Introduction of new Federal & State Bills!

April 2013: Texas introduces new bills banning the private ownership of big cats and certain primates . . .

H.B. 1015 is sponsored by Rep. Ryan Guillen, D-31, and S.B. 1627 is sponsored by Sen. Eddie Lucio, D-27. The proposed bills will prohibit the private ownership of big cats and certain dangerous primates such as chimpanzees and baboons in counties with populations exceeding 75,000.

Rep. Guillen said: "These animals can cause death and inflict serious injury which is why I introduced this public safety measure. It is difficult for individuals to meet wild and dangerous animals' specialized needs while in captivity and properly ensure the safety of their neighbors and their community."

Sen. Lucio said: "Since 1990, more children have been killed or injured by captive big cats in Texas than any other state. Texas' law needs to prevent people from keeping dangerous animals in their backyards and basements. These animals are not intended to be pets. They deserve the care and respect that can only be provided by professional facilities."

Texas does not overtly prohibit the private possession of big cats or primates but does require owners to register their animals with local law enforcement or the animal control office.

WildCat Conservation Legal Aid Society commends Rep. Guillen and Sen. Lucio for their sponsorship of the bills and urges the Texas legislature to pass this urgent measure into law.

Link to House Bill No. 1015

12.31.12.     U.S. Department of Agriculture; Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
Handling of Animals; Contingency Plans; Final Rule
AWA Contingency Plan

March 29, 2012: Oklahoma House panel approves exotic cat bill. The intent of S.B. 1799 is to keep track of commercial and noncommercial owners of exotic cats; the state has no regulations regarding such ownership.

March 8, 2012: New exotic animals rules were introduced in Ohio to ban new ownership of exotic animals in the state. The measure would immediately prohibit people from acquiring new or additional wildlife. The proposal is not as strict as suggested by a state study committee convened by Gov. John Kasich last April. Ohio has some of the nation's weakest restrictions on exotic animal ownership.

March 1, 2012: H.R. 4122, Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act, was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives "to amend the Lacey Act Amendments of 1981, to clarify the provision enacted by the Captive Wildlife Safety Act, to further the conservation of certain wildlife species, and for other purposes." Big Cats Public Safety Protection Act

Action Alert Update!
U.S. Department of the Interior; Fish and Wildlife Service
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; U.S. Captive-Bred Inter-Subspecific Crossed or Generic Tigers; Proposed Rule

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) proposed to "amend the regulations that implement the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by removing inter-subspecific crossed or generic tiger; specimens not identified or identifiable as members of Bengal, Sumatran, Siberian, or Indochinese subspecies from the list of species that are exempt from registration under the Captive-bred Wildlife (CBW) regulations. The exemption currently allows those individuals or breeding operations who want to conduct otherwise prohibited activities, such as take, interstate commerce, and export, under the ESA with U.S. captive-bred, live inter-subspecific crossed or generic tigers to do so without becoming registered. USFWS is proposing this change to the regulations to strengthen control over captive breeding of tigers in the United States to ensure that such breeding supports the conservation of the species in the wild consistent with the purposes of the ESA. The inter-subspecific crossed or generic tigers remain listed as endangered under the ESA, and a person would need to obtain authorization under the current statutory and regulatory requirements to conduct any otherwise prohibited activities with them."

The public comment period ended on October 21, 2011. USFWS received over 15,000 public comments on the proposed rule!
WildCat Conservation Legal Aid Society is in support of the proposed rule. Read our comment here!

Background information on the proposed rule is contained in the following Federal Register Notices:
Federal Register Notice: Generic Tiger Proposed Rule
Federal Register Notice to extend comment period to October 21, 2011

12.18.2010:  Truth in Fur Labeling Act of 2010 (H.R. 2480), signed by President Obama, "eliminates the Federal Trade Commission's authority to provide an exemption from Federal fur product labeling requirements for articles of apparel with a relatively small quantity or value of fur and provides an exemption from these requirements for fur products sold by an individual who trapped or hunted the animal where the revenue from these sales is not that individual's primary source of income."

12.10.2010:  President Obama Signs Bill Banning Animal Crush Videos

dc bar conference

Wildlife and the Law
Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Conference Program

Trafficking, Trade, and Transport of Wildlife
Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Article on the 2008 conference from the DC Bar Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Section, Winter 2009 Newsletter