The Large Carnivore Program oversees the responsible ownership and care of large carnivores in Missouri. Through this program, the Department regulates private ownership of species including tigers, lions, jaguars, leopards, snow leopards, clouded leopards and cheetahs and any hybrids of those, and ensures that owners meet state standards regarding housing, veterinary care, safety, identification and recordkeeping for those animals.

The Division of Animal Health, under the authority of the Large Carnivore Act and through the regulations (2 CSR 30-9), regulates the ownership and care of large carnivores throughout the state.

To own a large carnivore in Missouri, the owner must have a permit issued by the Division of Animal Health for each animal. Permit holders must be Missouri residents 21 years of age or older. A permit shall allow the applicant to own and house one (1) animal for one (1) calendar year, January through December, so long as the applicant adheres to the requirements set forth in the regulations. Requirements for receiving a permit include:

  • Completed application for a permit. Large Carnivore Permit Application
  • Prepare a disaster response and evacuation plan for each large carnivore.
  • A complete inventory of each large carnivore, organized by species and including the microchip identification information for each animal.
  • Provide proof of insurance as required in the Large Carnivore Act and regulations (2 CSR 30-9).

For further information or a permit application, contact the Division of Animal Health at (573) 751-3377 or e-mail