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Oklahoma Legislation

Sponsor(s): Sen. Kim David (R-18) and Rep. Leslie Osborn (R-47)

S.B. 178: Requires Permits for Big Cat Ownership

Born Free USA Position: SUPPORT

Bill Description:
The purpose of this bill is to establish minimum requirements for the keeping and breeding of exotic felines in captivity.

It categorizes exotic felines into three classes:

  • Class I feline species shall include non-native tigers, lions, leopards, jaguars, or any hybrid thereof
  • Class II feline species shall include non-native cheetahs, snow leopards, clouded leopards, or any hybrid thereof
  • Class III feline species shall include all other non-native 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, Geoffroy cats, or any hybrid thereof except for domestic and wild feline hybrid crosses.
  • A person must have a permit from the Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry to own, exhibit, or breed a big cat. The bill establishes different permits for each class of cat, which each have different requirements for level of experience in handling big cats.
    Current owners can keep their big cat if they apply for a permit, which will not require proof of experience or testing.
    Permits expire each year and must be renewed.
    The bill sets care, environment, and safety standards for big cat enclosures.

    Born Free USA advocates for the prohibition of all exotic “pet” ownership – check out our captive exotics page for more details. This bill does not abolish the ownership of big cats, but a permitting system that sets standards for care and safety is better than no regulations at all.

    Take action:
    Oklahoma citizens, call or email your state senator and representative, and ask them to support this piece of legislation!

    Read the full text and follow its progress here.

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