Why is it wrong to have cubs at the mall?
If you are reading this it is probably because you are a mall owner who has been contacted by animal lovers who are asking you to not allow animal abuse at your mall.
By permitting the exhibit of big cats you are condoning animal exploitation, garnering bad publicity and offending your patrons. Public polls of more than 12,000 random people show that 86% of the public are opposed to big cat animal exhibits and performances. Just recently Bob Barker, host of the Price is Right, went to Capitol Hill to applaud a bill that was introduced before Congress to end these abusive traveling acts. It is difficult to comprehend why you would not join the growing list of venues that have banned this type of abuse.
Exhibitors who put on these events claim to be educating the public that these dangerous animals do not make good pets. But, according to the USDA’s Information of Resources for Tigers, the American Zoo Association (AZA) says the opposite is true. They say “that handling big cats in public areas is not appropriate. The organization feels that such activities are of little educational value, and can encourage private ownership.” When exhibitors handle big cats, or let the public handle them, even if the exhibitors say the cats do not make good pets, their behavior communicates the opposite. Telling the public that big cats do not make good pets while letting people pet cubs is like telling someone that smoking is bad for them while you puff away in front of them. The real message communicated by these exhibits is that it is acceptable to exploit the cubs, dragging them around in semi and awakening them to be petted when they need sleep, just to make money. And that is just wrong.
Exhibitors also claim that the exhibits somehow help conservation. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have ruled that this claim of education does not meet the conservation requirement of a permit. Joe Schreibvogel has posted signs at his exhibit claiming a portion of the proceeds go to a “rare species fund” to help “conservation in 7 continents.” There is no evidence of such a fund. And at the same time he is claiming to make such donations he is seeks donations by claiming he cannot pay his water and other bills. So how can he donate to conservation?
Joe Exotic Schreibvogel travels the country, using many business names, to display lion and tiger cubs. He has a history of USDA violations for abusive treatment of animals, is currently under investigation by USDA for the deaths of 23 cubs, and was recently cited by USDA for failing to provide adequate veterinary care. Last year, he displayed sick cubs with violent diarrhea at the Mounds Mall in Anderson, IN. You can see video of this awful abuse, two videos with evidence of children being attacked by his cubs, and learn more about Schreibvogel at www.TigerCubAbuse.com.
In addition to the potential liability from an injury, the Center for Disease Control warns “There has been so little research into zoonotic diseases that it is reckless to have close contact with animals who were never meant to come in close proximity to man.” The conditions that these poor creatures used in traveling exhibitions are subjected to is totally contrary to what nature intended.
Cubs used for petting and photo exhibits are torn from their mothers shortly after birth, causing emotional pain to both mom and cub. These early months are a time when the cubs should be sleeping as needed and, when awake, exploring and learning to use their young muscles. Instead, they spend countless hours in small cages in trucks when they aren’t being groped and restrained on display.
What happens to the lions and tigers that are used to make money after they are too big and dangerous to use this way? Most spend their entire lives in small concrete and chain link cells, often in horrible conditions.
How can you possibly want to have your organization associated with these individuals and be known in your community as supporters of animal abuse?