AZA vs ZAA

AZA vs ZAA

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What’s the Difference Between the AZA & ZAA?

 

More than can be included in this article, but here are two of the differences that are most important to saving big cats.

 

Origins of AZA vs ZAA

 

The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) was founded in 1924.  The Zoological Association of America (ZAA) claims to have been founded in 2005, but appears to have just been an idea that never really took off until the Lowry Park Zoo, under leadership of Lex Salisbury, lost its AZA accreditation in 2008.  Online sources show that Salisbury had hosted the ZAA at the Lowry Park Zoo in 2007 and began using the zoo’s facilities to run the ZAA in 2008, presumably to maintain the appearance of being accredited by someone.

The Lowry Park Zoo was able to regain their AZA accreditation after firing Lex Salisbury in 2008 for his allegedly self serving trades of more than 200 of the zoo’s animals to his own privately held animal collection.  As of 2013 Salisbury still serves on the ZAA board of directors.

The AZA has always been the gold standard for zoos, but has been challenged by the lack of public understanding of the meaning of accreditation.  Much time and money has been spent on branding so that zoo-goers know if they are supporting a good zoo or a bad zoo.  There has never been a serious threat to that branding until the ZAA began heralding themselves as an accrediting body. It isn’t that there is any real threat of competition between the two organizations; only a matter of confusion to the public.  It is our belief that some of the current AZA zoos, who don’t like the more strict and humane standards being adopted by AZA, are choosing to be accredited by both ZAA and AZA so that when they lose their prestigious AZA accreditation they will be able to dupe patrons into thinking that ZAA is the same thing.

 

So how does the AZA differ from ZAA?

 

From our perspective, at Big Cat Rescue, the biggest difference is in their attitudes toward breeding and handling of captive big cats and their cubs.

The AZA only recommends breeding of exotic cats based upon their genetics which are managed by the Species Survival Plans.  These SSPs are managed by experts for each species of animal.  Matings are suggested based upon providing the most genetic diversity and healthy specimens.  (ie: that is why the AZA does not condone breeding white tigers, white lions or other inbred animals) Each animal must have a pedigree that traces all the way back to their wild ancestors because many instincts are geographic and thus, if these animals are truly ever to enhance wild populations it is imperative that they are suitable for the areas to which they could one day be returned.

The ZAA promotes breeding of exotic animals by private owners of animals that cannot be traced back to the wild and thus could never serve any conservation value.  Most of their board members appear to be private, backyard breeders.   The ZAA states as its purpose, “Protect and defend the right to own exotic and domestic animals, both privately and publically…” and yes, they can’t even spell publicly.

The AZA does not promote big cats as pets and does not allow the public to handle their big cats; nor do they pimp out the cubs for photo and handling sessions.  A few AZA facilities still allow public contact with cheetah, but after several recent maulings by cheetah, we believe that practice will soon go the way of the Dodo.

 

Cheetahs Maul Dmellow

 

All you have to do is take a look at the list of ZAA accredited facilities to see that it is rife with facilities that pimp out lion and tiger cubs every few months for public contact.  This is unsustainable and results in hundreds of big cats outgrowing their profitable cub stage only to end up being relegated to tiny jail cells, or worse.

Do you know someone who works for an AZA zoo?  You can help them distinguish themselves from ZAA roadside zoos and backyard breeders by asking them to publicly support the ban on the private ownership and breeding of exotic cats.

Why ZAA facilities should not be exempt from the Big Cats and Public Safety Act.

Download the ZAA Factsheet

 

 

 

 

 

When Tigers Kill Keepers

When Tigers Kill Keepers

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There are only 2 Reasons Why Zoo Keepers Are Killed by Tigers

  1.  There has been a failure in the safety measures to keep tigers and zoo keepers apart, or
  2. The zoo keeper doesn’t understand their relationship with tigers or any other big cat.

 

There is a lot that can go wrong, from failing latches, to not having a clear line of sight between the cat and keeper to the mishaps that are caused by a keeper purposely entering the cats’ space. Even if the cats are not killed, for doing what comes naturally, they are doomed to life in prison.

Night Houses seem to often be part of the human / big cat mauling or killing scenario and maybe it is because it is such a cruel practice. Cats are most active at night, but for liability reasons are shut in prison-like, windowless, cells by zoos when they are closed. The cats hate it, so they have to withhold food to force them in at night.

Big Cat Rescue does not lock cats up at night and thanks to our mild climate in Florida, does not utilize any sort of indoor housing for the big cats. Because there are no solid walls or doors, the keepers at Big Cat Rescue can always see where the cat is before approaching the enclosure. Caregivers at the sanctuary do not enter the enclosures of any big cat, unless that cat is safely locked into another portion of the cage by the CEO or President and the Operations Manager.

Exotic cats are spectacularly intelligent creatures and have years to plot their escape or revenge.

The second reason keepers are killed by big cats is that they think they are “tiger whisperers” or they think they have some super natural bond with apex predators that makes them special.  Anyone who espouses such nonsense shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a captive big cat, because they clearly do not understand exotic cats.  It is just a matter of time before it ends in tragedy.

white tiger abuseCats in cages may be solicitous of their owners or keepers, but that’s because they have to beg for everything. It’s sad to see it, when you think about how majestic these animals are meant to be.  Humans mistake their temporary power, ensured by the strength of the cage, for having a bond or relationship with the big cat.  Tigers have their own agenda and it doesn’t include pleasing people.  Some may not be overtly nasty about it, but given a choice will escape and never look back.

At Big Cat Rescue our caregivers are trained to feed and clean small cats, like bobcats, servals, caracals and lynx for 6 months before they can graduate to cougars.  We are a NO TOUCH facility; no, not even their fingertips, may touch the cats!  If they prove themselves trustworthy around the smaller cats, they can graduate to cougar keeping.  They are with us about two years before they are even allowed to be in the sections where lions, tigers and leopards are housed.  That two year process allows us ample time to weed out the delusional people who think they could get away with touching a big cat and live to tell about it.

More Resources on the Captive Big Cat Issues

Just like the better zoos are accredited by AZA, the better sanctuaries are accredited by GFAS. http://SanctuaryFederation.org

These are the big cat standards for GFAS:  http://www.sanctuaryfederation.org/gfas/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/FelidStandardsJuly2013HA.pdf

The state of Florida does not allow contact with big cats over 40 lbs., but may have some exemption for employees. http://myfwc.com/license/captive-wildlife/

NeverPayToPetCubs

USDA has enforced actions against facilities that allowed public contact with big cat cubs over the age of 12 weeks, as they can take off a finger at that age and just recently announced they will cite facilities for pimping out cubs under the age of 4 weeks. AZA zoos don’t do that, but there are plenty of backyard breeders that do.  https://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_welfare/downloads/big_cat/big_cat_q&a.pdf

April 3, 2016 USDA cracks down on abuse of cubs under the age of four weeks. In response to a 2012 legal petition filed by The Humane Society of the United States, World Wildlife Fund, Detroit Zoological Society, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Born Free USA, Big Cat Rescue, Fund for Animals and Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, theU.S. Department of Agriculture issued guidance making clear that exhibitors violate the Animal Welfare Act by allowing members of the public to handle or feed infant exotic cats like tigers, lions, cheetahs, jaguars or leopards. Read more.

April 5, 2016 USFWS announced that they are rescinding the generic tiger loophole. Big Cat Rescue has been pressuring the USFWS since at least 2007 to rescind this loophole and on 8/22/11 after a meeting with the USFWS the Generic Tiger issue was published to the Federal Register for public comment and got over 15,000 comments in support of our request to ban the breeding of non purebred tigers. Read more.

Big Cat Rescue has been pressuring the USDA since the 90’s and USFWS since at least 2007 to end cub handling and rescind the generic tiger loophole and on 8/22/11 after a meeting with the USFWS the Generic Tiger issue was published to the Federal Register for public comment and got over 15,000 comments in support of our request to ban the breeding of non purebred tigers. According to their Q&A it sounds like the USFWS may still rubber stamp activities that really don’t help tiger conservation, but it’s a step. USDA only banned the contact with cubs under four weeks, but that is a step too.

So What Can You Do to Stop the Abuse and the Killings and Maulings?

As long as big cats are privately owned and used as photo and ego props, the fantasy that they can be handled safely will prevail and accidents will continue to happen.

Regulations can’t work, because USDA and USFWS don’t have the resources nor apparently the will to enforce the weak rules they have, so that is why we need an all out ban on the private possession of big cats. You can help get that done at http://BigCatAct.com

Cat Laws

Cat Laws

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Action YOU Can Take to Save Big Cats and their Cubs

Due to the government web forms that receive our data, only people who are constituents of certain representatives can contact their legislators.  Please do not use a fake address to game the system as it renders your real identity as useless when there are matters that you really can speak out about.  We try to only email you with actions you can really take, but if you put in a false address, then you won’t get the action alerts that affect you most.  There is something on this page that everyone can do, so please pick your battles wisely.

Salsa is our service provider that makes it possible for you to find the right people to contact by just typing in your zip code.  Don’t worry, we hate spam too and we will not share or sell your personal info outside of the specific targets you are contacting.

 

U.S. Residents Only

Most Important Action You Can Take for Big Cats and their Cubs

Stop Big Cat Abuse (US ONLY)

Visit, Call or Send an Email to your Congressional Representative asking them to champion the Big Cat Public Safety Act here:  http://salsa4.salsalabs.com/o/51389/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=16017

 

Prevent Animal Cruelty & Torture (US ONLY)

http://salsa4.salsalabs.com/o/51389/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=14519

 

Everyone

Protect the Florida Panther

http://salsa4.salsalabs.com/o/51389/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=18256

Ban Cougar Trophy Hunting in Wyoming (EVERYONE)

https://hq.salsalabs.com/salsa/hq/p/dia/action3/common/hq/edit?object=action&key=16920

Ban Trophy Hunting in New Jersey (EVERYONE)

http://salsa4.salsalabs.com/o/51389/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=16628

Pledge to Never Go to the Circus! (EVERYONE)

http://salsa4.salsalabs.com/o/51389/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=13749

Cub Abuse at Colossalcon Kalahari Resort (EVERYONE)

http://salsa4.salsalabs.com/o/51389/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=13822

 

 

By State

KS

Oppose Bill to Overturn Big Cat Protections

Kansas Residents Only! Senate Bill 97 seeks to overturn protections for big cats and YOU!  Please ask your Senator to vote NO on this bill. We make it easy here: http://salsa4.salsalabs.com/o/51389/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=17808

 

MO

No Circus Exemption (MO ONLY)

http://salsa4.salsalabs.com/o/51389/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=13899

NY

Ban Cat Declawing

http://salsa4.salsalabs.com/o/51389/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=17422

OK

Ban Contact w/ Big Cats (OK ONLY)

http://salsa4.salsalabs.com/o/51389/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=13901

 

AdvoCat 2016 04

AdvoCat 2016 04

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The Best Week for Big Cats in Decades!

This week has been epic for big cats, thanks to all of YOU who have roared out to protect wild cats and their cubs.

4/3/2016 USDA cracks down on abuse of cubs under the age of four weeks.  In response to a 2012 legal petition filed by The Humane Society of the United States, World Wildlife Fund, Detroit Zoological Society, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Born Free USA, Big Cat Rescue, Fund for Animals and Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued guidance making clear that exhibitors violate the Animal Welfare Act by allowing members of the public to handle or feed infant exotic cats like tigers, lions, cheetahs, jaguars or leopards.  Read more.

4/5/2016 USFWS announced that they are rescinding the generic tiger loophole. Big Cat Rescue has been pressuring the USFWS since at least 2007 to rescind this loophole and on 8/22/11 after a meeting with the USFWS the Generic Tiger issue was published to the Federal Register for public comment and got over 15,000 comments in support of our request to ban the breeding of non purebred tigers.  Read more.

Big Cat Rescue has been pressuring the USDA since the 90’s and USFWS since at least 2007 to end cub handling and rescind the generic tiger loophole and on 8/22/11 after a meeting with the USFWS the Generic Tiger issue was published to the Federal Register for public comment and got over 15,000 comments in support of our request to ban the breeding of non purebred tigers. According to their Q&A it sounds like the USFWS may still rubber stamp activities that really don’t help tiger conservation, but it’s a step.  USDA only banned the contact with cubs under four weeks, but that is a step too.

So What’s Next?

Regulations can’t work, because USDA and USFWS don’t have the resources nor apparently the will to enforce the weak rules they have, so that is why we need an all out ban on the private possession of big cats.  You can help get that done at http://BigCatAct.com

 

Don’t Forget Your Favorite Mom

Nav_HolidayMothersDayThese gifts have been hand selected by our online Gift Shop manager to bring you the best gifts for Mom, and in time for her special day if you order now. Shop for Mom and Save Big Cats Too!

 

To Celebrate Mother’s Day Will You Help Us “Mother” Our Foster Kittens?

Did you know that Big Cat Rescue fosters domestic kittens until they are old enough to be adopted? In the last 3 years our interns and volunteers have mothered literally hundreds of foster kittens! See some of the little cuties and find out more at http://bigcatrescue.org/mother-foster-kittens/

 

Big Cat Rescue’s In Situ Conservation Work 2016

dOnce a month, a volunteer or intern is selected for outstanding service to the cats.  Big Cat Rescue rewards them by making a $1,000 donation to conservation projects in their honor.  So far this year Big Cat Rescue has donated to the following projects to save wild cats in the wild.

Big Cat Rescue donated $5,000 to The Corbett Foundation, a charitable, non-profit and non-governmental organization solely committed to the conservation of wildlife. They work towards a harmonious coexistence between human beings and wildlife across some of the most important wildlife habitats in India, namely Corbett Tiger Reserve, Kanha and Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserves, Kaziranga Tiger Reserve and around the Greater Rann of Kutch.

Caracal Photos Elijah&RoseIn February 2016, BCR donated $2,000 to assist the Urban Caracal Project. The Cape Peninsula is a biodiversity hotspot that has lost almost all of its large mammals such as cape lions, leopards and brown hyenas. Caracals as a result may play a major role in maintaining the ecosystem as they are the largest remaining predator in the area.

In March 2016 BCR donated funds to assist the Black Footed Cat Working Group, with one of the longest running small cat projects that has been in process for over 23 years, conserving the Black Footed Cat population in South Africa. More than 60 cats have been caught and collared over 100 times and what is known today about the species has been found during this field study.

Big Cat Rescue donated $1,000 to the first-ever study on the ecology and behavior of the Sand Cat in Morocco.  Learn more about these projects at http://bigcatrescue.org/insitu/

Ultrasound Match

We are thrilled to announce a fantastic matching funds opportunity to help Big Cat Rescue purchase a state-of-the-art ultrasound machine so that we can continue to provide the best veterinary care possible.

While our x-ray machine is critical for examining bone structure it has limited capacity for evaluating organs. An ultrasound machine is more suited for examining soft tissue. Currently our vet team relies on a physical exam, blood work and x-rays to determine the cause of a cat’s illness.  If the cause is not readily apparent using these tools, they must perform an invasive exploratory surgery.

Ultrasound Zabu Tiger

It is critically important that the person operating the ultrasound machine be trained and have extensive experience reading sonograms. If we purchased a standard ultrasound machine, we would have to incur the logistical issues and cost of bringing in an expert technician each time we needed to use it. This is not practical because in many cases we would not know if we were going to need to do an ultrasound until after we take x-rays.  If we did need to do it, we would have to do it immediately while the cat was sedated and would not have time to arrange for a technician.

The specialized machine we need solves this problem in an ingenious way. It has a camera mounted to it and an Internet connection to a board certified technician who will guide our vet via camera to make sure they get the best possible sonogram images and will aid in correctly reading the images.

The specialized one we need for our cats costs $50,000. The great news is that the Reitzel Foundation has stepped up and pledged a dollar-for-dollar match up to $25,000! So your much needed and greatly appreciated donation toward our ultrasound machine for the cats will go twice as far! Thank you for continuing to support our cats and our sanctuary. This ultrasound machine will make a world of difference in the lives of our precious cats.

If you would like to contribute to the matching fund, please donate here.  Thanks!

Thor Update

Thor Eye ImprovementThor, the bobcat who was hit in the head by a car, and lived to tell about it, has been healing in the onsite cat hospital.  The last two items to check off his list are to be sure that the injured eye won’t be a hazard for him and to see him get back into hunting condition.  His last eye check by veterinary ophthalmologist, Tammy Miller, indicates that the eye is doing well, even if not visual and you can log in and watch him daily on the Bobcat Rehab webcam provided by explore.org at http://explore.org/live-cams/player/big-cat-rescue-bobcat-rehab-and-release

Hamburger Mary’s Event

It was a gaudy night of fun and bingo last week that raised $1,100.00 for the cats!

ACTION ALERT!!

YOUR VOICE NEEDED TODAY TO SPEAK OUT FOR TIGER CUBS BEING EXPLOITED!

The notorious Robert Engesser and his traveling roadside zoo Jungle Safari are RIGHT NOW exploiting a tiger cub by charging the public to pose for photos with the cub. Adult tigers as well as many other animals are in tiny cages in the parking lot of the Ozark Shopping Center in Ozark, Alabama. Plus, Dothan’s ABC news station WDHN News aired a “news” piece about the deplorable zoo and gushed about how wonderful it was to have wild animals in a parking lot!

Engesser claims the exhibit is an “educational zoo.” This shopping center is owned and operated by the City of Ozark under the auspices of the Ozark City Council. It’s time to let WDHN as well as the Mayor of Ozark and City Council members know that cub petting is not “educational” or “humane,” and that by supporting it, they’re supporting animal abuse and the wildlife trade.

Abuse Engessor Jungle SafariEmail Billy Blackwell Mayor of Ozark at bblackwell@ozarkalabama.us and mayor@ozarkalabama.us

Email the Ozark City Council members at cfo@ozarkalabama.us

Email WDHN News Director Stephen Crews at screws@wdhn.com

Post comments on WDNH News’ Facebook page here (but don’t be surprised if they remove your comments):
https://www.facebook.com/DothanFirst/posts/1124650860919147

 

Have you always wanted a career in wild animal care or management?

Zoo College is modeled after the Keeper Training offered at Big Cat Rescue.  It is the only online, virtual training center, where you can test your skills against real life animal care challenges.  The lessons you will learn have been tested and improved over more than 20 years in dealing with some of the most dangerous and majestic carnivores on the planet.

Before now, the only way to get this extensive zookeeper training was to volunteer or intern at Big Cat Rescue, in Tampa, FL.  Minimum time requirements for onsite training range from four hours a week to 16 hours per week.  Due to the danger involved in caring for lions, tigers, ligers, leopards and other wild cats, it takes two years of training to achieve proficiency, so it would mean years of commitment for you to progress through that experience.

With Zoo College you can pace yourself and test your knowledge, using all of the same teaching guides, videos and methods, before making such a huge commitment of time or finances for a biology degree that won’t give you any real sense of what it means to care for wild animals in a zoo or sanctuary setting.

Because we are still in Beta and working out the bugs, we are offering the course for only $9 per month.  Check it out at Zoo College

 

USFWS Rescinds Generic Tiger Loophole

USFWS Rescinds Generic Tiger Loophole

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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Strengthens Protections for Captive Tigers under the Endangered Species Act

April 5, 2016

In an effort to strengthen protections for certain captive tigers under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has finalized a rule declaring that captive “generic” tigers — tigers of unknown genetic background or crosses between two different subspecies of tigers — are no longer exempt from certain permitting requirements.

Anyone selling tigers across state lines must now first obtain an interstate commerce permit or register under the Captive-bred Wildlife Registration program regardless of whether it is a generic tiger or a pure subspecies.

“Removing the loophole that enabled some tigers to be sold for purposes that do not benefit tigers in the wild will strengthen protections for these magnificent creatures and help reduce the trade in tigers that is so detrimental to wild populations,” said Service Director Dan Ashe. “This will be a positive driver for tiger conservation.”

The wild tiger is under severe threat from habitat loss and the demand for tiger parts in traditional Asian medicine. Once abundant throughout Asia, today the species numbers only 3,000-5,000 animals in small fragmented groups. As a result, tigers are protected as endangered under the ESA and under Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) – the highest levels of international protection. Tigers readily breed in captivity, however, and the number of captive tigers in the United States alone likely exceeds the numbers found in the wild, although the exact number is currently unknown.

The Service has worked with international partners to implement measures that ensure wild tigers survive in their native habitats and that captive tigers do not contribute to the illegal trade in tiger parts.

While this new rule does not prevent individuals from owning generic tigers, extending the permitting or registration requirement to all tigers strengthens the Service’s efforts in addressing the illegal wildlife trade, both domestically and internationally. This rule results in a uniform policy that applies to all tigers and will help Service law enforcement agents enforce the ESA.

The final rule will publish in the Federal Register on April 6, 2016, and will go into effect 30 days after publication on May 6, 2016.

For a copy of the final rule, please go to http://www.fws.gov/policy/frsystem/default.cfm and click on 2016 Final Rules for Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants.

Note: Big Cat Rescue has been pressuring the USFWS since at least 2007 to rescind this loophole and on 8/22/11 after a meeting with the USFWS the Generic Tiger issue was published to the Federal Register for public comment and got over 15,000 comments in support of our request to ban the breeding of non purebred tigers. Carole Baskin emailed those in charge, at least every six months, during this 9 year process, always asking when they would finally take action.  According to their Q&A it sounds like the USFWS may still rubber stamp activities that really don’t help tiger conservation, but it’s a step. Regulations can’t work, because USDA and USFWS don’t have the resources nor apparently the will to enforce the weak rules they have, so that is why we need an all out ban on the private possession of big cats.  You can help get that done at http://BigCatAct.com

Questions and Answers

U.S. Captive-bred Inter-subspecific Crossed or Generic Tigers

Final Rule

What action is the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service taking?

The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service has finalized a rule that strengthens protections for certain captive tigers under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The final rule declares that captive “generic tigers” (Panthera tigris) (i.e., specimens not identified or identifiable as members of Bengal, Sumatran, Siberian or Indochinese subspecies (P. t. tigris, P. t. sumatrae, P. t. altaica and P. t. corbetti, respectively)) are no longer exempt from certain permitting requirements.

Anyone selling tigers across state lines must now first obtain an interstate commerce permit or register under the Captive-bred Wildlife Registration (CBW) program, regardless of whether it is a generic tiger or a pure subspecies.

What is a generic tiger?

Inter-subspecific crossed or “generic” tigers are of unknown genetic origin and are typically not maintained in a manner to ensure that inbreeding or other inappropriate matings of animals do not occur.

What is the CBW program?

In 1979, the Service established Captive-bred Wildlife (CBW) regulations to reduce federal permitting requirements and facilitate the breeding of endangered and threatened species for conservation purposes. Under the CBW program, otherwise prohibited activities, such as interstate commerce, are authorized, but only when the activities can be shown to enhance the propagation or survival of the species. Registrants of the CBW program must provide a written annual report with information on activities including births, deaths and transfers of specimens.

Why were generic tigers exempted from the CBW?

In 1998, the Service amended the CBW regulations to delete the requirement to register under the program for holders of inter-subspecific crossed or generic tigers. This exemption was based on the alleged lack of conservation value of these specimens due to their mixed or unknown genetic composition, and the belief there was conservation value in exhibition designed to educate the public about the ecological role and conservation needs of the species. The intention behind the exemption was for the Service to focus its oversight on populations of “purebred” animals of the various tiger subspecies to further their conservation in the wild. Despite this exemption, inter-subspecific crossed or generic tigers are still protected under the ESA. Tigers have been listed under the ESA as endangered since 1970.

Why should generic tigers now be included under CBW registration?

By exempting holders of inter-subspecific crossed or generic tigers from the CBW registration process in 1998, the Service may have inadvertently suggested that the breeding of inter-subspecific crossed or generic tigers qualifies as conservation. By removing the CBW exemption, the Service can reinforce the value of conservation breeding of individual tiger subspecies and discourage the breeding of inter-subspecific crossed or generic tigers. The Service has finalized this change to the regulations to ensure the agency can maintain strict oversight of captive tigers in the United States.

Withdrawing the CBW exemption for generic tigers would also close a loophole in current federal and state regulations that could allow for the use of captive U.S. tigers in trade in a manner inconsistent with conservation of the species. It places the United States in a stronger position in international negotiations regarding commercial tiger breeding farms in Asia and trade in tiger parts.

How will removal of the generic tiger exemption from the CBW regulations impact current owners of generic tigers?

Removing the CBW exemption for generic tigers will not result in control of private ownership, and will not impact sale of generic tigers within their state of residence (intrastate commerce) or non-commercial movement across state lines. However, other activities, such as the sale of animals across state lines (interstate commerce), would require authorization from the Service before such actions could be taken.

While this new rule does not prevent individuals from owning generic tigers, the permitting or registration requirement for all tigers strengthens the Service’s efforts in addressing the illegal wildlife trade, both domestically and internationally. Tigers are listed under Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which includes species threatened with extinction. Trade in specimens of these species is permitted only in exceptional circumstances.

This final rule results in a uniform policy that applies to all tigers and will help Service law enforcement agents enforce the ESA.

Would all private owners have to apply for a permit before breeding their tigers?

Private owners would still be able to breed generic tigers without a permit for sale or commercial purposes within their state or for non-commercial movement across state lines, provided that you meet the criteria of the Captive Wildlife Safety Act.

I own a male and female tiger and would like to breed them so that I can give a cub to my daughter. Would I need to apply for a permit under this new regulation?

If you plan to give the cub away as opposed to selling it, you would not need to apply for a permit, regardless of the recipient’s state, provided that you meet the criteria of the Captive Wildlife Safety Act if the cub is going across state lines. If you have additional cubs in the litter, you could sell them within your state to someone else who resides in the same state or donate them to sanctuaries or others, either inside or outside of your state. Again, you would need to meet the criteria of the Captive Wildlife Safety Act if moving tigers across state lines.

I’m a private owner of tigers and I often display them at fairs and festivals in other states. Would the new regulation prohibit me from doing this?

The new regulation would still allow generic tigers to cross state lines for exhibition purposes, as long as the tigers are not to be sold or offered for sale.

How can I meet the standard to get a permit or register under the CBW regulations to sell a generic tiger across state lines if the Service is saying that generic tigers have no any conservation value?

The CBW registration was set up to allow institutions that were breeding listed species for conservation purposes to sell animals across state lines to other registered facilities. While it is true that breeding these animals would not provide a direct conservation benefit to the species in the wild and therefore the Service probably would not register a facility with generic tigers, it is still possible to obtain an individual permit authorizing interstate commerce with a generic tiger if the applicant meets the issuance criteria established in our regulations, i.e., if the parties involved in the sale are carrying out activities that enhance the propagation or survival of the species. While it is unlikely that such a commercial transaction would provide a direct benefit to the species, such as reintroduction, there may be indirect benefits that could be obtained from the transaction. It should also be noted that the requirement to show this benefit could be met through an individual or institution, or a group of individuals or institutions together, working to provide a benefit to the species in the wild.

For example, if one or more zoological institutions were purchasing inter-subspecific crossed or generic tigers for educational and display purposes, they could provide support (e.g., via the solicitation of donations

from visitors) to carry out on-the-ground conservation efforts in the tiger’s native range. The Service prefers a clear on-going commitment of several years on the part of the applicant for such conservation or research support. This on-going commitment could be fulfilled by a group of institutions working together to maximize their resources for the benefit of tigers in the wild.

What will the economic impact be on the public and small businesses?

The Service does not have data on how many businesses are involved in the interstate commerce of generic tigers, the number of businesses for which an interstate commerce permit or registration in the CBW program will be a viable option, and the economic impacts if prospective applicants are unable to either secure an interstate commerce permit or registration in the CBW program. Nonetheless, the Service believes that the regulatory change is not major in scope and would create only a modest financial or paperwork burden on the affected members of the general public.

This rule would not have a significant economic effect. If individuals or breeding operations wish to carry out an otherwise prohibited activity, such as interstate commerce, it would require that a permit application be submitted to the Service at a cost of $100-$200 per application. Submission of an application, however, would not be a guarantee that authorization will be granted.

Mother Foster Kittens

Mother Foster Kittens

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To Celebrate Mother’s Day,

Will You Help Us “Mother” Our Foster Kittens?

Did you know that Big Cat Rescue fosters domestic kittens until they are old enough to be adopted? In the last 3 years our interns and volunteers have mothered literally hundreds of foster kittens!

 

This includes mommy cats with babies, bottle feeder kittens without mommies, kittens under 2 lbs. (the legal weight to spay & neuter them), and feral kittens that need to be socialized. Big Cat Rescue’s amazing interns – who live on property and ADORE kittens!! – care for the kittens from the time they arrive to the time they are brought back to the Humane Society for adoption. That’s a lot of love, nurturing, care and socializing!

When the kittens are old enough to have their first vaccines and have been SNAP tested (for Feline Aids and Feline Leukemia), they can spend their days in our Kitten Cabana while the interns are working at the sanctuary. Volunteers who have taken our Kitten Playtime Class can go into the Kitten Cabana to play with and socialize them. Playing with kittens! Yippee. Friendly kittens have a much better chance of being adopted. WATCH OUR KITTENS LIVE DURING THE DAY in the Kitten Cabana at http://explore.org/live-cams/player/big-cat-rescue-kitten-cabana

Big Cat Rescue provides the kittens with food, formula, litter, crates, carriers, bottles, toys, cat trees, catnip, heating pads, scales, nebulizers, intern housing, Internet for webcams and emergency care. If YOU would like to help support our Foster Kitten Program and “mother” our tiny charges, DONATE HERE

Or we can always use these supplies for our kittens: Purina Kitten Chow, plain clay litter (no clumping), wet food, soft blankets, towels, toys, beds, heating pads and kitten nursing supplies. Easy to order from our Amazon Wishlist.

SpayNPlay

SPAY AND PLAY – One more really cool thing…we put our mouth where are paws are! If you bring us an original receipt from your vet showing that you spayed or neutered a pet, or a receipt from an animal shelter showing that you adopted a spayed or neutered pet within the past year, Big Cat Rescue will give you a FREE PASS for our Day Tour. That’s a $36.00 value!  If you are the kind of person who cares enough to protect your pet or feral cats from over population and all the horrors that go with it, then you are the kind of person we want to meet!  See Day Tours for times and tell the Ticket agent you have a Free Pass to redeem.