§ 501 — EXEMPTIONS TO POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS ANIMALS LAW
The bill exempts from the law that makes it illegal to possess a potentially dangerous animal (1) a licensed veterinarian treating or caring for such an animal and (2) anyone possessing a breed of cat certified by the International Cat Association, Cat Fanciers Association, or American Cat Fanciers Association. Currently, anyone possessing certain Bengal cats on or before June 6, 1996 is exempt. By law, certain municipal parks, zoos, public nonprofit aquaria, nature centers, museums, exhibitors, and research facilities are also exempt. In short, this means that any generation of savannah cat is LEGAL to own in CT as of 2013!
EFFECTIVE DATE: June 5, 2013
§ 26-40a. Possession of potentially dangerous animal. Exemptions. Seizure, relocation and disposal. Penalties
(a) No person shall possess a potentially dangerous animal. For the purposes of this section, the following wildlife, or any hybrid thereof, shall be considered potentially dangerous animals:
(1) The felidae, including, but not limited to, the lion, leopard, cheetah, jaguar, ocelot, jaguarundi cat, puma, lynx and bobcat;
(2) The canidae, including, but not limited to, the wolf, and coyote;
(3) The ursidae, including, but not limited to, the black bear, grizzly bear and brown bear; and
(4) The hominidae, including, but not limited to, the gorilla, chimpanzee and orangutan.
(b) A primate that weighs less than thirty-five pounds at maturity and that was imported or possessed by a person in this state prior to October 1, 2003, shall not be considered a potentially dangerous animal pursuant to this section.
(c) Any such animal illegally possessed may be ordered seized and may be relocated or disposed of as determined by the Commissioner of Environmental Protection. The Department of Environmental Protection shall issue a bill to the owner or person in illegal possession of such potentially dangerous animal for all costs of seizure, care, maintenance, relocation or disposal of such animal. Additionally, any person who violates any provision of this section shall be assessed a civil penalty not to exceed two thousand dollars, to be fixed by the court, for each offense. Each violation shall be a separate and distinct offense and in the case of a continuing violation, each day’s continuance thereof shall be deemed to be a separate and distinct offense. The Commissioner of Environmental Protection may request the Attorney General to institute an action in Superior Court to recover such penalty and any amounts owed pursuant to a bill issued in accordance with this section and for an order providing such equitable and injunctive relief as the court deems appropriate.
(d) The provisions of this section shall not apply to municipal parks, zoos, accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums or the Zoological Association of America, public nonprofit aquaria, nature centers, museums, or exhibitors licensed or registered with the United States Department of Agriculture or laboratories and research facilities maintained by scientific or educational institutions licensed or registered with the United States Department of Agriculture or to a person possessing a Bengal cat certified by an internationally recognized multiple-cat domestic feline breeding association as being without wild parentage for a minimum of four prior generations which cat was registered with the Commissioner of Agriculture on or before October 1, 1996, provided no such cat may be imported into this state after June 6, 1996. In any action taken by any official of the state or any municipality to control rabies, a Bengal cat shall be considered not vaccinated for rabies in accordance with accepted veterinary practice.
(e) Any person who wilfully violates any provision of subsection (a) of this section shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor.
For further information you can contact Elaine Hinsch of the CT Office of Wildlife Division at Elaine.Hinsch@ct.gov
Disclaimer: Please check all local, city, county, township, homeowners’ ordinances in your area first before acquiring any hybrid or exotic animals.