Feline Conservation Federation

Captive Wildlife Safety Act

    This Congressionally approved amendment to the Lacey Act restricts interstate transport of six species of large wild cat (tiger, lion, leopard, jaguar, cheetah and cougar) to exempted entities only.
    The Captive Wildlife Safety Act prohibits existing large cat owners who are not exempted from moving to another state with their cats.
    Both commercial (cats being sold) and non-commercial (cats being donated) interstate transport of these cats is restricted by this amendment.
    Exempted entities are universities, research facilities, USDA licensed facilities, persons transporting the animals for an exempted entity, and certain 501 c 3 facilities that conform to standards to be written by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. These standards include no breeding, buying, selling, public display or public touching of felines.
    Persons who have state licenses to possess any of these six feline species, but are not one of the exempted entities listed in this CWSA will not be allowed to receive, or donate, or buy, or sell, or transport these listed felines across state lines.
    The Captive Wildlife Safety Act does not prevent the purchase or receiving by donation any of these listed feline species from intrastate locations where the transport does not cross state lines.
    The Captive Wildlife Safety Act was designed to put the breaks on breeding and Internet sales of tiger cubs, and the offspring of other large felines, for pets. However, what some people don't realize is that the CWSA also forbids properly state-licensed facilities with the caging and experience, but that not USDA licensed, or operating as a federal tax-exempt no-breeding/no touching sanctuary, from providing captive habitat for any out-of-state big cat in need of emergency relocation.