Feline Conservation Federation

West Virginia

West Virginia Regulations on Wild and Exotic Felines

Division of Natural Resources
P.O. Box 67
Elkins, WV 26241
304-637-0245

State Web Site: http://www.wv.gov/
Department Web Site: http://www.wvdnr.gov/

Short Summary: West Virginia (HB 4393) - Effective 6/4/2014 - The dangerous wild animals act passed banning the possession of such animals except for AZA or certified related facility, animal control or law enforcement, vet, medical institution, research facility, circus, USDA Class C exhibiting at fair or carnival, transport through the state less than 48 hours.  It creates a new Dangerous Wild Animals Board to enforce it.  The final list of felines as approved by the legislature in April 2015 that took effect 6/1/2015 are lion, tiger, jaguar, leopard, snow leopard, clouded leopard, Sunda leopard, cheetah, lynxes, and the following and all hybrids including domestic cat hybrids: cheetah, lynxes, cougar and caracal.  Those who currently possess an animal may keep their animals if they obtain a permit annually and meet the following requirements: 

  • Immediately notify county sheriff or humane officer of escape

  • Do NOT allow physical contact except permittee, handler, law enforcement or vet,

  • Has NOT been convicted of animal abuse/neglect

  • Did NOT have a government dangerous wild animal permit revoked or suspended

  • Permanently mark each animal with unique identifier

  • Maintain records (veterinary, acquisition, purchase date, proof of ownership)

  • $300,000 liability insurance with maximum $250 deductible

  • Notify Board at least 3 days before transferring ownership out of state

  • Get written consent from Board before in state transport

  • Notify Board before moving and notify Board prior to moving except for medical emergency

  • Comply with all Board rules