Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: March 13, 2012
Senate passes Exotic Cat Bill
Legislation was approved Monday to regulate the private ownership
of exotic cats not used for display. Senate Bill 1799, by Sen. Kim
David, creates the Oklahoma Responsible Exotic Cat Ownership
Act to regulate and require a permit to possess, exhibit, and/or
breed any nonnative exotic feline in captivity.
“Currently, there are no state regulations on owning exotic
cats like tigers, cheetahs and leopards,” said David, R-Porter.
“For the safety of the owners, the animals and the general
public, it’s imperative that we get these regulations passed
into law as soon as possible.”
The bill, which was requested by the private exotic cat owners,
would move regulative oversight of non-domestic exotic cats to the
Department of Agriculture, while the Department of Wildlife would
continue regulating native wild cats.
Exotic felines would be divided into three new classes including:
- Class I: tigers, lions, leopards, jaguars, or any hybrid of those.
- Class II: cheetahs, snow leopards, clouded leopards, or any hybrids
- Class III would include all other species of wild cats, including,
but not limited to, servals, Canadian lynx, European lynx, caracals,
jungle cats, ocelots, fishing cats, Asian leopard cats, European
Wildcats, margays, Geoffrey cats, or any hybrids of those except
for domestic and wild feline hybrid crosses.
“When authoring this legislation, I wanted to make sure to
protect the right of private citizens to own these beautiful exotic
cats,” said David. “With these regulations in place,
we can rest assured that only responsible, qualified people will
own these creatures ensuring their personal safety, that of the
animals and the public.”
Under the bill, a noncommercial breeder permit would cost $10 a
year, while a commercial breeder permit would be $48 annually. Class
I permits would allow for the possession of all three classes of
felines. Class II permits would cover Class II and III cats; and
those with Class III permits would only be allowed to have Class
The bill sets strict qualifications to obtain a permit in order
to ensure those seeking permits have adequate education and experience
in handling and caring for the class of feline they want to possess.
For more information, contact:
Sen. David: (405) 521-5590