If you were the director of the Denver County Fair in Colorado, wouldn’t you research the people and acts you were bringing in and promoting? Wouldn’t you take 5 minutes to find out if the person bringing tiger cubs to your fair year after year is a convicted felon on multiple counts? Wouldn’t you be concerned that the USDA has filed a lawsuit against this person to revoke his license after years of USDA violations and the deaths of dozens of animals in his care?
It seems the management of the Denver County Fair did not. Otherwise, a quick Internet search would have revealed reams of negative information about Serenity Springs and its notorious owner Nick Sculac.
What about if you were a reporter doing a story about the Denver County Fair? Surely a reporter, who is trained to do research, would look into all angles of a story? Guess not. Reporter Tom Green from Denver’s Channel 2 only did a fluff piece about Sculac and the six-week-old tiger cub he used to promote the upcoming fair. Not once in the news piece did Green mention Sculac’s abusive history with animals or question whether young cubs forced to be handled by hundreds of people at the fair would be in the best interest of the cubs.
As those of us who truly love and appreciate big cats know, the real fact is that exotic cats should not be exploited at fairs and other venues and used for entertainment and profit. Please add your voice to ours in speaking up for these cubs: politely let the Denver County Fair and Denver’s Channel 2 news station know that the majority of people in America love animals and want these abusive practices to end.
I am shocked and disgusted to learn that the Denver County Fair is featuring visitor interactions with baby tiger cubs provided by Serenity Springs Wildlife Center. Nick Sculac, the notorious owner of Serenity Springs, is a convicted felon and the USDA has filed a lawsuit against him to revoke his license after years of USDA violations and the deaths of at least 31 animals in his care.
Quoting from the USDA and Secretary of Agriculture’s enforcement document regarding Serenity Springs dated February 1, 2012: “The gravity of the violations herein is great, and include the repeated noncompliance with the regulations and failure to meet the minimum standards for veterinary care, housing, and husbandry. Between May 2007 and January 2010, no fewer than 31 animals in respondent’s custody died.”
Is this the type of person the Denver County Fair and Channel 2 want to associate with and promote? Do you not do any research before allowing vendors to take part in your fair or be promoted on television? It is unconscionable that the Denver County Fair allows this! Please do the right thing immediately and halt your association with and promotion of this convicted felon and his irresponsible breeding and exploitation of tiger cubs and other wild animals.
Contact these people and let them know how you feel:
Denver County Fair
Dana Cain, Director 303-347-8252 email@example.com
Tracy Weil, Marketing Director 303-913-7508 firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrew Novick, Entertainment Director email@example.com
Ventura County has conditionally APPROVED the housing of five tigers in the residential area of West Malibu at 11077 Pacific View Road, Malibu. We are writing to you to ask for your support to ensure that tigers are not introduced into this residential and sensitive wildlife area. The permit appears to be in Irena’s sister’s name:
SOPHIA KRYSZEK of ISIS PRESERVATION USDA # 93-C-0762 7131 TUJUNGA AVENUE NORTH HOLLYWOOD ,CA 91605
In short, the tiger merchant Irena Hauser allegedly has her residence in Beverly Hills, CA, but claims in her application that her family will be living on site with the tigers in Malibu. Hauser claims that the tigers will be used in the entertainment industry but she already commercializes them by selling tiger clothing and “teeth” online. Hauser claims that the tigers will be transported for filming purposes, putting the public at even greater risk every time the tigers are transported.
Tigers are motivated to escape by stimulus and these tigers will be surrounded by stimuli. They will be in the middle of the sensitive Santa Monica Mountains which support such wildlife as deer, rabbits and coyotes. Other domestic animals in the vicinity include many horses in an equestrian stable just next door to the proposed site for the tigers. The smell of horses will certainly stimulate the tigers’ appetite for escape.
The County has stated that they intend to issue a Negative Declaration for this project, implying there would be no significant impacts. No biological assessments have been made, violating permitting requirements in Ventura County. The noise and smell of the tigers will deter wildlife from using the area for foraging, shelter or movement between habitat areas. Over the long term, the larger wildlife species will no longer utilize the natural resources in the vicinity. This area is home to wildlife, living peaceably among residential family homes, small farming communities, and stables.
Please write a letter opposing case PL 13-0011 to the assigned case planner: firstname.lastname@example.org, or otherwise assist us in this matter. Attached is a list of County Supervisors who should also receive the opposition letters. Please send us a copy of your letter to email@example.com. We need your immediate help! firstname.lastname@example.org
Ventura County Board of Supervisors
Steve Bennett, District 1 Supervisor email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Linda Parks, District 2 Supervisor fax: 805-480-0585 Linda.Parks@ventura.org
Kathy Long, District 3 Supervisor email@example.com
Peter C. Foy, District 4 Supervisor firstname.lastname@example.org
John C. Zaragoza, District 5 Supervisor email@example.com
Ventura County Planning Division 800 S. Victoria L#1740, Ventura CA 93009 tel: 805-654-2481 fax: 805-654-2509
Brian Baca, Commercial and Industrial Permits Section Manager Brian.Baca@ventura.org
Jay Dobrowalski, Case Planner Jay.Dobrowalski@ventura.org fax: 805-654-2509
Kim Prillhart, Planning Director firstname.lastname@example.org
Daniel Klemann, Residential Permits Supervisor email@example.com
Tricia Maier, Senior Program Administrator firstname.lastname@example.org
When Darnell Docket, a player for the Arizona Cardinals, became what we consider to be the poster child for over paid sports’ figures, behaving badly toward animals, by announcing that he had bought a tiger to show off at games, it caused a lot of people to ask the question, “Is it legal to buy a tiger?”
After spending the last 20 years rescuing lions, tigers and other exotic cats, I am left bewildered by the existing laws; or maybe, more precisely, by the lack of enforcement of existing laws.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service states that:
“Unless you are exempt under the Act, you cannot sell a cat to someone in another State. You may be able to make such a sale within your State, unless State or local laws prohibit such sales.” Darnell is in Arizona, according to Commission Rule R12-4-402, it is unlawful to import restricted live wildlife (incl. tigers) into the state without a special permit or license from the Arizona Game and Fish Department. Arizona does not issue permits to people to own tigers as pets.
The penalties for breaking the law are pretty clear:
“If you import or export a big cat or sell or buy a cat or cats worth more than $350 in interstate commerce, you have committed a felony. You could be sent to prison for up to five years and ordered to pay a fine of up to $250,000. Fines for organizations can be as high as $500,000.”
The only parties who are exempt are USDA licensees, accredited sanctuaries that do not allow anyone to touch the animals, a state college, university or agency, a state licensed veterinarian or a state licensed rehabber. We don’t think that Darnell Dockett qualifies for any of these exemptions. So why is he bragging openly on Twitter that he has bought a tiger and that he intends to bring it to his games, rather than being arrested and fined?
Why hasn’t anyone investigated who the seller of this tiger was as well, since it would appear that they broke the law by selling a tiger to someone who does not appear to properly licensed?
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Office of Law Enforcement
4401 N. Fairfax Drive,
Mail Stop LE-3000
Arlington, VA 22203
Phone: (703) 358 1949
Arizona Game and Fish Department
5000 W. Carefree Highway
Phoenix, AZ 85086-5000
Today at Big Cat Rescue Aug 1 2013 Shark Week Video
China Hosts International Tiger Conference
Unbeknownst to many, July 29 was the fourth annual International Tiger Day. In commemoration, representatives from the 13 countries where tigers still exist held a conference in Kunming to discuss protecting the largest cat species on earth.
The meeting, somewhat hilariously named the International Workshop for Transboundary Conservation of Tigers and Other Endangered Species, and the Strategy for Combating Illegal Trade in Wildlife (IWTCTOESSCITW), was attended by representatives from state governments, non-governmental organizations and conservation groups.
A day before the conference began, China and Russia announced the establishment of two “ecological corridors” along their shared border. It is hoped the cross-border areas slated for protection will provide Siberian tigers more freedom to roam while lessening their chances of encountering humans.
The two countries will jointly fund and conduct environmental studies in a effort to find more effective policies regarding tiger conservation. China and Russia also agreed to increased cooperation on anti-poaching efforts and in combating the illegal wildlife trade.
China also came to several agreements with India at the meeting in Kunming. These also hinged predominately on eradicating the smuggling of endangered animals. Both parties agreed to share real-time information gathered by police and border agents concerning illegal animal trafficking.
Wild tigers are estimated to number between 3,000 and 4,000 individuals across Asia. This number is down from roughly 100,000 a century ago, largely due to poaching and habitat loss. Countries working to increase tiger populations have set a goal of doubling current numbers by the year 2022. Conversely, that is the same year the World Wildlife Federation has pegged for tiger extinction if global conservation measures are not drastically increased.
It was perhaps appropriate the symposium was held in Yunnan, as the province has a somewhat blemished track record when it comes to understanding and managing tigers. Just days before the preservation meeting in Kunming convened, news broke that the city’s Wild Animals Park was allowing paying customers, including infants, to pet and pose with tiger cubs. This is the same zoo that instituted a ‘tiger-fishing’ attraction in 2006 and where a boy of four was mauled by a tiger five years ago.
Also in 2008, a six year-old girl was killed by a tiger at the Kunming Zoo while she posed for photographs inside the animal’s cage. Violence between humans and tigers, however, is not a one-way street in Yunnan. A man in Xishuangbanna was sentenced to 12 years in prison after he shot and ate an endangered Indochinese tiger in 2010.
USDA Animal Care Issues New Guidance to its Inspectors Regarding Lion/Tiger Enclosures
USDA’s Animal Care program has issued new guidance to its inspectors for evaluating the height of enclosures for lions and tigers at stationary facilities. This guidance is aimed at assuring that USDA inspections will be consistent when determining a facility’s compliance with the Animal Welfare Act regulations.
In light of several escapes that have occurred over the past few years, Animal Care evaluated fence heights and configurations at all USDA-licensed facilities that have lions and tigers. These evaluations build upon Animal Care’s 40+ years of experience inspecting facilities that house potentially dangerous animals and the program’s deep understanding of each species’ physical capabilities.
Animal Care is the federal unit that enforces the Animal Welfare Act. This Act sets standards for humane care and treatment that must be provided for warm-blooded animals that are: exhibited to the public; bred for commercial sale; used in biomedical research; or transported commercially. Individuals/entities that operate facilities using animals in these ways are required to provide their animals with adequate housing, sanitation, nutrition, water and veterinary care, and they must protect the animals from extreme weather and temperatures. When potentially dangerous animals are exhibited to the public for compensation, the federal regulations require that USDA-licensed exhibitors ensure the safety of their animals and protect the viewing public from any contact with the animals.
At Animal Care, ensuring the welfare of the animals we regulate is at the heart of everything we do.
Lion and Tiger Enclosure Heights and Kick-ins Inspection Guidance
Animal Care Inspection Guide Specific Types of Inspections
Lion and TigerEnclosure Heights and Kick-insInspection
This document provides guidance for assessing the height of Lion and Tiger enclosures (this includes liger enclosures) under commonly found circumstances at stationary facilities for purposes of primary containment. It does not provide guidance for assessing the structural integrity or other factors related to housing facilities.
This guidance is a distillation of a well-established interpretation of the AWA regulations and standards. Section 3.125(a) provides that indoor and outdoor housing facilities must be structurally sound and maintained in good repair to protect the animals from injury and to contain the animals. For Lions and Tigers and many other animals, this primary containment system must be backed up by a secondary containment system (a perimeter fence) in most outdoor housing facilities to further ensure the safety and well-being of the animals.
The following guidelines are to be used by all Inspectors and Compliance Specialists to assure uniform implementation. These guidelines are based on Animal Care’s experience of more than 40 years with inspecting licensees and registrants that house potentially dangerous animals, like Lions and Tigers, and recent events that highlight instances where animals have escaped, as well as specific species’ and animals’ capabilities.
Despite our best evaluation of what will contain an animal, there may still be an escape. If an animal escapes from an enclosure, that enclosure will have to be modified to be considered to be in compliance, regardless of the previous determination.
Complete a checklist in ACIS documenting the safety of Lion and Tiger enclosures for each facility with Lions and Tigers. All citations must refer back to the language of the regulations –there are no engineering standards.
Fencing recommendations regarding the fence height and enhancing structural components like kick-ins and high-tensile smooth electric wire appropriate for the species will be divided into three categories:
1. under review
2. compliant requiring no further action
3. non-compliant prompting a citation.
This category should be evaluated first to determine if there are any special circumstances associated with animals and/or enclosures that would prevent an enclosure from being considered as “Compliant Requiring No Further Action” or “Non-compliant Prompting a Citation.” Some examples of circumstances that would prompt placing an enclosure in the “Under Review” category are listed below (NOTE: this is not an all-inclusive list). For these enclosures, photos and measurements should be submitted to the Big Cat Field Specialist and SACS for review through the use of the “Checklist for Documenting the Safety of Lion and Tiger Enclosures Fencing Height” sheet in ACIS. The Big Cat Field Specialist and SACS will work together to develop a recommendation. If there are no special circumstances, then the enclosure should be assessed to determine if it is “Compliant Requiring No Further Action” or “Non-compliant Prompting a Citation.”
Do not cite or note enclosures that are under review on an inspection report.
Examples of enclosures that an inspector could send for review include:
? Enclosure fence 14 feet in height with a kick-in of 2 feet;
? Fencing a minimum of 12 feet in height with a species-appropriate high-tensile, smooth electric wire;
? An enclosure fence 14 feet in height with a line of electric wire along the top
? An enclosure fence 12 feet in height with a 2 foot kick-in and an impregnable perimeter fence at a facility the public does not visit;
? An enclosure fence of 10 feet with 3 feet or greater kick-ins where animals have lived without incident for over 4 years;
? An enclosure containing a Lion and Tiger that has physical limitations (old/fat/disabled/blind) that may be adequately contained in an enclosure that does not meet the guidance for clearly compliant enclosures;
? An enclosure with trees or enclosure furniture that may be too close to the fence.
The inspector should consult with the licensee on an appropriate identifier for each enclosure. The identifier may be the: name of the animal in the enclosure; location of the enclosure on the premises; enclosure number, etc. This identifier will be used with the corresponding photos in completing the “Checklist for Documenting the Safety of Lion and Tiger Enclosures Fencing Height” sheet in ACIS and in the subsequent letter from the regional office. Compliant requiring No Further Action
Some structures would be considered compliant for meeting the performance-based standards of §3.125(a) absent special circumstances, based on the known physical and behavioral characteristics of Lion and Tiger species and the configuration of the enclosure. Some examples of structures include but are not limited to:
? Fencing a minimum of 12 feet in height with a 3 foot angled kick-in;
? Fencing a minimum of 16 feet in height;
? Fencing 8 feet in height with a completely covered top (Note: All enclosures with a completely covered top must allow for normal and typical behaviors and postures.);
? A dry moat that is 25 feet wide or greater and at least 16 feet deep if both sides are at the same level and there are no deterrents at either side;
? A moat that is at least 20 feet wide if the exhibit side is at least 5 feet or more lower than the public side;
? A wet moat that is at least 20 feet wide with water at least 5 feet deep at all times with another 5 foot wall extending beyond the water level.
Non-compliant prompting a Citation
? Enclosure fencing that is insufficient to contain the animals housed therein.
Completing the Checklist
The inspector will be prompted to review and document the status of the lion/tiger enclosures before finalizing in ACIS your initial inspection on facilities that list Lions and/or Tigers in the inventory. The 3 possible responses are:
? All species specific enclosures are in compliance
• This completes the checklist and you are taken to the report to review and finalize.
? All species specific enclosures are not in compliance, no help needed.
• Use this option if there is a combination of compliant and non-compliant enclosures.
• This completes the checklist and you are taken to the report to review and finalize.
? One or more species specific enclosures are unsure, and help is requested.
• Use this option if there is a combination of compliant and non-compliant enclosures in which one or more is unsure and help is needed.
• Complete the specialist review form, where you will provide:
? Location Name: Use the enclosure identifier determined by you and the licensee.
? Location Description: Describe the animals contained in the enclosure; the height of the fencing; the materials used for the fencing; the approximate dimensions of the enclosure.
? Location Comments: Add any comments or recommendations to the Big Cat Specialist/RO.
• Link the photos of the enclosures you uploaded to the inspection report to each enclosure description. Photos must include:
? Something that provides a reference for the scale of the fencing height; Be sure to get the entire fence from top to bottom in the photograph;
? The kick-ins with a side view as much as safely possible;
? Trees or cage furnishings that may be too close to the fence. Try to include two views from different sides.
Field Specialist Review
The Big Cat Field Specialist will enter into ACIS a written assessment of the suitability of the enclosure(s)to contain the animals being housed in them. The appropriate personnel will prepare the review response letter for the Regional Director or Assistant Regional Director signature. The review response letter will contain for each reviewed enclosure: the decision regarding each enclosure; a correction deadline, if necessary, and other relevant needed information.
The letter will be mailed to the facility. A copy of the final letter will be maintained in the customer files in ACIS and a copy of the letter emailed to the SACS, inspector and Big Cat Field Specialist. Subsequent Inspections of Reviewed Enclosures
At the next inspection of a facility placed under review, you will receive a prompt to review and document the status of the enclosures that were not in compliance or were found to be compliant based on specific current conditions during the previous inspection. Additional review of the enclosure is dependent on the following criteria:
? Enclosures found not in compliance, current status?
• In compliance;
? You will receive no further prompts on subsequent inspections.
• Time still remaining;
? You will be asked to review the enclosure at the next inspection.
• If not in compliance, select the applicable NCI(s) for this enclosure.
? Enclosures found in compliance based on specific current conditions; are these conditions still true for these enclosures?
• If the conditions still true;
? You will continue to finalize the report, and will be asked to review the enclosure at the next inspection.
• If the enclosure is in compliance now;
? The process ends, and you will receive no further prompts on subsequent inspections.
• If not in compliance, you will be asked to select the appropriate NCI(s) on the inspection report citing this enclosure’s non-compliance.
1. The most exciting news is that our Senate bill S 1381 was introduced by Senator Blumental yesterday. It is the companion bill for the House version HR 1998 of the Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act.
This bill would ban the private possession of big cats.
It would ban public contact with the big cats and their cubs.
It would grandfather in existing cat owners, but they can’t buy or breed more.
People can send a quick and easy letter to both the House and Senate here: http://catlaws.com 2. Darnell Dockett just bought a tiger cub and wants to take it to his games as an attention getter. 2003 Law says you can’t sell or transport tigers across state lines to a non USDA facility, so does Darnell have a USDA license?
Who sold him the cub?
You aren’t supposed to exhibit, like showing off at a game, without a USDA license.
We turned him in to both USDA and USFWS.
USFWS said they will be posting the final rule on generic tigers soon.
Sample letter to send to the Arizona Cardinals and USDA here: http://catlaws.com 3. Bengali the Tiger cut the ribbon (ducked under it actually) for the grand opening of the Vacation Rotation enclosure. The event was attended by some of the larger donors to the project and Fox 13, ABC News, Bay News 9 and the St. Pete Times. They may have syndicated it out to other stations.
Flavio, the world’s oldest tiger will go out in 2 weeks when his tunnel is done.
4. Hamburger Mary’s Drag Queen Bingo was last night and raised $2,157.00 in two hours. Daphne was the Drag Queen and everyone had a great time. The 50/50 raffle winner won $521.00, 10 Bingo winners won the great cat baskets, 4 raffle winners won plushy wildcats and Frontflip players won bandanas and tickets! Getting photos from Howie. Reminder that you can use the free FrontFlip app to play daily on both Facebook and Google + to win an iPad mini and other great prizes.
7. Technology Serving Cats. Every day our vet staff are in constant contact via our iPhones and iPads. Today Gale asked if this cat looks too fat and needs to be put on a diet.
Gale also keeps me posted as things are done around the sanctuary; like Interns installing a water bowl for a cat who was found to be drinking a lot more, due to camera traps that Jamie set around her enclosure. Rose the Caracal is 16 and probably in renal failure. She is going in to the vet’s office today for blood work.
9. These earrings I am wearing aren’t available online yet, but you can email Honey@BigCatRescue.org to buy them. They are $15.00 plus shipping and handling. I am wearing Raindance the bobcat, but we also have Nirvana the ocelot, Joseph the lion and others. They come in both silver and copper.
10. Photos in oil paint filters on Facebook
11. Just refer guests to this Forty eight minute video, starts out with Amanda the tiger being pretty scary: http://youtu.be/gjrwRtxJqaE Or, you could play the first few minutes to see that. She had been locked up while we were building her and her brothers a platform and was not happy about being kept out of the action.
Too late for the show:
“THE CON IN CONSERVATION?”
A SPECIAL ASSIGNMENT INVESTIGATION
This week’s episode of Special Assignment – focuses on the lion bone trade which has grown by leaps and bounds over the past few years. Many people know about how the rhino is being poached for its horn, which is used in traditional medicines in Asia, but few know that lion bones are also being used as a replacement for tiger bones in tiger bone wine in Asia, since the tiger numbers have plummeted so drastically. There are concerns that the trade, which is now just a by-product of the hunt, will eventually spill over into wild lion populations.
This is a follow-up to Part One of this series in which we revealed that canned hunting is still taking place in South Africa, despite the perception by many South Africans, that it had been stopped years ago. We also investigated the so-called “green con”, where volunteers are paying exorbitant amounts to come to South Africa to hand raise lion cubs under the impression that they are doing it for conservation, showing that often it is just a money making scheme. This episode showed lions that have been rescued from bad situations and analysed how being bred in captivity can impact on the welfare of these iconic African animals. Many conservationists feel that the captive bred and wild lion is not protected by the law and that there are many holes in the permitting system for the breeding and hunting of lion. They say the country needs to have standardised regulations across all provinces. This series interrogates the regulatory framework as far as this industry is concerned.
Is the Lion in danger of becoming extinct? Some experts say that in twenty years the wild lion population has dropped by 80-percent. Today, only two-thousand-eight-hundred lions are left in the wild in South Africa. However, the lion is only listed as vulnerable and not endangered, which affords them less protection. We also ask, does the captive breeding of lions have any conservation value?
“THE CON IN CONSERVATION?” – Part Two, is produced by Richelle Seton-Rogers and will be aired on Thursday the 01st of AUGUST 2013 on Special Assignment – broadcast on SABC 3 at 21:30PM.