Why Ban Laws are a Bad Idea
Reality is that those who are in charge of passing laws, often times are asked to address issues for which they have no real first-hand knowledge or experience and rely upon the "facts" presented by others. This can easily lead to distortions and solutions that don't address the problem and can actually make a situation worse. That is the reality of exotic feline ban laws.
In order to have a stable and viable population of wild and exotic felines in captivity, we must have breeders who are allowed to produce the next generation, and people who are allowed to purchase or trade for offspring and adults. When states begin passing restrictions and ban laws that eliminate the vast majority of captive habitat, they impact the ability of the population to remain stable. As the suitable captive habitat shrinks due to ban laws, the breeding population can fall below the level that insures genetic variation necessary for long-term sustainable captive populations.
Many people who do a fine job of caring for the felines are unable to move out of a state or county that has recently passed ban laws. They opt to hide their felines rather then give them up. This is a dangerous situation for the owner, the individual cat, and the feline community as a whole. Each time such a situation is ferreted out and brought to the public spotlight, it casts a negative image upon the lawful keeping of exotic felines. And when others choose to give up their felines due to recent restrictive legislation, the transfer of homes will greatly increase the likelihood of an accident. The feline is often times unable to adjust to the new situation, especially if it was tightly bonded to its original caregiver.
For the conservation of species held by private individuals, such as the leopard cat, jungle cat, serval, caracal, Canadian and Siberian lynx, bobcat, cougar, geoffroy's cat, Asian and African leopard, Siberian tiger and the Bengal tiger and its white and cinnamon color mutations, black mane lion and other rare species, states must not pass ban laws.
FCF supports responsible private ownership, and is against animal abuse and sub-standard facilities. FCF supports reasonable regulations that permit private ownership and captive husbandry. Banning the good owners and the conservation role they play, to stop those who are not providing for the welfare of their feline, or the safety of the public, does more harm then good.
FCF encourages that all owners be educated prior to taking on their responsibility to house and provide for exotic felines and asks that those of us with experience act as mentors to aid future responsible care givers and discourage those who's lifestyles are not suitable for such endeavors.