A couple’s three Bengal cats have been refused entry into Hawaii because the authorities in that state decided that the cats were genuine first filial wild cat hybrids whose parents were Asian leopard cats.
First filial wild cat hybrids from the following wild cat a species are forbidden in Hawaii: leopard cat (this is the Asian leopard cat), lynx, ocelot, margay, puma, jaguarundi, bobcat and wild cat. This is not a complete list because at the end of their list they use the term “etc.”.
You can click on the link below if you want to see the full list of prohibited animals in Hawaii as at November 28, 2006.
A Seattle couple were trying to bring into Hawaii three Bengal cats. The state Department of Agriculture ad-hoc committee appear to have met specifically to decide the case and voted 2 to 1 against the cats’ importation onto the island.
The cats are currently at the state Animal Quarantine Station in Halawa. They will be transported back to where they came from at the expense of the owners.
We don’t know whether the cats are first filial not. It is likely that they are not first filial but possibly fifth filial cats and therefore very similar to normal domestic cats. This would make them legal in Hawaii. However, as mentioned, the authorities decided that they were first filial hybrid and therefore on the list of prohibited animals.
It would seem that if a person wishes to import Bengal cats into Hawaii they should have hard proof that their cats are not anything other than fifth filial domestic cats (or technically 2nd filial downwards).
I am a bit surprised that the couple were not able to produce documentary evidence to that effect. However, people are warned. These regulations apply to all wild cat hybrids in my view which means other cat breeds such as the Savannah will be prohibited unless the owner can convince the authorities that they are not first filial.
Source: hawaiinewsnow.com (note: I don’t provide links because often the links break causing me problems).