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Savannah cat banned from Alaska

In a twist to the story about Australian government's ban on the importation of the Savannah cat into Australia a story has emerged from Alaska in which the Alaskan authorities have confirmed their ban on the Savannah cat there and ordered that a Savannah cat that escaped from the owner's home and roamed freed for 6 months be shipped out of the State of Alaska.

The cat concerned, Simon, lived with Sharon Gratrix who is not a cat breeder. Simon was found by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game who on returning the cat demanded that Simon was deported (to use a term for humans).

Sharon had no idea that Simon was an illegal immigrant. The spokesperson for the
Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Rick Sinnott was not sure initially (on incorrect advice it seems) if a Savannah cat was illegal. Was this why Sharon was allowed to bring Simon into the country? Not sure how that happened. Anyway, the initial confusion was on the interpretation of the terms of the legislation in respect of game animals "found or introduced". Bringing a Savannah cat into Alaska is within the ambit of the legislation under the term "introduced".

As hybrids of game animals kept as pets and introduced into Alaska are prohibited and banned, Simon had to pack his bags. Game animals are defined as non domestic mammals. This was understandably very distressing for Simon and Sharon. He has gone to live with Sharon's daughter.

This story probably pleases the Australian authorities. But I don't think it sets a precedent. The circumstances are different. The Australian person with plans to breed Savannah cats in Australia is a cat breeder who had made careful security arrangements to keep the cats. This is an important difference. People living in houses with pets will rarely have any carefully thought through arrangements to keep the cat in at all costs.

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