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What states have Banned Bengal Cats

You should only use this article for information purposes. Owners and breeders are definitely encouraged to check their local and state ordinances to be certain that their cats are legal. This piece is not supposed to be legal opinion and should be seen as the same. It covers all hybrid cats of a non-domestic source, like Safari, Serengeti, Savannah, Chaussie, and Bengal cats.

You own a cat, you live with the cat, it is a member of the family, your children adore it, possibly you might show it, it is your pet after all. Do you have to be worried about the law? There’s not anyone who would actually prohibit you from having your pet, would they?

If you possess a hybrid cat of a non-domestic source, the answer might be “yes”. There are some breeds that have been recognized for several years by TICA, like the Bengal, and they might have regulation and restriction in some cities, counties, and states. The laws can be comprehensible, can be shoddy, or might have some real bans on your cats. Having a Safari cat, Serengetti, Savannah, Chaussie, or Bengal cat (a hybrid cat of non-domestic source, simply called a “Bengal” in this document hereafter) can put you in violation of the law based on where you live. As a pet owner, it is important to be clear on the laws in your city, county, or state and understand what they mean and how they are interpreted.

Wonderfully, these cats are not regulated in the majority of states, and you probably don’t have to worry. This article will talk about the states that have bans on these cats, the legislative reasoning for these proscriptive bans, and the things we can do to get those bans overturned.

States that are friendly to non-hybrids

It’s fortunate that our cats aren’t regulated in the majority of states, and we probably don’t have to worry about them. This piece will talk about the states that do ban cats, the legislative reasoning for such bans, and the things we can do get those bans off the books.

New York City and State

After an incident wherein a person had a tiger living inside of their apartment, Bengals got heavily regulated in New York State and New York City. This legislation basically outlawed Bengals in the F1-F4 generation in New York State. New York City bans all Bengal cats. There was a small window of opportunity in New York in that a Bengal owner could get a permit for the cat, but that window was shut a number of years ago. You can’t get permits for your cats under any circumstances now. New York is definitely not the place to have a Bengal cat.

The New York state laws is described, but paraphrased, as follows:

11-0103. Definitions.

“Wild animal” is taken to mean a “companion animal”, and that is defined in section 350 of the markets and agriculture law. Wild animal also includes, and is restricted to, all or any of the following families or orders:

(1) prosimians and nonhuman primates,

(2) hybrids of felidae, with the exception of Felis catus species (feral and domestic cats, which is taken to mean domesticated cats that were previously owned and that were abandoned before and that aren’t socialized anymore, and the offspring of those cats) and Felis catus hybrids that have gotten registered by the International Cat Association or the American Cat Fanciers Association if those cats have been without any parentage of wild origin for at least five generations,

New York City also has an outright proscription on all hybrid cats, as described below:

Rules of New York City –

Title 24

Department of Health

161.01 Wild animals are proscribed.

(a) No individual can give or sell to another individual, harbor, or possess wild animals that are talked about in the (b) subsection of this section or even in regulations that are described by the Commissioner based on subsection (e) of this section except for:

(1) An aquarium or zoological park handled by the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Department of Parks, or by the Zoological Society of Staten Island; or

(2) A lab run according to Public Health Law section 504; or

(3) A native wildlife rehabilitation expert or circus that has gotten their license from state or federal agencies; or

(4) A spot which has gotten the Department approval to showcase or utilize these animals, and that has devices that are protective which are sufficient to stop these kinds of animals from injuring the public or escaping. The Department can lay out conditions that are reasonable and put time restrictions on approval granting though.

(b) For this Code’s purposes, wild animals are said to be any kinds of animals that are inclined naturally to cause harm or are capable of inflicting pain upon humans are thereby prohibited according to subsection (a). These kinds of animals might include:

(i) all animals that are laid out by the Commissioner in regulations that are described according to this section;

(ii) any exotic or native wildlife whose sale or possession is proscribed since they are labeled as endangered or protected pursuant to any local, state, or federal rule, regulation, or law; and

(iii) all of the following animals:

Any dog that is not a domesticated dog, and that includes, but it’s certainly not limited to, any hybrid offspring of a domesticated dog and a wild dog, cape hunting dog, aardwolf, bush dog, zorro, raccoon dog, fennec, dhole, jackal, dingo, hyaena, coyte, fox, or wolf.

(3) All cats outside of domesticated cats (Felis catus), which includes, but is not limited to, any hybrid offspring of a domesticated cat and wild cat, margay, jaguarundi, caracal, serval, lynx, bobcat, cougar, wild cat, cheetah, mountain lion, panther, puma, jaguar, ocelot, leopard, tiger, and lion.

(c) As well as domesticated cats and dogs, an animal can be sold, harbored, possessed, or kept in New York City if that animal’s possession isn’t prohibited otherwise by local, state, or federal laws that regulate domesticated animals, livestock, or protect endangered species and wildlife. Some of these animals include, but they are certainly not limited to, hamster, gerbil, guinea pig, small birds, domesticated rabbit, or parakeet, finch, canary, and parrot.

(d) An animal who is prohibited as far as possession pursuant to this section can be confiscated by any authorized agent, officer, or employee of the Department or of any other City of New York agency, and the Commissioner will provide for the appropriate disposition of the animal.

(1) The Commissioner may issue an order pursuant to this section that will include a notice that the animal’s owner may, in the space of three business days of the order’s receipt, ask for an opportunity to be listened to with respect to whether or not the animal is a restricted animal and its right disposition. The Commissioner shall offer an opportunity to be listened to as is right, but no more than 15 days after the receipt of the request.

(2) If there is the Department’s written consent, an animal’s owner who has a prohibited possession pursuant to this section, can take out such an animal to a different jurisdiction where it has no prohibited possession pursuant to any law or local law.

 

Georgia

The second place you don’t want to be around is Georgia. The state bans all hybrids of non-domestic source, except those that are lower than F4, like F5, F6, etc. You are prohibited from getting a permit.

The first two chapters of Title 27 (75) “Wild animal” is taken to mean an animal which isn’t wildlife, and it is not usually a species that is domestic in the state. The term uniquely includes any crosses of any merger of a domestic animal, wildlife, or a wild animal, or a hybrid. Spawn from all future generations of these hybrids or crosses are agreed to be animals that are wild.

Section 1.

Georgia’s Official Code Annotated, that relates to wild creatures where a permit or license is required, has gotten an amendment by getting rid of a subparagraph and putting instead thereof the following:

“(K) Carnivora Order (wolves, bears, cats, ferrets, weasels, etc.) – Every one of the species, outside of the European ferret or a Bengal cat that is domestic may be kept as a pet, exhibited, purchased, or sold without a permit or license; given, though, that the owner of the ferret can offer documentation that’s valid that the ferret had sexual neutering before the age of seven months and is guarded against diseases like rabies with a vaccine that is properly administered and approved for ferrets’ use by the U.S. Department of Agriculture; and given additionally that as utilized in the subparagraph here, the phrase ‘domestic Bengal cat’ has to include just the hybrid spawn of leopard cats which could have been seen by a cat fancy organization with registration as the breed that is domestic of that Bengal cat, given that such registration should not entail any animal that’s fewer than a couple of generations away from an Asian leopard cat;”.

Massachusetts

The State of Massachusetts regulates F1-F2 Bengals:

PART I. ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT

TITLE XIX. AGRICULTURE AND CONSERVATION

CHAPTER 131. INLAND FISHERIES AND GAME AND OTHER NATURAL RESOURCES

Chapter 131: Section 77A. Wild felid and canid hybrids Section 77A. No individual will release, export, import, breed, trade, sell, or possess a wild felid hybrid or wild canid hybrid, except as it is offered by the regulations and rules of the division. Whichever mammal is the offspring of any reproducing between any hybrid wild canid or wild canid and a hybrid wild canid or domestic dog, or is said by its owner to be a wild hybrid that is a canid, or which is the result of the reproduction between any species of hybrid wild felid or wild felid and a domestic cat or hybrid wild felid or is said by its owner to be a wild felid hybrid. All of the mammals should be thought to be wild mammals and be controlled to this chapter’s provisions. This act’s provisions will not apply to an owner or other individual having any kind of animal like as of January 1st, 1994 who has attained a director’s permit; given, however, that the permit has been gotten on or before July 31, 1994. The pet owner or another person has to abide by the regulations and rules offered by the division. Such regulations and rules could include, but shouldn’t be limited to, housing such animals and their provisions.

The provisions in this section shouldn’t apply to a pet owner or individual who possesses a domesticated pet or show cat registered with an internationally or nationally recognized breeding association or registry which verifies the registration and pedigree of the cat to be without any felid parentage that is wild for at least three generations.

Mark that they also have to be registered and have the chance for the registry to make a three generation pedigree.

Iowa

Iowa put out rules that heavily regulated Bengals in the year of 2007.

Chapter 717F DANGEROUS WILD ANIMALS

a.”A wild animal that is dangerous” can refer to any of the following:

3)A part of the family felidae of the carnivora order, that includes servals, ocelots, cheetahs, leopards, cougars, tigers, and lions, but is not limited to them. A dangerous wild animal doesn’t include a domestic cat, however.

b. “A wild animal that is dangerous” is also an animal which the spawn of an animal that was in paragraph “a”, and any other animal in that section or any other animal. It also has to do with animals that are the spawn of each future generation. However, a wild animal that is dangerous doesn’t have to do with wolf and domestic dog offspring, or each subsequent generation’s offspring in which at a minimum a single parent is a dog that is domesticated.

717F.3 WILD ANIMALS THAT ARE DANGEROUS – FORBIDDEN.

Except as noted otherwise in this chapter, an individual should not do any of the things that are following:

  1. Possess or own a wild animal that is dangerous. Allow or cause a wild animal that is dangerous that is owned by an individual or in the individual’s possession to breed it.

717F.4 POSSESSING OR OWNING WILD ANIMALS THAT ARE DANGEROUS ON JULY 1, 2007.

What do you say about your side of the question to an official that is elected? You need to have the pictures, testimonials, and knowledge! You need to grab a USDA definition copy with you. Grab a catalogue for cat shows and take it along with you so that it will show that your breed is being exhibited or judged. Get a letter from a TICA representative too, a Legislative Committee member letter, a Regional Director letter, or a TICA President letter.

An individual who possesses or owns a wild animal that is dangerous on July 1, 2007, could continue to possess or own the wild animal that is dangerous if they meet all of the following conditions:

  1. The person must be over the age of 18 years old.
  2. A. The individual can’t have been convicted of an offense that involves the neglect or abuse of an animal based on a law of another state or this state, including, but not limited to several chapters or an ordinance taken up by another county or city.

b. The department, in another state, or the federal government should have suspended a license or permit application necessitated to run an establishment that’s commercial for the sale, breeding, and care of animals, and that includes what was given in chapter 162.

c. The individual cannot have had a felony for any offense that was committed in the previous ten years, as offered by this Code, under the laws of any other state, or under the federal law.

d. The individual should not have been convicted of any kind of small misdemeanor or felony for an offense that was committed in the previous ten years that involved a drug as it was set out in section 124.101 in this state, under the laws of any other state, or under the federal law.

3. Within two months after July 1, 2007, the individual should have an electronic identification device put beneath the hide or skin of the wild animal that is dangerous, unless a veterinarian that is licensed says in writing that the implantation would hurt the health or comfort of the wild animal that is dangerous. In that case, an electronic identification device can be definitely attached to the wild animal that is dangerous as necessitated by the department.

4. It must not be later than December 31, 2007, and the individual must let the department know using a registration form that was made by the department. The form for the registration should have the following information included as well:

a. The individual’s address, name, and telephone number.

b. An affidavit that is sworn by the individual that meets the requirements that are necessitated to possess or own a wild animal that is dangerous as seen in this section.

c. A total inventory of every wild animal that is dangerous which the individual possesses or owns. The total inventory will have to entail every wild animal that is dangerous that the individual possesses or owns. The inventory should include all of the necessary information:

(1) However many wild animals that are dangerous based on the species.

(2) The manufacturer’s number of the electronic device and the manufacturer of the electronic device that was attached or implanted to each wild animal that was dangerous.

(3) the area where each wild animal that was dangerous was kept. The individual has to let the department know in writing within ten days of a change of location or location where the wild animal that is dangerous is kept.

(4) The basic distinguishing marks, scars, weight, color, sex, and age of each wild animal that is dangerous.

(5) The business telephone number, business mailing address, and name of the licensed veterinarian who is obligated to provide care to the wild animal that is dangerous. It should have a statement on the data that is signed by a veterinarian that licensed, and it should certify that the wild animal that is dangerous is in good health.

(6) A color photograph of the wild animal that is dangerous.

(7) A current liability insurance policy copy as necessitated in the section here. The individual needs to send a copy of the existing liability policy each year in the department.

5. The individual has to pay the department a fee for the registration as offered in section 717F.8.

6. The individual must keep ownership and health records for the wild animal that is dangerous for the wild animal that is dangerous’s health.

7. The individual must keep the wild animal that is dangerous in confinement in an enclosure that is primary as necessitated by the area on the premises of the person. The individual can’t let the wild animal that is dangerous away from the enclosure that is primary unless the wild animal that is dangerous is moved according to any of the following conditions:

a. To get a licensed veterinarian’s veterinary care.

b. To keep up with the animal warden or department’s directions.

c. To give possession and ownership of the wild animal that is dangerous to a sanctuary for wildlife or offer for its death through euthanasia as necessitated by the department.

8. The individual has to put up at least a single sign on the individual’s premises where the wild animal that is dangerous is housed warning people that that wild animal that is dangerous is confined inside. The sign has to have a symbol that warns other children about the wild animal that is dangerous, and its presence.

9. The individual has to notify a local law enforcement official or animal warden immediately if the wild animal that is dangerous escapes.

10. The individual must get coverage for liability insurance in a price that is not less than one hundred thousand dollars with a deductible of no more than 250 dollars, for each event of property damage, death, or bodily injury caused by each wild animal that is dangerous held by the person.

11. The individual who possesses or owns the wild animal that is dangerous is liable strictly for any death, injury, or damages caused by wild animal that is dangerous. The individual has to reimburse public agency or other department for necessary expenses that are incurred by maintaining custody or capturing the wild animal that is dangerous.

12. If the individual is no longer capable of caring for the wild animal that is dangerous, all of the following entail:

a. The individual has to tell the department, telling them of the disposition that is planned of the wild animal that is dangerous.

b. The individual has to get rid of the wild animal that is dangerous by offering possession and ownership to a sanctuary for wildlife or offering it death by euthanasia as necessitated by the department.

Alaska

Alaska outlawed all Bengals unless they are removed by four generations from the ancestor that is wild.

c) It is not lawful, without a permit given by the department, for an individual to otherwise offer, advertise, sell, transport, or possess for purchase, sale, or offer to buy a hybrid cat that is wild.

d) In response to a prosecution, it is an affirmative defense for possession that illegal of a hybrid cat that is wild) but not an illegal sale prosecution, or otherwise offering for sale or advertising under this area) that

(1) the animal has a license as necessary in the residence jurisdiction, has a pedigree that is registered that shows the last four generations, and these logs are available for inspection by regulatory or government officials and other animal control officers; and

(2) the creature is at minimum four generations taken aback from an ancestor that is wild.

(e) For this section’s purposes,

(1) “A family member that is immediate” has the meaning that is given to it in AS 39.52.960;

(2) wild cat hybrid includes the spawn from the domestic cat mating or hybrid cat that is wild with wild species or wild cat hybrid and domestic cat the last four generations; and

(B) A creature represented to be a hybrid of a wild cat by any description or name;

Keep in mind that at a public hearing vs. a private meeting, there is a numbers strength. Take as many friends with you as you can and make certain that each of them gives a stick-to-the-facts, non-emotional presentation. You can saw how much you love your cats, but if you carry on in a non-professional manner, it won’t be good.

Hawaii

Hawaii bans Bengal cats as well.

The Department of Agriculture Administrative has a prohibited animals list. Hybrid cats that are non-domestic are mentioned specially under “Mammals” with the following description:

Felis catus crossed with hybrid, cat, wild cat, leopard cat, bobcat, jaguarandi, puma, margay, ocelot, and lynx; (all hybrid-crosses where at a minimum one or more of the parents are proscribed or curtailed).

Delaware

Delaware put a ban on hybrid cats in January 2010.

The Department of Agriculture Division of Animal Health and Food Products Inspection Authority:

Delaware Code Exotic Animal Regulations offers in important area:

“Wild animal hybrid” refers to a mammal who has parents who are of different varieties of the identical species or who belong to closely allied, however different, species, with one parent generally found in Delaware and one parent being a wild mammal.

There is a process to get a license for keeping an exotic animal in Delaware, and it can be found in paragraphs six and seven of the Admin Code readable online.

Connecticut

Connecticut put a ban on Bengal cats too.

Chapter 490

GAME AND FISHERIES Sec. 26-40a. Possessing a potentially dangerous animal is mentioned herein. Confiscation bill costs. Civil penalty. For the goals of this section, the mentioned wildlife, or any hybrid wildlife, will be thought as possibly dangerous animals: The felidae, including, but definitely not limited to, the bobcat, lynx, puma, jaguarundi cat, ocelot, jaguar, cheetah, leopard, and lion; the canidae, including, but certainly not limited to, the coyote and wolfe; and ursidae, including but certainly not limited to, the brown bear, grizzly bear, and black bear. No individual needs to possess a possibly dangerous animal. Any kind of animal that is possessed illegally can be given an order to be taken and could be disposed of as necessary by the Commissioner on Environmental Protection. The Department of Environmental Protection will have to send out a bill to the owner of individual in charge of the illegal possession of such possibly dangerous animals for call costs of disposal, maintenance, care, and seizure of such animal. Furthermore, any individual who violates any of this section’s provisions will be given a civil penalty that won’t go beyond $1,000, to be set by the court, for any offense. Each violation will be a distinct and separate offense. The Commissioner can request that the Attorney General set up an action in Superior Court to get the penalty and any other amounts that are owed pursuant to a bill that was issued based on this section. This section’s provisions will not apply to research facilities maintained by scientific or educational centers, laboratories, museums, zoos and nature centers, and municipal parks.; to an individual possessing a Bengal cat confirmed by a multiple-cat domestic cat association as being without any wild parentage for at least four previous generations which cat was set up with the Agriculture Commissioner on or previously to October 1, 1996, given that no such cat can be imported into this state after the date of June 6, 1996; or to individuals who possess animals for legal purposes or prior to May 23, 1983. In any action that gets taken by a municipal or state official to control rabies, a Bengal cat has to be thought of as not vaccinated for rabies based on the confirmed veterinary practice.

Indiana

Indiana transparently regulates exotic cats, and they regulate hybrids as well. Indiana residents say that a permit is required just for a first generation (F1) the law doesn’t have any certain provision allowing further filial generations, but, owners in Indiana might have memoranda from officials in the state as to the exception of further filial generations. I haven’t been able to get copies of any such memoranda though.

The Indiana Code stipulates as follows:

A person cannot take an exotic mammal that is a species from any of the following mammal families:

(2) Bovidae (wildebeest, antelope, bighorn sheep, and gazelle), except for cattle that is domestic (genus Bos, includes all beef an dairy animals) and buffalo (Bison bison). (3) Camelidae (llama and camel). (4) Canidae (exotic foxes, wild dog, and jackal). (5) Cebidae (marmoset). (6) Cercopithecidae (monkey and baboon). (7) Cervidae (exotic deer, caribou, moose, and elk). (8) Dasypodidae (armadillo). (9) Elephantidae (elephant). (10) Equidae (zebra and wild horse), except for horses that are domestic. (11) Felidae (exotic cats, tiger, lynx, and mountain lion) (12) Giraffidae (okapi and giraffe). (13) Hippopotamidae (hippopotamus). (14) Hyaenidae (hyaena). (150 Macropodidae (wallaby and kangaroo). (16) Myrmecophagidae (anteater). (17) Orycteropodidae (aardvark). (18) Pongidae (gorilla, bonobo, and chimpanzee). (19) Procaviidae (hyrax). (20) Protelidae (aardwolf). (21) Rhinocerotidae (rhinoceros). (22) Suidae (exotic swine and wild boar), except for swine that is domestic. (23) Tapirdae (tapir). (24) Tayassuidae (peccary and javelina). (25) Tragulidae (chevrotain). (26) Ursidae (bear). (27) A genetically altered mammal or hybrid of any of these families.

Some of the creatures that are exempted from this section that are not considered animals that are exotic are coyote, gray fox, red fox, bobcat, and white-tailed deer.
Utah

There has been a ton of controversy in Utah of late about the ban of hybrid cats that are non-domestic. The law doesn’t ban them currently, even though one government employee stated that to some Savannah and Bengal owners.

Big U.S. Cities with Bengal Bans

As mentioned previously, New York City has a ban on Bengals. It’s not the only city that has a ban on Bengals. The following cities have bans on Bengals too:

Seattle, Washington

All the generations are illegal in the Seattle city limits. There is a Seattle Municipal Code that states:

An exotic animal is any animal species that is not a domestic animal and is capable of seriously injuring or killing a human being. Based on the preceding sentence, the exotic animal definition as a part of this section includes, but is certainly not limited to:

  1. All primates, except for humans;
  2. All Canidae family animals (as foxes, jackals, wolves, or dogs) and their hybrid, except for the Canis familiaris dog;
  3. All Felidae family animals (as cheetahs, cougars, leopards, jaguars, tigers, and lions) and their hybrid, except for the Felis catus domestic cat;

The Seattle Animal Control Director, Mr. Jordan, said in an email on January 21, 2010, the following information: S”eattle defines exotic animals to be, but is not limited to, all Felidae family animals (as cheetahs, cougars, leopards, jaguars, tigers, and lions) and their hybrid, excluding the domestic cat Felis catus. The email has uniquel inquired about the Chausie, Serengeti, Savannah, and Bengal hybrids which, by definition, are exotic animals, and they would not be legal in the Seattle city limits.”

Denver, Colorado

After the infamous Clyde the Bengal story, Denver modified its ordinance to just ban cats of early generations, as mentioned below:

ARTICLE I. IN GENERAL

Sec. 8-1. Imported animals.

All different animals which come into the city should be in compliance with the regulations and rules and laws of the state in regards to how such animals should be handled.

Sec. 8-2. Keeping dangerous or wild animals prohibited.

The initial item to note is that you have to have an elected official on your side. How can you get this to happen? It will happen in a large variety of ways. You can choose to become active in campaigning for a person who is running for office, and you can get to know them as well.

(a) It will be against the law for any individual to sell, transport, harbor, maintain, keep, possess, or own within the limits of the city any dangerous or wild animal that is living; given, however, that the entities or organizations below shall be exempt from this  part:

(1) The Denver Zoological Gardens;

(2) Any livestock show, rodeo, or circus licensed by the city;

(3) Any institute of research that is approved by the environmental health manager to keep, maintain, or harbor dangerous or wild animals; and

(4) Any rehabilitator of wildlife that has the license from the Colorado Division of Wildlife who transitorily keeps wild animals or raptors within the city, if the purpose is to give the animals or birds back to the wild.

(b) The phrase dangerous or wild animal, for the goals of this section, need to include and mean any and all of the following species:

(1) Reptiles that are poisonous;

(2) Teglis and monitor lizards;

(3) Snakes that are nonpoisonous and have a length greater than six feet;

(4) Crocodilians;

(5) Spiders that are poisonous;

(6) Scorpions;

(7) All nonhuman mammal species except:

  1. Domestic cat (Felis catus), however, this rule should not apply to any creature that is the hybrid cross of a domestic cat and any other cat species unless the cat ancestor which was non-domestic was of the Bengal cat species and that all cat ancestors have lived for a long time in captivity for the last five generations;

How Do You Know?

The question after that that is often asked is how one can know if the Bengals are prohibited, in the cities and counties where they live. There are a number of websites that keep information that is up-to-date relatively, and they can, at a minimum point, lead you in the right direction for discovering the laws in your city, county, or state. One of them is www.hybridlaw.com, and another one of them is the Feline Conservation Federation, www.felineconservation.org. Note, these websites are run by individuals just like you and me who aren’t totally devoted to the legislation fully so you have to click through all the links and do all the research on your own.

California’s Declaw Ban

California is interesting because it doesn’t prohibit Bengal cat ownership, but it continues to regulate that they be declawed from the F1 through F3 generations, as is following:

(a) (1) No individual may perform, or arrange or procure for the event of, tendonectomy, onychectomy, declawing, or surgical claw removal on any cat that is a member of a native wild cat or exotic species, and should not alter otherwise the paws, claws, or toes of the cat to stop the cat’s paws, claws, or toes’ normal functions.

(2) The little subdivision here doesn’t have anything to do with a therapeutic procedure of this nature.

(b) Any individual who crosses this section is guilty of a misdemeanor, and they can be punished with imprisonment in a county jail for a period that won’t go beyond a year, by a fine of at least ten thousand dollars, or by both fine and imprisonment.

© For this section’s purposes, the following terms have the outlined meanings:

(1) “onychectomy” and “declawing” mean any procedure that is surgical in which a part of the paw of the animal is cut off so that you can remove the claws of the animal.

(2) “Tendonectomy” is any procedure where the animal’s toes, paws, or limbs are modified or cut so that the claws won’t be extended.

(3) “Native wild cat or exotic species” is all members of the Felidae taxonomic family, except for domestic cats, or hybrids of domestic and wild cats that are more than three generations apart from a native or exotic cat. “Native wild cat or exotic species” include, but are certainly not limited to, any hybrid thereof, jaguars, leopard cats, jungle cats, clouded leopards, snow leopards, cheetahs, servals, margays, ocelots, caracals, bobcats, lynxes, leopards, cougars, tigers, and lions.

(4) “Therapeutic purpose” is defined for the purpose of addressing any recurring or existing abnormal condition, injury, disease, or infection in the claw that can jeopardize the health of the cat, where addressing the abnormal condition, injury, disease, or infection is a medical necessity.

Why Doesn’t the USDA Define the State Law’s Control?

One more question that is regularly asked is how cities, counties, and states can have regulations when the federal government thinks that Bengals are domestic cats. This has to do with a basic constitutional law issue. In sum, it can be summed up as follows: Within the area of who gets to choose what as far as the Federal or State government, there is a “pre-emption” doctrine. If the U.S. Congress definitely states that they want to pre-empt state law or if he was in court it has been judged that the congressional record leading to a specific law shows that that were was a pre-emption intent, then the Federal law will trump the State law as the Federal government has demonstrated that they desire to control that specific law field. In the Bengal regulation case, there hasn’t been a statement by the Federal government that stipulates that they intend to pre-empt the law of the state, and there has never been a decision in the court wherein it has been discovered that it was the choice of the Congress to Federal law override State law; hence, we are tied to local and individual state laws.

How to Fight the Laws

What happens if you reside somewhere that has just passed some legislation which deals with Bengal cats, or has plans on bringing out legislation, then what can you do?

The initial thing to keep in mind is that you have to have an official that is elected on your side. How will this happen? It will happen in a number of different ways. You can choose to become active in doing a campaign for someone who is running for an office so that you can learn about them. You can have a relative or a friend that is a good friend of an elected official or you can just call and make an appointment with the elected official that you have. Whatever you do to try to reach out to an elected official, you need to get your foot in the order, and you have to be very prepared to talk about it in an orderly and respectful way to get across your point of view.

What do you explain to your elected official though? Come armed with pictures, testimonials, and knowledge. Bring a USDA definition copy with you. Bring a catalogue for a cat show with you. Have it show that your breed is being exhibited or judged. Get a letter from your Regional Direction, a Legislative Committee member, or a TICA representative, or the TICA President. Bring along pictures of your cats with your children, and with other cats. Get letters from fellow owners of other non-domestic breeds or your Bengals. Make certain the letters are written well and have addresses and names as well as contact email addresses or phone numbers. The legislative representative from TICA that you get can help you in writing letters that are effective about cat legislation strategy on the website for TICA.

Make certain to remember that at a hearing in public, instead of a private hearing, there is a numbers strength. Take as many friends as you can, and make sure that they stick to the facts. You can talk about how much you love your cats, but it will work better if you are just professional.

Get TICA Legislative Committee members on your side. If you are not sure who to reach out to, you can reach out to the Legislative Committee Chair, and she can assist you in finding a representative in your local area, or you can look at the TICA website.

If you can’t find a law in your location, you can contact the ASPCA too.

You can work with the Legislative Committee members, TICA’s members, and more in finding out ways that you can get involved in rewriting and lifting the bans on Bengals in the states of New York, Iowa, and Alaska. There were changes formally presented to Iowa and New York law through local politicians in 2008, but they weren’t passed by the senate or the whole assembly in either state. It would be good if those bills could get introduced again. They will hopefully make a proposed change in 2010.