Feline Conservation Federation


Maryland Regulations on Wild and Exotic Felines

Department of Natural Resources
Tawes State Office Building
Annapolis, MD 21401

State Website: http://dnr.maryland.gov/
Department Website: http://www.dnr.state.md.us/

Short Summary: No personal possession of wild felines allowed other than wild/domestic cross hybrid felines that weigh less than 30 pounds. 

Exempt are a USDA research facility, USDA exhibitor, DNR licensee, 501(c) 3 sanctuary that does not conduct commercial activity or buy, sell, trade, lease, or breed any animal other than under a SSP for the AZA, animal control officer, licensed vet, non resident who is traveling through the state in less than 10 days, or trained service animal.  Current owners were grandfathered if they provided written notification to their local animal control by August 1, 2006.

Non-profit 501 c 3 wildlife sanctuaries may possess wild felines without a USDA license.

Maryland (HB1124/SB 827) - Effective 7/1/2014 - A law was passed changing the exemptions to the dangerous animal law to add a circus exemption for those in state less than 90 days with sufficient public barriers from the animals and create requirements for USDA Class C exhibitors to acquire a new lion, tiger, leopard, clouded leopard, snow leopard, jaguar, cheetah, cougar of hybrid of one of these cats after June 30.  Requirements are that the exhibitor must have: $1,000,000 insurance policy, paid full-time director and at least one full-time staff trained to care for each species, animal disposition policy if the facility closes, and zoonotic disease risk and prevention training plan