Sweetwater TX bans possession of exotic cats
City amends wild animal ordinance
By Ben Barkley/Reporter Managing Editor
When it comes to wild animals in the city, an ordinance revision was made by the city commission.
In response to a white tiger exhibit which was held during the Rattlesnake Round-Up in March, city officials were confronted by animal right attorneys about the animals in the city limits.
City Manager Eddie Brown said the exhibit, which had all of its documentation in place, angered some animal rights groups. He said city officials felt its ordinance was all right the way it was, but they want to be cautious.
In order to not have the same dilemma happen again, the commission approved a change to its ordinance. The ordinance will now be entitled “Keeping of Wild Animals Prohibited.”
The city will not allow wild animals inside the city limits, but they would be allowed under state laws which deal with circuses and traveling exhibits – like the white tiger exhibit.
Animals which are not allowed inside the city limits are lions, tigers, ocelots, cougars, leopards, cheetahs, jaguars, bobcats, lynx, servals, caracals, hyenas, bears, coyotes, jackals, baboons, chimpanzees, orangutans and gorillas, as well as any hybrid of these animals.
Brown said with traveling exhibits and circuses, the state will be the law followed from this point forward.
However, Commissioner Dr. Jerod Peek said officials and residents need to keep an eye on the Legislature if the issue is addressed again. At this point, snakes are not on the list of animals.
“We need to keep an eye on this and make sure rattlesnakes are not on the list,” Peek said. “If they go on the list, then that would mean the end of the Round-Up.”
For the cats,
Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL 33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457
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