REXANO Press, www.REXANO.org

Las Vegas (February 9, 2008)– New York State Assemblyman Marc S. Alessi introduced bill to remove the small exotic/domestic cat hybrids from the definition of wildlife in New York state. Current law stipulates that only hybrids removed from a wild felid parentage for a minimum of five generations are allowed to be owned as family pets.

According to the Bill A09535 Memo: “It is very difficult to track an animal’s lineage; therefore making it difficult to determine what generation hybrid a cat may be.”

According to the USDA (US Department of Agriculture), which is the federal agency overseeing animal welfare act: “Crosses between wild animal species, such as lions and tigers, are considered to be wild animals. Crosses between wild animal species and domestic animals, such as dogs and wolves or buffalo and domestic cattle, are considered to be domestic animals.” (http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_welfare/downloads/awr/9cfr1.1.txt)

“REXANO applauds Assemblyman Alessi for his vision to recognize that not only is it almost impossible to prove the wild percentage of these sweet pets, but also that these domestic animals pose no public safety risk and are cherished and loved family members” says Zuzana Kukol, a Nevada big cat trainer and co-founder of REXANO, Responsible Exotic Animal Ownership, www.REXANO.org

The Feline Conservation Federation, FCF, www.felineconservation.org supports New York state Assembly bill A09535 in that will legalize exotic domestic cat breeds. FCF recognizes the efforts of cat breeders to develop hybrid breeding programs to produce companion felines like the Savannah and Bengal that posses the special personalities and incredibly beautiful markings of nature’s wild felines. FCF president Lynn Culver believes the hybrid domestic cats have value to conservation as educational ambassadors. Culver says, “Their arresting beauty draws people’s attention to nature and awareness about wild felines.” Culver notes, “For many city and urban dwellers, this is as close to nature as they will ever come.”

REXANO is committed to protecting the rights of animal owners and supports responsible private ownership of exotic animals in any form, be it non-commercial pet or sanctuary, as well as commercial breeder or exhibitor.

“Most of the wild habitat is disappearing. The only chance to save many endangered animals from extinction is captive breeding in the private sector, which has the majority of available habitat,” says Scott Shoemaker, co-founder of REXANO. “Many future wildlife researchers start as small animal pet owners and gain valuable experience in the process”.

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