Federal bills will save lives of humans, exotic animals
BY WAYNE PACELLE | Published: June 8, 2012 15
Here’s one way to view a tiger: He can weigh more than 650 pounds and stretch out to 11 feet long. He has some of the biggest teeth in the kingdom of carnivores. He is fast, graceful and one of the most powerful animals on the planet.
Here’s another way to view the tiger: He can be kept as a pet — a curiosity — in someone’s basement or backyard. Or as a means of generating profits; confined in a small, barren cage at a roadside zoo; or used as a prop in public photo sessions. He endures a life of suffering, and, in one sense, is a living time bomb just one untrained slip-up away from wreaking havoc with the people he interacts with.
The recent Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) undercover investigation of G.W. Exotic Animal Park in Oklahoma pulled back the curtain on some facets of this problem. The facility may have as many as 200 big cats. According to its owner, it has more than 1,000 other exotic animals.
This is not a professionally run facility. It operates without legitimate accreditation or the necessary experienced and knowledgeable staff. Broadly speaking, it could spawn a terrible tragedy for the animals and the residents of the surrounding community. This is a roadside menagerie and a petting zoo, masquerading as a rescue operation and a conservation center.
Our investigation found the unwarranted breeding of tigers, transfer of tigers to substandard facilities, dangerous interactions between children and juvenile tigers, and a range of other suspect and potentially illegal practices. The facility transports animals across state lines to shopping malls and other venues for photo ops with people. During one month of our investigation, five tigers died. The HSUS filed complaints with federal and state authorities seeking swift action to address these problems and called for strengthening the laws dealing with dangerous exotic wildlife.
Since 1990, big cats have been involved in more than 300 dangerous incidents in 44 states. Four children and 16 adults have been killed and more than 240 people have lost limbs or suffered other injuries. Serious steps need to be taken or the nation will look back and wonder why public officials ignored so many danger signs.
Congress is considering legislation to ban breeding of big cats for private ownership, ban imports and interstate transports of nine species of large constricting snakes, and to ban the interstate transport of primates as pets. The HSUS along with a broad array of animal protection groups and individuals are backing all of these measures.
These bills will move the nation forward. They will save the lives of animals and human beings.
Pacelle is president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, which has filed state and federal complaints against the animal park. The park’s owner denies the allegations and says the society’s investigation is a publicity stunt designed to build support for its political agenda and increase donations.
Read more: http://newsok.com/federal-bills-will-save-lives-of-humans-exotic-animals/article/3682285#ixzz1xOLk5pdo
Tiger at Crossland Zoo Self Mutilating
This is no way to treat a tiger. Please speak up against such cruelty by emailing USDA firstname.lastname@example.org
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