Oregon Senate Agrees to Ban Exotic Cats as Pets

PRESS RELEASE: Legislation to phase out ownership of dangerous pets passed by Senate

SB 391 not retroactive; will prevent new ownership of certain exotic animals

SALEM –Following a high profile accident in Connecticut involving a pet chimpanzee, the Senate passed legislation today to protect exotic animals and phase out Oregon’s role in the permitting of exotic pets. Included under the new exotic-pets category are non-domestic cats, non-human primates, non-domestic dogs, crocodiles, and alligators.

“It is not unheard of for a former pet crocodile or alligator to be found wandering the streets in my district after they’ve been dumped in a local waterway,” said Senator Mark Hass (D-Beaverton), chief sponsor of the legislation. “Wild animals belong in the wild, not in a basement in Beaverton.”

Currently, Oregonians receive permits from the State Department of Agriculture for the keeping of exotic pets. SB 391 will move the majority of the permitting process to the USDA and give current owners up to a year to renew their permit and then discontinue issuing permits after that date.

“These animals pose a danger to our children, our domestic pets, and once cornered, our law enforcement officials don’t have the appropriate training to deal with them,” said Senate Majority Leader Richard Devlin (D-Tualatin). “This is common sense legislation.”

SB 391 also prohibits the breeding of exotic animals, except for feline hybrids. Specifically exempted from the ban are animals kept by wildlife sanctuaries, law enforcement agencies, humane societies, animal shelters, and veterinary hospitals or clinics. The Humane Society of the United States has expressed their support for SB 391.

The bill will now go move to the House for consideration.

###

75th OREGON LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY--2009 Regular Session

NOTE: Matter within { + braces and plus signs + } in an
amended section is new. Matter within { - braces and minus
signs - } is existing law to be omitted. New sections are within
{ + braces and plus signs + } .

LC 1600

A-Engrossed

Senate Bill 391
Ordered by the Senate March 19
Including Senate Amendments dated March 19

Sponsored by Senators HASS, BOQUIST; Representatives BERGER,
BRUUN, GARRARD, ROBLAN, SCHAUFLER, WITT


SUMMARY

The following summary is not prepared by the sponsors of the
measure and is not a part of the body thereof subject to
consideration by the Legislative Assembly. It is an editor's
brief statement of the essential features of the measure.

Expands definition of 'exotic animal' to include member of
order Crocodylia. { + Removes from definition 'any wolf.' + }
Prohibits breeding of exotic animals except for small exotic
felines. Exempts certain organizations, institutions and
facilities from permit requirement or from prohibition against
breeding of exotic animal.
Allows possession of exotic animal if person applies for permit
by certain date or possessed permit on certain date. Allows State
Department of Agriculture to charge fee for permit.

A BILL FOR AN ACT
Relating to exotic animals; creating new provisions; and amending
ORS 609.305, 609.309, 609.312, 609.315, 609.319 and 609.335.
Be It Enacted by the People of the State of Oregon:
SECTION 1. ORS 609.305 is amended to read:
609.305. As used in ORS 609.305 to 609.335 and 609.992
{ - , - } { + :
(1) + } 'Exotic animal' means:
{ - (1) - } { + (a) + } Any member of the family Felidae
not indigenous to Oregon, except the species Felis catus
(domestic cat);
{ - (2) - } { + (b) + } Any nonhuman primate;
{ - (3) Any wolf (Canis lupus); - }
{ - (4) - } { + (c) + } Any nonwolf member of the family
Canidae not indigenous to Oregon, except the species Canis
familiaris (domestic dog); { - and - }
{ - (5) - } { + (d) + } Any bear, except the black bear
(Ursus americanus) { - . - } { + ; and
(e) Any member of the order Crocodylia.
(2) 'Wildlife sanctuary':
(a) Means a nonprofit organization described in section
501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code that operates a place of
refuge where an abused, neglected, unwanted, impounded,
abandoned, orphaned or displaced exotic animal is provided care
for the animal's lifetime or until released into the wild.
(b) Does not mean an organization that:

(A) Involves an exotic animal in an activity that is not
inherent to the animal's nature;
(B) Uses exotic animals as a type of entertainment;
(C) Sells, trades or barters exotic animals or exotic animal
body parts; or
(D) Breeds exotic animals. + }
SECTION 2. ORS 609.309 is amended to read:
609.309. It is the policy of this state { - that the keeping
of exotic animals be regulated so as - } to { + protect the
public against health and safety risks that exotic animals pose
to the community, + } ensure the health, welfare and safety of
{ - those - } { + exotic + } animals and { - to - } ensure
the security of facilities in which { - they - } { + exotic
animals + } are kept, so as to avoid undue physical or financial
risk to the public. { - It is the policy of this state that
regulation place no more burden upon the keepers of exotic
animals than is required to accomplish the purposes expressed in
this section. - }
SECTION 3. ORS 609.312 is amended to read:
609.312. A person who sells an exotic animal must, prior to
accepting the offer to purchase, provide the prospective
purchaser of the { + exotic + } animal with informational
material approved by the State Department of Agriculture
regarding the care, husbandry, health and nutritional needs of
the { + exotic + } animal. { + This section does not allow the
sale of an exotic animal to a person located in this state other
than an entity described in ORS 609.315. + }
SECTION 4. ORS 609.315 is amended to read:
609.315. The requirements for a permit in ORS 609.319 and
609.335 { - shall - } { + do + } not apply to { + the
following + }:
(1) A wildlife rehabilitation center operated under a valid
permit issued by the State Fish and Wildlife Commission pursuant
to ORS 497.308 { + . + } { - ; or - }
(2) A facility operated under a valid license or { + research
facility + } registration issued by the United States Department
of Agriculture pursuant to the federal Animal Welfare Act of 1970
(7 U.S.C. 2133 or 2136).
{ + (3) An exotic animal protection organization, including
humane societies and animal shelters, incorporated under ORS
chapter 65, that houses an exotic animal at the written request
of the state, a local government or a state agency.
(4) A law enforcement agency.
(5) A licensed veterinary hospital or clinic.
(6) A wildlife sanctuary.
(7) An educational facility that houses a member of the order
Crocodylia pursuant to a written request of the state, a local
government or a state agency stating the need to house the member
of the order Crocodylia at the educational facility. + }
SECTION 5. ORS 609.319 is amended to read:
609.319. { + (1) + } { - No - } { + A + } person may
{ + not + } keep an exotic animal in this state unless { - ,
before acquiring the animal, - } the person possesses a valid
State Department of Agriculture permit for that animal
{ - issued pursuant to ORS 609.335. - } { + issued prior to
the effective date of this 2009 Act or issued as provided in
section 8 of this 2009 Act.
(2) Except as provided in subsection (4) of this section, a
person keeping an exotic animal in this state may not breed that
animal.
(3) + } { - No - } { + A + } person may { + not + } keep
an exotic animal in this state for more than 30 days after the
expiration, revocation or suspension of a permit.
{ + (4)(a) A person may breed a small exotic feline if the
person:

(A) Is exempt from the requirements for a permit under ORS
609.315; or
(B) Breeds a small exotic feline with a member of the species
Felis catus (domestic cat), and:
(i) The person has a permit issued by the State Department of
Agriculture under section 8 of this 2009 Act; and
(ii) The person provides written documentation, including the
person's business license, that the person bred the animals for
the purpose of retail sale of the offspring.
(b) As used in this subsection, 'small exotic feline' means a
member of the family Felidae, except the species Felis catus
(domestic cat), that weighs 50 pounds or less when fully
mature. + }
SECTION 6. ORS 609.335 is amended to read:
609.335. { - (1) The State Department of Agriculture shall
issue permits for the keeping of exotic animals, as defined in
ORS 609.305. - }
{ - (2) - } { + (1) + } The { - department - }
{ + State Department of Agriculture + } shall adopt reasonable
rules for issuing permits to keep exotic animals and establishing
conditions { - thereof - } { + for keeping the exotic
animals + }. The conditions shall be directed toward ensuring the
health, welfare and safety of the { + exotic + } animals and,
where necessary, the security of facilities in which the
{ + exotic + } animals are kept so as to avoid undue physical or
financial risk to the public. The rules shall be no more
restrictive upon keepers of exotic animals than is reasonably
necessary to carry out
{ - subsection (1) of this section and - } the purposes of ORS
609.309.
{ - (3) A separate permit shall be required for each species
of exotic animal kept. A permit shall be valid for a period of
two years from the date of issue and may be renewed. - }
{ - (4) The department may charge a fee for the issuance and
renewal of permits under this section. The fee shall not exceed
$300 for each issuance and $100 for each renewal. - }
{ - (5) - } { + (2) + } The department may revoke a permit
upon finding a violation of rules adopted under this section, or
the department may issue a finding of violation and a warning to
remedy the violation by a specified date.
SECTION 7. { + Section 8 of this 2009 Act is added to and made
a part of ORS 609.305 to 609.335. + }
SECTION 8. { + (1) The State Department of Agriculture may
issue a permit to a person to keep an exotic animal if the person
applies for the permit within 90 days after the effective date of
this 2009 Act.
(2) The department may, within one year of the effective date
of this 2009 Act, issue a permit to a person to possess an exotic
animal if the person submits satisfactory proof to the department
that the person possessed the exotic animal prior to the
effective date of this 2009 Act and that the person meets
requirements of rules adopted by the department under ORS
609.335.
(3) The department may charge a fee to issue or renew a permit
under this section. The fee may not exceed $100. Each permit or
renewal of a permit is valid for two years. + }
----------












For the cats,

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

http://www.BigCatRescue.org
SaveTheBigCats@gmail.com

Sign our petition to protect tigers from being farmed here:

http://capwiz.com/bigcatrescue/issues/alert/?alertid=9952801&type=CU

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