SB 206 - This act creates the Large Carnivore Act. Except as permitted in the act, the act prohibits the owning, breeding, possession, transferring of ownership, or transporting of "large carnivores," defined as certain non-native cats of the Felidae family or any species of non-native bear held in captivity.
Persons possessing, breeding, or transporting a large carnivore on or after January 1, 2008, must apply for a permit from the Department of Agriculture. Owners of large carnivores must have an identification number inserted in the animal via subcutaneous microchip. Certain entities are exempt from the permit and microchip requirements.
Any person who owns or possesses a large carnivore is liable in a civil action for the death or injury of a human or another animal and for any property damage caused by the large carnivore. If a large carnivore escapes or is released intentionally or unintentionally, the owner is required to immediately notify law enforcement and is liable for all expenses associated with the efforts to recapture the large carnivore. As a condition of being permitted to own a large carnivore, the owner is required to show proof of having liability insurance in an amount of not less than $250,000.
Requirements for the confinement, handling, sanitation, feeding, transporting, veterinary care, and seizure of large carnivores are specified. The requirements are in addition to any applicable state or federal law and do not preclude any local political subdivision from adopting more restrictive laws. Certain entities, law enforcement officials, animal control officers, and veterinarians are exempt from provisions of the act.
Individuals who intentionally release a large carnivore shall be guilty of a Class D felony. Other violations of this act shall be a Class A misdemeanor, subject to possible community service, loss of privilege to own or possess an animal, and civil forfeiture of any large carnivore.
This act is similar to HB 901 (2007) and the perfected HB 1441 (2006).