A pair of exotic animals got confiscated at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu. They were Bengal cats. Brought in from Seattle, Washington back in September. But were labeled as domestic cats.
The state agriculture department says Bengal cats aren’t allowed here. Because they threaten our native birds. And they can carry a parasite known to kill Hawaiian monk seals.
The state says the owners didn’t know the exact breed of the cats. And they didn’t know that Bengal cats are illegal in Hawaii.
James Thain, of the State Agriculture Department: “The owners most likely weren’t aware of the exact breed of their animals. Weren’t aware of the rules we have in the state of Hawaii and were bringing them in as pets, as domestic short-haired cats. It was the staff at the animal quarantine office that alerted us to it and our staff reported it that they were suspected hybrids”.
The cat owners will not be fined, but the cats must return to where they came from.
Bengal cats are kept as pets on the mainland, but they are illegal in Hawaii.
Hawaii bans Bengal cats as well
Despite what the Hawaiian government website says, it is ALL Bengal cats, not just non-domestic:
“Prohibited Animals: The regulation of animal breeds and species that are permitted to enter Hawaii is under Plant Quarantine Branch jurisdiction and administrative rules. Non-domestic dogs and cats and hybrids such as wolf, wolf cross, Dingo, Bengal, Savannah, etc are prohibited under Plant Quarantine (PQ) law”.
If you’re moving to Hawaii with pets, this means you’re going to have to take several steps to prepare them for entrance into the state.
Before you do anything, first make sure you’re allowed to bring your pet into Hawaii at all. Download the Dept. of Agriculture’s full list of conditionally approved animals to make sure your pet is listed.