Current USDA Regulations and Enforcement Fails Animals and Public
Many facilities hide behind their USDA license as if it were a badge of honor, but this slide show will show you why USDA cannot possibly enforce the Animal Welfare Act and why it is a conflict of interest for them to be licensing the use of animals if they are also responsible for making sure animals are not abused. Breeding and dealing in captive wild animals is abusive and some other government agency, such as the Justice Department should regulate the care of wild animals if USDA is going to continue allowing wild animals to be used.
Find out more at FreeTony.com
Tigers in the U.S.
Carole Baskin, Founder and CEO of Big Cat Rescue, the world’s largest accredited sanctuary, that is devoted entirely to exotic cats speaks out about:
1. Where do big cats go when they are no longer profitable cubs?
2. If the good sanctuaries are full, where do the big cats go?
3. Should we be building bigger and more sanctuaries for the unwanted cats?
4. What is the best way to prevent the abuse of lions, tigers and other big cats?
5. Does banning private possession of exotics work?
6. Who tracks maulings, killings and escapes by tigers and other big cat species?
7. Do USDA and state inspections make sure breeders and dealers are being humane?
8. When did the big cat crisis in America start?
9. Are there laws to prevent exotic cats from being traded for their meat, skin and bones?
10. How is the public to blame for the worst acts toward tigers and their cubs?
11. What happens to breeders, dealers and other wild animal exploiters when they run out of money?
12. What are some of the most lax states when it comes to wildcat standards and enforcement?
13. Why doesn’t the government do something about all of the abuse of tigers, lions, leopards, jaguars & other big cats?
14. Are there illegal activities operating in the shadow of legal uses of tigers?
15. What kind of tracking is done and what needs to be done to end the abuse of exotic wild cats?
If you are looking for a way to help protect big cats like Cecil, please take the Tiger Selfie Challenge below. While Cecil was not a cub that was used for pay to play and then turned out into a canned hunt, most of his kind do start out that way.
Take the Tiger Selfie Challenge!
You remember the Ice Bucket Challenge, don’t you? It was a crazy, popular way to raise awareness about Lou Gherig’s Disease, that started in 2014 and has already raised more than 100,000 million dollars for ALS research. Just yesterday Boston Mayor Marty Walsh took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge—and challenged Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to do the same. A full year later this form of public activism is still grabbing headlines.
What if the cats had such a successful campaign to raise awareness about the suffering they endure for tiger selfies, lion selfies and liger selfies?
You KNOW we could end the pay to play schemes, once and for all, if everyone knew that posing with tiger cubs was Cruel NOT Cool! Find out how here: http://bigcatrescue.org/selfie/
New Big Cat Videos
Never miss a video starring your big cat friends! Subscribe to both channels:
In honor of Cecil the lion we have created free screen savers and wallpapers for Macs and PCs at our newly launched ChatBigCats.com site! LaWanna and Ysabel have been working for months to convert our old BigCatFun.com site to a kid safe, mobile responsive, interactive site where you can play games, puzzles and find all kinds of fun things to do. This site is still in Beta, so some links may be broken, but this link will take you to an area that is ready, where you can download the screen savers and wallpapers. http://chatbigcats.com/newsletter-gifts-august-2015/
Your voice is saving big cats!
Last month we asked you to speak out against the cruel use of cubs, in a pay to play Swim-With-Tigers scheme at Dade City Wild Things and USDA has finally sued them for severe violations of the Animal Welfare Act saying, “The gravity of the violations alleged in this complaint is great, involving multiple failures to handle animals carefully and to provide access for inspection.” Find out more at TigerCubAbuse2.com
Because you take action, whenever we point out big cat abuse, the USDA has also sued Doug Terranova who runs a circus and shows up at fairs with Joe Schreibvogel and his pay to play cubs, and Gregg & Karen Woody who also drag cubs out to parking lots and fairs. We can end the abuse of lions, tigers, ligers and other wild animal cubs if we all speak out together. Thank you for taking action on our alerts, and please be sure to do so on the following:
Top Shocking Incidents
of Big Cat Exploitation – August 2015
We hope by sharing a new list with you each month that you will join us in speaking out for the big cats and cubs that are exploited across this country every day. We encourage you to take one small action today and contact one or more of the offenders below to politely express your concern. Together we can be the voice for the voiceless…together we can make a difference. If you learn of exotic cats or cubs being exploited in your area, please contact Susan Bass at Susan.Bass@BigCatRescue.org.
No. 1 The Benton County Fair in Oregon recently hosted A Walk on the Wild Side’s exotic animal exhibit. An article in the local Corvallis Gazette-Times quoted one fairgoer saying the cages were small and the animals were pacing and showed signs of stress. A Walk on the Wild Side, also located in Oregon, has been closed to the public since March 2015 due to code violations but still subjects exotic cats to fairs and shows.
Benton County Fair Manager Lonny Wunder said he receives two or three complaints a year about the wild animal exhibit, but he will reconsider having them back if he receives more than that. SO we are asking you to please urge Wunder to do the humane thing and not allow exotic animals to be displayed at the fair next year.
Contact Fair Manager Lonny Wunder at 541-766-6090 and email him at this link http://www.bentoncountyfair.net/contact-us/email-inquiry/ No. 2 The Midland County Fair in Michigan just hosted a circus act called Wambold’s Amazing Animals. The act featured several tigers and even included a liger – the result of the unnatural mating of a tiger and a lion. Local paper Midland Daily News covered the tiger show in at least two articles but never mentioned the true issues involved with big cats in traveling acts in their reporting. Fair manager Trish Steele is quoted gushing over the circus act, “They provide a lot of educational information to people who are in the free entertainment area. It’s not just a show.” Hmmm.
The owner of the tiger is also quoted in the article saying white tigers are “very, very rare in the wild because they have no camouflage.” It’s true they don’t have camouflage, but white tigers are not found in the wild because they are not a species!
There is nothing educational about seeing majestic big cats forced to perform in front of crowds and travel in small transport wagons. Please help us educate Steele and the Midland Daily News that exotic cats and other animals at fairs and in circus acts should be a thing of the past. Urge the fair to NOT have the cats back next year.
No. 3 The Kutztown Fair in Pennsylvania recently hosted a circus act with tigers called Tiger Encounter, run by the notorious Frisco circus family.
We’re told children were allowed to feed the cats with a long stick. That sends the wrong message that big cats are ours to use how we want. Please kindly let the Kutztown Fair that animal lovers do not want to see big cats used as entertainment.
No.4 The West End Fair in Pennsylvania is going on right now until August 29. The fair features Bruno Blaszak’s Royal Bengal Tiger circus show. However, there is no such thing as a “royal” Bengal tiger. The fair’s website says Bruno is “devoted to preserving these magnificent tigers for many generations to come.”
Breeding them to live lives of misery in circus acts and traveling the country in tiny transport cages? That is no life at all for big cats.
No. 5 The Showhegen State Fair in Maine recently included the Vicenta White Tigers circus act. In a local newspaper article, owner Vicenta Pages actually told a reporter – presumably with a straight face – that “there are no longer any white Bengal tigers left in the wild of their homeland in India, having been hunted and poached to extinction.” HUH?
White tigers do not exist in the wild and could not survive even if they did because they would not be able to sneak up on prey or hide from predators. Big Cat Rescue believes it is tragic that fair managers and even journalists fall for these lies over and over again. Would you speak out for these tigers?
Many of you responded to our action alert, contacting the FWC and asking them to not give up on the FL panther. Big Cat Rescue attended the meeting in Sarasota to speak up for panthers (and bears). We also participated in a news conference with the Sierra Club, The Conservancy of Southwest Florida, and the Humane Society of the United States. Our combined actions resulted in the FWC taking note of the public’s comments and sending the proposal back to their staff for
Earlier this month (August 2015) the FWC posted their revised policy proposal. As the Tampa Bay Times put it in their editorial on August 17th, the revised proposal is a “win for open government over secrecy” but the policy still has “some weasel language” and that overall, this is a reminder of the “need for public oversight of this critical agency.”
Big Cat Rescue opposes the revised policy proposal Although we were pleased to read that the overall tone of the proposal had softened with the removal of some of the most contentious terms and language, Big Cat Rescue found the “weasel language” to be far more extensive and subtle than the TBT let on.
First, the good.
The revision includes welcomed recommendations to restore panther habitat in the Everglades, coordinate with the Florida Department of Transportation on the installation wildlife crossings, and support for strategic conservation easements. But much like the FWC’s response to request for more habitat be protected for wildlife – the FWC has little to no say in these matters. These recommendations are just that, recommendations.
Second, the bad.
The original proposal repeated brash assertions that the FWC would no longer support panther recovery outside of southwest Florida and insisted that one population of an estimated 100 to 180 panthers in southwest Florida after 34 years “should be ample scientific evidence to warrant reconsideration of the status of panthers under the Endangered Species Act.”
The federal government has maintained that for panthers to be taken off of the endangered species list their needs to be three separate populations, each with 240 panthers. Conservation groups, wildlife organizations, and a wide array of Floridians were quick to call out what was an attempt to force the federal government to reconsider the criteria for taking panthers off the endangered species list. (Big Cat Rescue believes that lowering the panther’s federal protective status, and ultimately delisting the big cat from the Endangered Species Act, are steps towards allowing a panther hunt.)
This revision, in addition to the softer tone and recommendations, includes language stating that the FWC does not intend to change the panther’s protected status. But the core statements brashly asserted in the original proposal are still there – polished and smoothed over, but none the wiser.
Third, the ugly.
The FWC is still abandoning their obligation to federal recovery efforts outside of the small population of 100 to 180 panthers in southwest Florida. The policy proposal still calls for federal officials to lessen their criteria for taking panthers off the endangered species list. It also leaves the door wide open for the FWC to take lethal action against panthers.
Be a voice for the Florida panther!
Tell the FWC Commissioners to oppose the policy proposal. Attend the upcoming FWC meeting in Ft. Lauderdale on September 2nd, 2015 at the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina. The FWC will be voting on the revised policy proposal as well as finalizing rules for the impending bear hunt.
regarding DEW Haven and Yankee Jungle in South Portland on Saturday, August 29th, 2015
Hello Maine supporters of Big Cat Rescue! We are assisting local Maine big cat lovers who are organizing a protest in South Portland next Saturday, August 29th, from 11 am to 2 pm at 8 Cottage Road, South Portland, Maine 04106.
These big cat advocates — lead by Kris Snyder and Karen Coker — will be demonstrating to Maine residents that animal lovers don’t want to see DEW Haven (formerly DEW Animal Kingdom) buy, sell, trade, breed and exhibit big cats and other animals.
As you may be aware, DEW Haven is featured on the program Yankee Jungle, which airs on Animal Planet. The protest will be on the sidewalk outside the office of Lone Wolf Media, producers of Yankee Jungle. Big Cat Rescue joins these animal lovers in seeking to raise awareness about the sad reality of what’s happening at DEW Haven and why the animals should not be further exploited in a television program.
Learn more and sign up to attend the peaceful protest here: https://www.facebook.com/events/570814466392088/
Bring your own signs or just show up. They will have extra signs for your use!
We hope you will add your voice and stand up for the cats and cubs being exploited and used as entertainment at DEW Haven. We are the only voice these animals have!
Feel free to email me any questions you may have. THANK YOU!
Director of Public Relations
Big Cat Rescue
Join Big Cat Rescue to Support FL Panthers in Ft Lauderdale
Last week (Aug 2015) the FWC posted their revised draft FL panther position statement. As some of you may recall, in June, Big Cat Rescue joined various national conservation groups in speaking out against the original draft position statement. Many of you responded to our action alert, contacting the FWC and asking them to not give up on the FL panther. Carole and I attended the meeting in Sarasota to speak up for the panthers (and the bears). We also participated in a media conference with the Sierra Club, The Conservancy of SW Florida, and the HSUS. You may read our response to the FWC’s original draft position statement at http://bigcatrescue.org/why-is-the-fwc-giving-up-on-the-florida-panther/.
We are currently working on our comments in response to the revised statement and will be sending out another action alert to our Florida supporters.
In the meantime, PLEASE PLAN ON JOINING me, Howard, and Carole at the upcoming FWC meeting in Ft. Lauderdale on September 2nd, 2015 at the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina. The FWC will be voting on the revised statement as well as finalizing rules for the impending bear hunt.
More information about the meeting including the address, start time, agenda, and a link to the revised draft FL panther position statement may be found online at http://myfwc.com/about/commission/commission-meetings/2015/september/02/agenda/
Kent Greene said we could share this letter he sent to the Illinois Governor. Please feel free to use in your efforts to ban bobcat hunting.
Please veto SB 106 / HB 352 a bill to allow over hunting of Illinois bobcats.
I photograph wildlife, including bobcats. Below video was shot in a SW Florida swamp while sitting on a bicycle. On another occasion, I talked quietly to a Bobcat and it fell asleep while I was filming.
I hunted in deep forests (PA/VA) 50 years and saw one bobcat. Killing these animals outdoors is no more difficult than shooting them in a petting zoo. Decide for yourself whether this is a sport.
DEMAND AIRLINES REASSESS POLICIES PROHIBITING SHIPMENT OF ANIMAL TROPHIES
FOLLOWING TRAGIC KILLING OF AFRICAN LION, BLUMENTHAL, BOOKER DEMAND AIRLINES REASSESS POLICIES PROHIBITING SHIPMENT OF ANIMAL TROPHIES
“As long as even one carrier will transport trophies into the United States, these individuals have a way to bring their ill-gotten goods home for display.”
(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Cory A. Booker (D-N.J.) wrote to Airlines for America (A4A) and International Air Transport Association (IATA) to request details of their members’ policies of shipping animal trophies, following the tragic killing of Cecil the Lion in Africa by a Minnesota dentist, and to call on all member airlines to cease allowing the shipment of such trophies. Since the killing of Cecil the Lion, Delta, United, and American Airlines – members of both A4A and IATA – announced that they will ban the shipment of “trophy animals” on their planes.
Blumenthal and Booker wrote, “Americans who engage in trophy hunting do so because they are confident that they will be able to transport their trophies back to the United States with ease, including by airline. Passenger and freight airlines that permit shipment of animal trophies aid and abet trophy hunting and these abhorrent acts of barbarism.”
“We were very pleased to see Delta’s announcement yesterday that it will ban the shipment of any trophies from the so-called Africa Big Five: lions, elephants, rhinos, leopards, and buffalo. American Airlines, United Airlines, and some international airlines have also announced similar prohibitions. These airlines have clearly recognized their responsibility and influence in this area, and we’re glad that they chose to take on trophy hunters and the trouble that trophy hunting represents.”
“However, there are many other carriers that you represent which have an important role to play in stopping trophy hunting. As long as even one carrier will transport trophies into the United States, these individuals have a way to bring their ill-gotten goods home for display.”
Full text of the letter can be viewed here and below:
Dear Messrs. Calio and Tyler,
Earlier this summer, an African lion named Cecil – well-known and beloved by his local community in Zimbabwe – was tragically killed and maimed by trophy hunters. This repugnant, reprehensible act has rightfully drawn the ire of the American public and shocked supporters of wildlife worldwide.
Sadly, Cecil’s killing was not an isolated incident. This vicious act was the latest consequence of the inhumane commercial trophy hunting industry. The perverse desire of some individuals – many of whom are from America – to acquire an animal trophy fuels the demand for this cruel industry. The individual who killed Cecil reportedly paid a fee of $50,000 to destroy a priceless animal. Such practices have had devastating consequences for wildlife populations, including endangered species that have already been decimated by other factors including habitat encroachment. The population of wild lions has decreased by more than 40 percent over the last twenty-one years, and trophy hunting has been a factor in that appalling decline.
Americans who engage in trophy hunting do so because they are confident that they will be able to transport their trophies back to the United States with ease, including by airline. Passenger and freight airlines that permit shipment of animal trophies aid and abet trophy hunting and these abhorrent acts of barbarism. We were very pleased to see Delta’s announcement yesterday that it will ban the shipment of any trophies from the so-called Africa Big Five: lions, elephants, rhinos, leopards, and buffalo. American Airlines, United Airlines, and some international airlines have also announced similar prohibitions. These airlines have clearly recognized their responsibility and influence in this area, and we are glad that they chose to take on trophy hunters and the trouble that trophy hunting represents. However, there are other carriers that you represent which have an important role to play in stopping trophy hunting. As long as even one carrier will transport trophies into the United States, these individuals have a way to bring their ill-gotten goods home for display.
We are writing to request more information about the policies of your member airlines regarding the shipment of animal trophies. Specifically, we request responses to the following questions:
· What are the current policies of your member airlines that operate in the United States regarding the shipment of animal trophies?
· Will you confirm that your member airlines that operate in the United States will immediately enact prohibitions on the shipment of animal trophies, if they haven’t already?
Your member airlines would be powerful allies in the fight against inhumane trophy hunting, and we hope that we can work together on this incredibly important issue going forward. We appreciate your attention to this request and look forward to your response.