pumas

For Your Reference

WildCat Conservation Legal Aid Society’s team of volunteer legal professionals researched and summarized existing federal and state laws affecting native and non-native wildcats:

Federal Treaties & Statutes

Federal Treaties & Statutes

State Statutes*

Executive Orders*

U.S. Territories*

Federal Case Law*

Administrative Proceedings*

State Case Law*

Our reports are periodically reviewed to incorporate new laws and revisions to existing laws. For assistance with legal research or to engage a speaker for a special event or program related to wildcats and/or wildcats held in captive environments, please contact us to schedule consultation.

* Our reports are currently in redesign production and will be published individually upon completion.

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Proposed New Rules & Actions

News from the Department of Justice

First Felony Conviction for Import of Illegal Timber and Largest Fine Ever under the Lacey Act:
“Lumber Liquidators Inc. Pleads Guilty to Environmental Crimes and Agrees to Pay More Than $13 Million in Fines, Forfeiture
and Community Service Payments”
DOJ Press Release     Statement of Facts     Plea Agreement

News from the Department of the Interior

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service U.S. Captive-Bred Inter-subspecific Crossed or Generic Tigers will be removed from the list of species that are exempt from registration under the Captive-Bred Wildlife (CBW) regulations. Final Rule published in the Federal Register on Wednesday, April 6, 2016, effective May 6, 2016.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Proposed Information Collection: Captive Wildlife Safety Act Notice, request for comments related to record keeping requirements on accredited wildlife sanctuaries. Comment period is open until June 6, 2016. Published in the Federal Register on Wednesday, April 6, 2016.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Revised Interagency Cooperative Policy Regarding the Role of State Agencies in Endangered Species Act Activities. Notice of Policy Revision published in the Federal Register on Monday, February 22, 2016.

On January 22, 2016 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Sevice listing of the African Lion and Asiatic Lion as threatened and endangered under the ESA went into effect. Read the USFWS Ruling.

News from the State Department

President’s Task Force on Wildlife Trafficking: The Task Force released its first annual progress report on World Wildlife Day, March 3, 2016. The report details accomplishments of the Task Force in implementing the U.S. National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking in its first year, as well as future efforts in the fight against this pernicious trade. Wildlife Trafficking Report 2015

News from The Hill

H.R. 2494: Eliminate, Neutralize, and Disrupt Wildlife Trafficking Act of 2016 ~ signed by President Obama
On October 7, 2016 H.R. 2494 became Public Law No: 114-231
Link to Public Law No 114-231
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H.R. 3131 ~ Endangered Species Litigation Reasonableness Act
“To amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to replace the current standard for awarding court costs, including attorney fees, in citizen suits with the federal judicial code standard for awarding costs to a prevailing party…”

Introduced: 06/29/2017 ~ Sponsor: Rep. Huizenga, Bill
Latest Action: 07/19/2017 ~ Hearing Held ~ House Committee on Natural Resources
Bill Text Link H.R. 3131
Bill Status Link H.R. 3131
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H.R. 2603 ~ Save’s Act: Saving America’s Endangered Species Act
“To amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to provide that nonnative species in the United States shall not be treated as endangered species or threatened species for purposes of that Act.”

Introduced: 05/23/2017 ~ Sponsor: Rep. Gohmert, Louie
Latest Action: 07/19/2017 ~ Hearing Held ~ House Committee on Natural Resources
Bill Text Link H.R. 2603
Bill Status Link H.R. 2603
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H.R. 2134 ~ Endangered Species Management Self-Determination Act
“To amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to permit Governors of States to regulate intrastate endangered species and intrastate threatened species, and for other purposes.”

H.R. 2134 Introduced: 04/25/2017 ~ Sponsor: Rep. Luetkemeyer, Blaine
Latest Action: 04/25/2017 ~ Referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources
Bill Text Link H.R. 2134
Bill Status Link H.R. 2134
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S. 935 ~ Endangered Species Management Self-Determination Act
“To amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to permit Governors of States to regulate intrastate endangered species and intrastate threatened species, and for other purposes.”

S. 935 Introduced: 04/25/2017 ~ Sponsor: Sen. Rand, Paul
Latest Action: 04/25/2017 ~ Referred to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.
Bill Text Link S. 935
Bill Status Link S. 935
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H.R. 1759 ~ Traveling Exotic Animal and Public Safety Protection Act
“To amend the Animal Welfare Act to restrict the use of exotic and wild animals in traveling performances.”

Introduced: 03/28/2017 ~ Sponsor: Rep. Grijalva, Raul M.
Latest Action: 03/28/2017 ~ Referred to the House Committee on Agriculture
Bill Text Link H.R. 1759
Bill Status Link H.R. 1759
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H.R. 1274 ~ State, Tribal and Local Species Transparency and Recovery Act
“To amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to require the Department of the Interior or the Department of Commerce, as appropriate, to provide to affected states all data that is used as the basis of a determination on whether a species is an endangered species or a threatened species before making a determination. The appropriate department must use data submitted by a state, tribal, or county government in making such a determination.”

Introduced: 03/01/2017 ~ Sponsor: Rep. Newhouse, Dan
Latest Action: 07/19/2017 ~ Hearing Held ~ House Committee on Natural Resources
Bill Text Link H.R. 1274
Bill Status Link H.R. 1274
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H.R. 717 ~ Listing Reform Act
“To amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to require review of the economic cost of adding a species to the list of endangered species or threatened species, to allow the Department of the Interior or the Department of Commerce, as appropriate, to prioritize the consideration of petitions to list a species as endangered or threatened other than in the order in which the petitions are received. The appropriate department may not give general priority to petitions to add species to the list of endangered or threatened species over petitions to remove a species from the list, and for other purposes.”

Introduced: 01/27/2017 ~ Sponsor: Rep. Olson, Pete
Latest Action: 07/19/2017 ~ Hearing Held ~ House Committee on Natural Resources
Bill Text Link H.R. 717
Bill Status Link H.R. 717
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H.R. 6342 ~ Traveling Exotic Animal and Public Safety Protection Act
“To amend the Animal Welfare Act to restrict the use of exotic and wild animals in traveling performances.”

Introduced: 11/17/2016 ~ Sponsor: Rep. Grijalva, Raul M.
Latest Action: 11/17/2016 ~ Referred to the House Committee on Agriculture
Bill Text Link H.R. 6342
Bill Status Link H.R. 6342
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H.R. 1818 ~ Big Cat Public Safety Act
“To amend the Lacey Act Amendments of 1981 to clarify provisions enacted by the Captive Wildlife Safety Act, to further the conservation of certain wildlife species, and for other purposes.”

Introduced: 03/30/2017 ~ Sponsor: Rep. Denham, Jeff
Latest Action: 03/30/2017 Referred to the House Natural Resources Committee
Bill Text Link H.R. 1818
Bill Status Link H.R. 1818
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H.R. 3546 ~ Big Cat Public Safety Act
“To amend the Lacey Act Amendments of 1981 to clarify provisions enacted by the Captive Wildlife Safety Act, to further the conservation of certain wildlife species, and for other purposes.”

Introduced: 09/17/2015 ~ Sponsor: Rep. Jones, Walter B., Jr.
Latest Action: 10/06/2015 Referred to the Subcommittee on Federal Lands
Bill Text Link H.R. 3564
Bill Status Link H.R. 3546
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H.R. 3526 ~ CECIL Act
“To amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to extend the import and export related provision of that Act to species proposed for listing as threatened or endangered under that Act.”

Introduced: 09/16/2015 ~ Sponsor: Rep. Grijalva, Raul M.
Latest Action: 09/21/2015 ~ Referred to the Subcommittee on Trade
Bill Text Link H.R. 3526
Bill Status Link H.R. 3526
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S. 27 ~ Wildlife Trafficking Enforcement Act of 2015
“To make wildlife trafficking a predicate offense under racketeering and money laundering statutes and the Travel Act, to provide for the use for conservation purposes of amounts from civil penalties, fines, forfeitures, and restitution under such statutes based on such violations, and for other purposes.”

Introduced: 01/06/2015 ~ Sponsor: Sen. Feinstein, Dianne
Latest Action: 01/06/2015 Read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary
Bill Text Link S. 27
Bill Status Link S. 27
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H.R. 2697: Rare Cats and Canids Act of 2015
“To assist in the conservation of rare felids and rare canids by supporting and providing financial resources for the conservation programs of nations within the range of rare felid and rare canid populations and projects of persons with demonstrated expertise in the conservation of rare felid and rare canid populations.”

Introduced: 06/09/2015 ~ Sponsor: Rep. Grijalva, Raul M.
Latest Action: 06/15/2015 Referred to the Subcommittee on Federal Lands
Bill Text Link H.R. 2697
Bill Status Link H.R. 2697
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News from the States

Connecticut Bill SB227 February 2016: An Act Concerning Cecil’s Law, “To prohibit the import, sale and trade of big-game hunting trophies from overseas.” (African Lions and Leopards et al) April 4, 2016: CT General Assembly: “The Committee on Environment reported through SEN. KENNEDY of the 12th Dist., Chairperson of the Committee on the part of the Senate, that the substitute bill ought to pass.” See File No. 430 Follow SB227 Status

Indiana Representative Eberhart introduced House Bill 1332 that will prohibit a person from possessing, selling, transferring, or breeding a dangerous wild animal, and prohibits a person who owns a dangerous wild animal from allowing a member of the public to come into direct contact with the animal.
HB 1332 also establishes requirements that a: (1) zoological park or circus; or (2) person who possesses a dangerous wild animal before July 1, 2017; must meet to continue to possess a dangerous wild animal and establishes procedures to seize, impound, and forfeit dangerous wild animals. Provides criminal penalties for violations. HB 1332 will allow a city, town, or county to adopt an ordinance or a township to adopt a resolution that includes more stringent restrictions or additional requirements on the possession, sale, transfer, or breeding of dangerous wild animals. HB 1332 was referred to the house committee on natural resources.

Indiana Bill SB7 Introduced and authored by Sen. Pete Miller in January 2016, “removes exotic mammals from the animals that may be propagated or offered for hunting at a shooting preserve.” Referred to Committee on Natural Resources. Follow SB7 Status

Kansas Bill SB97 “Allowing Contact with Certain Regulated Animals”
SB97 was subsequently amended by emergency motion and passed by the Senate to include the following language:
“(5) Before a member of the public handles or otherwise comes into physical contact with a dangerous regulated animal weighing between 10 and 40 pounds, not including bears or any hybrid thereof and non-native venomous snakes, such member of the public shall read and sign a statement that shall contain substantially the following: “The handling or petting of a dangerous regulated animal is inherently dangerous and may result in scratches, bites or other injuries.” Referred to the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.
[Related news article: “The legislation, Senate Bill 97, would reverse all the work we have done to protect our mothers, fathers and children in Kansas from this kind of senseless tragedy,” said Ronda and Michael Good, the mother and stepfather of Hilderbrand.”]

Kansas Bill SB132 will amend statutes concerning dangerous regulated animals: K.S.A. 2014 Supp. 32-1301; 32-1302, 32-1303, 32-1304, 32-1305, 32-1306, 32-1307, 32-1308 and 32-1310 and repealing the existing sections; also repealing K.S.A. 2014 Supp. 32-1309 (effective July 2015) with Committee on Federal & State Affairs.

New York Bill A0127 will amend the agriculture and markets law, in relation to the declawing of cats or other animals; prohibiting the performance of declawing procedures on cats and other animals.

Nevada February 2017: AB238 that if enacted would impose stricter provisions relating to the importation, possession, sale, transfer and breeding of dangerous wild animals.

New Jersey Bill S-3416 authored by Senator Raymond Lesniak that would prohibit the importation, sale and possession in New Jersey of “trophy animals” that are threatened with extinction, expanding the current list of banned species to include the African lion, among other endangered species was approved by the Senate on January 7, 2016. Senator Lesniak is also the sponsor of companion legislation, S-3146, that would prohibit the importation of these animal parts through any airport or port facility owned or operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Under the bill, which will be voted on next Monday, any Port Authority officer would have the authority to enforce the prohibition and seize any item used in connection with the violation of the prohibition. Read More

North Carolina House Bill 554 likely not to pass according to the bill’s main sponsor, Rep. Chuck McGrady:
“House Bill 554, known as the ‘monkey bill’ by House Members who voted on it just before the crossover deadline, is also unlikely to be taken up by the Senate. The bill was strongly supported by the Humane Society of the United States. But after the Humane Society’s unsuccessful effort to defeat House Bill 405 [Property Protection Act] during which it pejoratively tagged the bill as the ‘ag-gag’ bill, neither chamber is wanting to take up the animal protection bill. The over-the-top rhetoric of the Humane Society on HB405 will result in the demise of HB554—a result I support since bad behavior should not be rewarded.” “House Bill 554: Protect Public from Dangerous Wild Animals” in April, when it was introduced to the North Carolina House of Representatives.”

South Carolina House Bill 3531 Amendment to DELETE the Provision That Allows The Public Display, Showing, Or Exhibition Of Certain Wild Carnivores (including Family Felidae, Genus panthera: ALL lions, tigers, leopards, jaguars, cougars, cheetahs, snow leopards, and clouded leopards); all bears that are not native to South Carolina(…); Primates; Or Other Animals.
Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs on 1/19/2017.

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International Laws: from the Law Library of Congress

lloccoverA survey of the different legal approaches taken by twenty-one counties and the European Union in regulating the private possession of big cats. The individual country surveys describe the legal provisions regarding keeping big cats in captivity, the requirements for licenses, and permission for breeding. Some surveys include a discussion on the procedures for zoo accreditation, trade in wild animals and penalties for violations.

 

Legal Conferences

CITES Conference of the Parties 17, Johannesburg, South Africa from September 24 to October 5, 2016 at the Sandton Convention Center ~ Lisa Ann Salamat, Esq. & Philip J. Nyhus, Ph.D. representing WCCLAS ~ Dispatches from Johannesburg ~
~ WCCLAS approved to be an Observer at CITES CoP17! Read More

Protecting America’s Big Cats Part II, Autumn 2016 ~ Law Library of Congress Power Lunch Series

Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council, October 26, 2016 ~ USFWS

Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council, March 23, 2016 ~ USFWS
Our CEO attended the Wildlife Hunting and Heritage Conservation Council Meeting regarding our submission to Council in support of our initiative prohibiting canned hunts:
WCCLAS Letter to Council
WCCLAS Comments presented to Council
 

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