Jay Leno and Dave Salmoni with Screaming Lion Cubs
S22 E73 | Interview | Post Date: 02/01/14 | 5:06
As CEO of Big Cat Rescue, the world’s largest accredited sanctuary that is dedicated entirely to exotic cats, I have more than 30 years experience with wild cats and believe the handling of the cubs in the aforementioned program is in violation of the Animal Welfare Act. It appears to me that these cubs were clearly being harassed and showed obvious signs of distress.
1. Big cat cubs do not like being handled and it was clear from their growling, chattering, trying to back away, struggling to break free and the fact that their ears were pinned back that they were stressed by being held.
2. Jay Leno was blowing in the cubs’ faces, which some animal abuser probably told him would “calm” the cub, but the fact of the matter is that animal abusers mimic a mother lioness disciplining her cubs this way to cause them such great fear that they will stop struggling for a moment. Mother cats are extremely patient, but when they have had enough of a cub pouncing all over them, they will blow sharply in the cubs face as one last warning before swiping them hard. Cubs know this, so when a person does that, the cub is confused and will stop doing, what ever it is that they are doing, for fear of being hit. Behind the scenes, animal abusers will then hit the cubs, to reinforce the innocuous looking blowing in the face.
3. The cubs were clearly not under the direct control of the handler, Dave Salmoni, as he allowed the male cub to crawl past the celebrity on the couch and begin chewing a pillow. Salmoni was too busy talking to Leno to pay attention to the cub and it could have taken out an eye, or bitten off an ear or nose during the time that it was out of his sight. As further evidence of his inept handling the cub fell off the couch and could have broken his neck by being tangled in the leash.
I believe that the handler, the owner of the cubs and those who participated in this should be fined for violation the Animal Welfare Act. USDA should take action on the 15,000+ comments they recently obtained via their request on the Federal Register and ban all contact with wild animals and their cubs.
Farm Bill Passes House and Senate
This just in from Mike:
I have great news to share with you: The Farm Bill — which includes two major wins on animal welfare issues — has passed the House and Senate and is now on President Obama’s desk awaiting his signature.
The bill includes a provision making it a federal crime to attend or bring a child under the age of 16 to an animal fighting event, based on the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act, which will fortify the federal law against organized and barbaric dogfighting and cockfighting rings. Spectator admission fees and high-stakes gambling dollars finance this criminal industry and without spectators, it will be more difficult for dogfighting and cockfighting rings to make a profit.
The Farm Bill also jettisoned the dangerous and overreaching “King amendment,” which sought to nullify state laws setting standards for agricultural production and threatened so many laws on animal welfare around the country. Defeating the King amendment and enacting the animal fighting spectator legislation are top priorities for HSLF. Now, we await and look forward to President Obama finishing the job by signing the Farm Bill.
Thank you so much to all who took action and helped to achieve positive outcomes on these two critical issues for animal welfare.
Humane Society Legislative Fund