Wildlife and Parks Commission also approves handler training requirements

The Kansas Wildlife and Parks Commission has approved minimum standards for caging of certain captive animals, as well as training requirements for handlers of those animals.

At its Oct. 26 public hearing in Chanute, the Commission approved a regulation establishing caging requirements and minimum standards for persons who possess lions, tigers, mountain lions, jaguars, cheetahs, leopards, bears, and non-native venomous snakes. The regulation requires containment facilities that do not allow physical contact with the animal by any person other than the owner, designated handler, or veterinarian providing treatement to the animal. The regulation also prescribes cage dimensions, fencing and containment facility standards, animal medical records maintenance and accessibility, and other requirements for possession of the animals.

Commissioners approved a related regulation which defines minimum requirements and training standards for designated animal handlers. The regulation requires that handlers be a minimum of 18 years old, with 200 hours of experience in the care of dangerous regulated animals.

The regulations are the result of a law (Senate Bill 578) passed by the 2006 Kansas Legislature.