Bengal cats banned by Iowa. This ban included all cats with a wild ancestry meaning wild cat/domestic cat hybrids. These cats are the Bengal, Chausie, Savannah and Safaris for example.
Photograph illustrating this article is copyright Helmi Flick
Those with these cats can continue to live with them provided they comply with some fairly strict rules and pay a yearly fee. "USDA licensed owners and breeders ARE NOT EXEMPT unless they are 501(c)3 non-profit as well, or are a wildlife rehabber" (quote from this site: http://fennecfoxes.com)
Here's an extract from the legislation:
5. a. "Dangerous wild animal" means any of the following:
(3) A member of the family felidae of the order carnivora, including
but not limited to lions, tigers, cougars, leopards, cheetahs, ocelots, and
servals. However, a dangerous wild animal does not include a domestic cat.
5. b. "Dangerous wild animal" includes an animal which is the offspring of
an animal provided in paragraph "a" (this seems to refer to 5 a above), and another animal provided in that paragraph or any other animal. It also includes animals which are the
offspring of each subsequent generation.
For clarification, the basic argument/interpretation is as follows:
Clause 5. a Defines the term "Dangerous wild animal"
clause 5 a contains a numbered list (1) to (10)
Number (3) refers to "a member of the family felidae....including leopards
Clause 5. b refers to "Dangerous wild animal" includes an animal which is the offspring of an animal provided in paragraph "a" (my note: this refers to 5 a above) and another animal provided in that paragraph or any other animal. It also includes animals which are the offspring of each subsequent generation.
This would therefore seem to include the Bengal cat as she is a Leopard/domestic cat hybrid or subsequent generation.
I live in the UK so please investigate further. This law seems to reflect the continued discussion and controversy on the issue of ownership of these breeds. All the evidence and experience seems to point to the fact that these cats are not dangerous so what is the underlying purpose behind this law?