Alabama Regulations on Wild and Exotic Felines
Possession of Wildlife for Public Exhibition Purposes:
Short Summary: It is illegal to possess, sell, trade or harbor any feline which has no USDA approved rabies vaccine which includes all felines and hybrids. Zoos, circuses, colleges and universities, USDA animal refuges, local humane shelters, the Department, and veterinary clinics are exempt.
Issues permits for the public exhibition of wildlife. Carnivals, zoos, circuses, and other like shows and exhibits where ample provision is made so the birds, animals, reptiles, amphibians, and fish will not escape or be released in this state are permitted. Applications require statement regarding person education and experience, description of facilities, number of species desired, and signed agreement that recommended standards for wildlife exhibition will be adhered to. New in 2017 - Rule 220-2-.154 was amended to state that a USDA license is required for Class I and II wildlife. Pantheras and large felines are Class I and other felines are Class II. Import permit from state vet office is required for wild felines entering the state except from zoo to zoo.
Bobcats and Cougars are not allowed to be imported into the state, transported within the state (except for licensed game breeders), and future possession permits to keep these species will not be issued (as of March, 2003). Accredited educational facilities, research facilities, and permitted rehabilitation facilities shall be exempt from this regulation through the written permission of the Director of the Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries or his designee. Previous owners that already have permits will be grand fathered, but breeding is prohibited.