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Oklahoma State Senate
Communications Division
State Capitol
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 of those.
- 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 III felines.

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

Inon: Horizontal Blue Band

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