Missouri Regulations on Wild and Exotic Felines
Department of Agriculture (large carnivores)
Animal Health Division
Department Website: http://mda.mo.gov/animals/
Short summary: Effective January 1, 2012, anyone who possesses, breeds, or transports a tiger, lion, jaguar, leopard, snow leopard, clouded leopard, cheetah, or a hybrid of a listed cat must obtain a permit for each animal. Current owners had 60 days to obtain the permit. Applicants must be at least 21 and not have ever been convicted of animal cruelty or of a felony within the last 10 years, have them microchipped, report any deaths within 10 days, maintain $250,000 of liability insurance, and obtain a permit to transport them. Animal control or humane shelters holding a large carnivore for less than 90 days, law enforcement officers or department of agriculture employees, vets, those just transporting the animal through the state, and USDA Class C Exhibitors who maintain large carnivores on August 28, 2010 are exempt from the permit and microchip requirements, provided that Class C Exhibitors who obtain additional large carnivores must obtain a permit for those animals. Completely exempt from this act are circuses, the University of Missouri-Columbia College of Veterinary Medicine, and zoological parks under Chapter 184.
Those who keep a lion, tiger, leopard, ocelot, jaguar, cheetah, margay, mountain lion, Canada lynx, bobcat, or jaguarundi must register them with their local law enforcement agency. This does not apply to a zoological park, circus, scientific or educational institution, research laboratory, veterinary hospital, or animal refuge.
Regulates native felines (bobcat and cougar) only. Has caging requirements and permit application. Bobcats are Class I animals, and cougars are Class II animals. Bobcats can be permitted for personal possession reasons, called Wildlife Hobby Permit for $10 fee.
Commercial breeders can get a Class I Wildlife Breeder Permit for $50 per year.
Possession of cougars requires a Class II Breeder Permit for $150.00 per year - they cannot be possessed under the wildlife hobby permit. Has caging, husbandry and transportation standards. Cougars must be microchiped. The owners must also submit a blood or tissue sample for DNA analysis. All animals must be registered with the Department when acquired, born, at death, or when sold.
Exemptions to the Breeder or Wildlife Hobby permits are vets, rehabilitation centers, circuses, publicly owned zoos, AZA not-for-profit facilities, bona fide research facilities, and fur farms. However, circuses may not allow public contact with Class I or II wildlife.