.01 (5).

943.75(2)

(2) Whoever intentionally releases an animal that is lawfully confined for companionship or protection of persons or property, recreation, exhibition, or educational purposes, acting without the consent of the owner or custodian of the animal, is guilty of a Class C misdemeanor. A 2nd violation of this subsection by a person is a Class A misdemeanor. A 3rd or subsequent violation of this subsection by a person is a Class I felony.

943.75(2m)

(2m) Whoever intentionally releases an animal that is lawfully confined for scientific, farming, restocking, research or commercial purposes, acting without the consent of the owner or custodian of the animal, is guilty of a Class H felony.

943.75(3)

(3) Subsections (2) and (2m) do not apply to any humane officer, local health officer, peace officer, employee of the department of natural resources while on any land licensed under s. 169.15, 169.18, or 169.19, subject to certification under s. 90.21, or designated as a wildlife refuge under s. 29.621 (1) or employee of the department of agriculture, trade and consumer protection if the officer's or employee's acts are in good faith and in an apparently authorized and reasonable fulfillment of his or her duties. This subsection does not limit any other person from claiming the defense of privilege under s. 939.45 (3).

943.75(4)

(4) When the existence of an exception under sub. (3) has been placed in issue by the trial evidence, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the facts constituting the exception do not exist in order to sustain a finding of guilt under sub. (2) or (2m).

943.75 - ANNOT.

History: 1991 a. 20, 269; 1993 a. 27; 1995 a. 79; 1997 a. 27, 192, 248; 1999 a. 45; 2001 a. 56, 109.

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