A preliminary inspection report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture appears to indicate that Premier Exotic Cats has sold animals and lied to officials to hide illegal activity.
Premier Exotic Cats is owned by Morgan Machnik who breeds, imports and deals in exotic cats including servals, caracals, bobcats, bengals, savannahs, Egyptian Mau and Maine coon cats.
Machnik reportedly sells her animals out of her Wisconsin home to anyone who can afford them, regardless of whether the person is able to properly care for the animal or can even legally own them.
Machnik just became USDA licensed in March. She first tried to license her facility out of her home in Waukesha, but after learning that wildcats are banned in the city, she instead licensed her facility at her mother’s Milwaukee address.
When questioned about why she changed the address on her USDA license, Machnik said "that was before we knew we couldn't have [the wildcats]" in the city. She also confirmed that a Google Earth photo of the Milwaukee address is her mother's home.
"Yup, that's her home," she said.
USDA inspectors have visited the home of Machnik’s mother three times and at each visit the inspector only counted two servals. However, social media posts made by Machnik indicate she currently owns and breeds many other animals.
On March 11, Machnik posted to social media that she owned five bengals, six servals, three Maine coons, two Egyptian Mau, a Savannah, a German Shepherd and a high content wolfdog.
Machnik also made numerous posts about three servals that she is using for breeding named Nala, Nova and Mufasa.
However, on March 18, the USDA inspected the facility and only counted two servals.
On March 23, Machnik posted a photo of her serval named Nala.
On April 8, Machnik posted a photo of her servals named Mufasa and Nova. In the caption, Machnik said Nova was ready to give birth.
That same day, the USDA again inspected the home of Machnik’s mother and again only counted two servals.
In early June, Machnik began posting photos on social media of her new caracal and bobcat kitten.
Roadside Zoo News reported the bobcat to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources because state regulations require the animal to have a cage.
Machnik was also reported to the USDA for hiding some of her cats from the USDA inspector.
Instead of abiding by regulations, Machnik listed the animal for sale online.
From July-August, Machnik posted photos of Maine coon kittens, serval kittens and bengal kittens born at her facility. She also listed the animals for sale online.
On August 5, the USDA inspected the home of Machnik’s mother a third time and again only counted two servals. The next day, Machnik sent a Facebook message to Roadside Zoo News.
“I don’t need to be licensed for my bengals or Maine coons,” she said.
Domestic cats that are used in commercial breeding are required to be licensed under the Animal Welfare Act if the facility owns more than four breeding females, according to the USDA website.
Machnik’s social media posts indicate she may own five breeding females. On Dec. 12, 2020, Machnik posted on social media that she owned three pregnant female bengals. She also said she would be breeding two other domestic and hybrid cat breeds.
“We currently have three pregnant female bengals all due in February,” Machnik said. “We will be breeding European Maine coons next month and F1 savannah’s very soon.”
Machnik's legal address is in Waukesha. She lists one of her business names as “Waukesha bengals” and she's listed her animals for sale in Waukesha.
However, if Machnik’s cats are being kept in her Waukesha home, she is in violation of the law, according to a Waukesha County ordinance which states “It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to possess with intent to sell or offer for sale, or buy or attempt to buy, within the village any of the following animals, alive or dead, or any part or product thereof; all wild cats of the family felidae…”
Machnik also imports servals and caracals from Africa and uses her mother’s Milwaukee address on the import papers.
According to Milwaukee ordinances, it is unlawful to own more than five cats in the city.
Servals and Caracals are protected by The Lacey Act and CITES and importing the animals, in violation of any federal, state or local laws, for the purpose of a sale, is illegal.
Regardless of whether Machnik is keeping her animals at her mother’s home or her own address, she is clearly in violation of local, state and federal laws. Her social media posts appear to suggest she has hid some of her animals from federal inspectors and falsified information. Each time she imports servals and caracals using false information, illegally houses the animals and then sells them, she is violating the law.
"No one can tell me what to do with my animals," Machnik said.
Please submit a report to local and federal authorities and ask them to investigate Machnik and charge her for her illegal activity.
Premier Exotic Cats
USDA license: 35-B-0226
Submit a complaint to the USDA: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalwelfare/complaint-form
Submit a tip to the Waukesha police: http://www.stopcrimewaukesha.com/submit-a-tip
Submit a tip to US Fish and Wildlife: email@example.com
Thank you for being a voice for the animals.
Premier Exotic Cats USDA inspection reports
August 2021 preliminary report: