Tuesday, September 25, 2007

'Oh, My!' Exotic pet owners needn't disclose

'Oh, My!' Exotic pet owners needn't disclose

 

They need permits to keep wildlife, but don't have to inform their neighbors.

By CRAIG PITTMAN St. Petersburg Times

September 19, 2007

 

ST. PETERSBURG - State wildlife commissioners agreed last week that owners of potentially dangerous wildlife do not have to inform their neighbors about what's lurking on the other side of the privacy fence.

 

"There are probably pit bulls out there that are more dangerous than what some of these people are keeping," commissioner Ron Bergeron said.

 

More than 370 people statewide hold permits for what the state calls Class I wildlife, also known as the "Oh My" list, a name derived from a line in The Wizard of Oz: "Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!"

 

The owners of such wildlife must get permits, submit to inspections, meet caging requirements and keep their animals on property that is 5 acres or more in an area not zoned residential.

 

But this summer, after hearing from an Okeechobee County rancher, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission contemplated making owners take out a legal notice in the nearest newspaper disclosing what they own and sending all immediate neighbors certified letters.

 

Rancher Susan Williams told wildlife commissioners at their June meeting that she was horrified to learn that one of her Okeechobee County neighbors was keeping a tiger and five bears on his Crazy 8 Ranch. She worried about what might happen if the animals got loose.

 

The Humane Society of the United States backed the wildlife disclosure rule, too.

 

"We do think that in a state as prone to hurricanes as this one, folks should be notified about what's in their community," Jennifer Hobgood of the Humane Society said Thursday. "They have the right to know."

 

When Hurricane Andrew hit South Florida in 1992, more than 3,000 exotic animals -- including boa constrictors, wallabies, iguanas and baboons -- escaped private menageries and fled into the wilds of Miami-Dade County.

 

Hobgood pointed out that in 2003, neighbors in the Countryside Village Mobile Home Park in Town 'n' Country were unnerved to learn that a resident was raising 26 deadly reptiles. They found out because his pet black mamba got loose and bit him.

 

But the wildlife commissioners were swayed by a parade of animal owners, such as Lisa Welch of Thonotosassa, who argued that requiring disclosure of her wildlife ownership "is such an infringement of my rights."

 

Palm Springs cougar owner Alan Rigerman said farmers ought to be required to disclose what livestock they own because cows are just as dangerous. "Bulls kill people. Horses and cattle kill people," he said.

 

Gini Valbuena of Clearwater, who has owned chimpanzees for 22 years, predicted that disclosing what she owns would attract thieves and trespassers: "We're going to have children injured, and we're going to have people knocking on our doors saying, 'Let me see your monkey.' "

 

And longtime Gainesville reptile dealer Gene Bessette said that if the rule passed, the next step would be requiring firearm owners to notify their neighbors about what guns they possess.

 

"A gun doesn't get up and walk out of its gun case," Hobgood retorted.

 

The commissioners, meeting in St. Petersburg, voted 6-0 to reject the proposed rule.

 

They also voted to postpone until February implementing a liability law that requires owners of captive wildlife to put up a $10,000 bond or buy $2 million of insurance in case anyone gets hurt by their animals.

 

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/state/orl-locexotic19091907sep19,0,289937.story

 

Carole’s comments here:  http://www.topix.net/forum/source/orlando-sentinel/TK0KGTKEJLBD5PB96

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Wisconsin to Regulate Big Cats and Ban Exploitation

Under current law, with some exceptions, a person must have a license issued by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to possess or exhibit a native captive wild animal but there is no such requirement for non native cats, such as tigers.

If you live in WI, you can help by sending an email here:

http://capwiz.com/bigcatrescue/issues/alert/?alertid=10278931

Read more about the bill below:

http://capwiz.com/bigcatrescue/issues/bills/?bill=10278926

This bill requires that any nonnative "large cat" must be registered with DNR by the person who owns or otherwise possesses the cat. The large cats that are covered by the bill are lions, tigers, leopards, jaguars, pumas, and cheetahs. The bill also prohibits an owner of such a cat to charge a fee for photographing or filming the animal.

The bill requires DNR to maintain an electronic database that includes the information provided by the owner and to provide the information concerning each large cat to the county in which the cat is located. Finally, the bill requires the Department of Commerce to promulgate rules establishing minimum standards for enclosures in which these large cats are kept.

The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do enact as follows SECTION 1. 169.01 (25r) of the statutes is created to read: 169.01 (25r) "Physical injury" means lacerations, fractured bones, internal injuries, severe bruising, great bodily harm as defined in s. 939.22 (14), or death.
SECTION 2. 169.04 (4) (b) (intro.) of the statutes is amended to read:
169.04 (4) (b) (intro.) A Subject to sub. (4m), a person is exempt from holding a license or other approval as required under this chapter to possess live nonnative wild animals that are not endangered or threatened species, except for any of the following:
SECTION 3. 169.04 (4m) of the statutes is created to read:
169.04 (4m) NONNATIVE WILD ANIMALS OF THE FAMILY FELIDAE. (a) A person shall register with the department each nonnative wild animal that the person possesses that is not designated as a harmful wild animal under s. 169.11 (1) (a) or under the rules promulgated under that paragraph and that is one of the following or a hybrid of one or more of the following:
1. A lion.
2. A tiger.
3. A leopard.
4. A snow leopard.
5. A clouded leopard.
6. A jaguar.
7. A cheetah.
8. A puma.
(b) No person may charge a fee for photographing or filming a nonnative wild animal subject to par. (a).
(c) Paragraph (a) does not apply to nonnative wild animals temporarily possessed for a period not to exceed 24 hours for any of the purposes described under sub. (2) (a) 1. to 3.
(d) A person who possesses a nonnative wild animal subject to par. (a) shall register the nonnative wild animal and shall provide all of the following information
to the department for each nonnative wild animal:
1. The registrant's complete legal name and any trade name under which the registrant possesses the nonnative wild animal.
2. The registrant's address and telephone number.
3. The address and legal description of the location at which the registrant possesses the nonnative wild animal.
4. The species of the nonnative wild animal.
5. The date of birth of the nonnative wild animal, or the approximate date of birth if the date of birth is unknown.
6. The date that the registrant took possession of the nonnative wild animal.
7. The name, address, and telephone number of the person from who in the registrant purchased or acquired the nonnative wild animal. If the registrant did not purchase or acquire the nonnative wild animal from another person, the manner in >which the registrant took possession of the nonnative wild animal.
8. To the best of the registrant's knowledge, a detailed description of the extent of any physical injury caused by the nonnative wild animal to any individual at any time during or prior to the registrant possessing the nonnative wild animal, and the circumstances surrounding such injury.
9. Any additional information that is required by the department by rule.
(e) A person shall submit the registration under par. (d) and the required fee under s. 169.31 (5) to the department in the following manner:
1. Except as provided in subd. 2. or 3., no later than 60 days after the person purchases or acquires the nonnative wild animal.
2. Except as provided in subd. 3., no later than 120 days after the birth of the
nonnative wild animal if the person possessed it at the time of its birth.
3. No later than the first day of the 24th month beginning after the effective date of this subsection .... [revisor inserts date], if the nonnative wild animal was possessed by the person on the effective date of this subsection .... [revisor inserts date], and has remained in the person's possession since that date.
(f) A person shall notify the department when the person no longer possesses a nonnative wild animal subject to par. (a). The notification shall include the following information:
1. The date the person ceased to possess the nonnative wild animal.
2. The name, address, and telephone number of any person to whom the nonnative wild animal, was sold or transferred.
3. Whether the nonnative wild animal died, escaped, disappeared, was killed or was sold or transferred.
4. If the nonnative wild animal died or was killed, the manner of disposal of the carcass.
5. Any additional information that is required by the department by rule.
(g) The person shall submit the notification required under par. (f) to the department in the following manner:
1. Except as provided in subd. 2., no later than 60 days after the date the person ceases to possess the nonnative wild animal.
2. If the nonnative wild animal escaped or disappeared, no later than 24 hours after the person learns of the escape or disappearance.
(h) A person shall update or supplement the information the person is required to provide to the department under pars. (d) and (f) as soon as practicable after the information changes or new information becomes known to the person.
(i) The department shall establish and maintain an electronic database which includes the information provided to the department under pars. (d), (f), and (h). The department shall make the database available to the public on its Internet site but shall not include the telephone number of any person provided under par. (d) 2. or
(f) 2. The department may also exclude additional information by rule.
(j) The department shall provide any information submitted by a person under pars. (d), (f), and (h) to the county clerk of the county in which the nonnative wild animal is possessed within 30 days after receipt of the information by the department, except that the department shall provide the information received under par. (g) 2. as soon as reasonably possible. The county clerk of each county shall disseminate this information in a time and manner established by the county to the county sheriff and to county agencies relating to public health, animal control emergency management, conservation, and zoning.
(k) The department of commerce shall promulgate rules establishing minimum standards for the construction and inspection of the enclosures in which a nonnative wild animal subject to par. (a) are kept for the purpose of protecting the nonnative wild animal, the public, and wildlife.
SECTION 4. 169.31 (title) of the statutes is amended to read:
169.31 (title) License and, tag, and registration fees.
SECTION 5. 169.31 (5) of the statutes is created to read:
169.31 (5) NONNATIVE WILD ANIMAL REGISTRATION FEE. The department shall promulgate a rule establishing a fee for the registration of nonnative wild animals under s. 169.04 (4m) (d) in an amount estimated to equal the department's cost of processing registrations, and establishing and maintaining the electronic database under s. 169.04 (4m) (i), and otherwise administering s. 169.09 (4m).
SECTION 6. 169.36 (9) (b) of the statutes is amended to read:
169.36 (9) (b) In addition to the requirements under par. (a), the person holding
a license subject to this section shall provide a copy of the record required under this section to the department on a quarterly basis, as determined by the department, if the transaction or activity involved any live wild animal of the family canidae ursidae, mustelidae, or felidae, or any harmful wild animal. This paragraph does not apply to nonnative wild animals that are subject to registration under s. 169.04 (4m).
SECTION 7. 169.45 (2m) of the statutes is created to read:
169.45 (2m) POSSESSION. Subsection (2) and s. 93.61 (1) do not apply to a
nonnative wild animal possessed in violation of s. 169.04 (4m).
SECTION 8.0Effective date.
(1) This act takes effect on the first day of the 24th month beginning after publication.

End of primate research in Europe

Landmark victory for ADI.

Wednesday, 05 Sep 2007 13:24


UK group achieves 393 MEP signatures to signal the end of primate research in Europe

Animal Defenders International’s (ADI) campaign to end lab primates’ misery has achieved a major victory today as 393 MEPs put their signatures to Written Declaration 40/2007 in the European Parliament - the requisite number needed to trigger its adoption and end primate testing in Europe.

The declaration, sponsored by UK MEP John Bowis, French MEP Martine Roure, Swedish MEP Jens Holm, German MEP Rebecca Harms and Slovenian MEP Mojca Drcar Murko, calls for a ban on the use of Great Apes (chimpanzees, bonobos, orangutans, gorillas), and on the use of wild-caught primates, as well as a phase-out of all primate use in EU laboratories.

Jan Creamer, ADI chief executive said, “This marks a major victory not only for ADI but for all the primates who have been incarcerated in laboratories throughout Europe. Ahead of Thursday’s deadline, our relentless campaigning has paid off and today we have achieved signatures of half of Europe’s MEPs. This is history in the making and will end the suffering of some 10,000 primates a year in European labs and the adoption of more reliable modern alternatives.”

http://www.politics.co.uk/press-releases/opinion-former-index/animal-welfare/landmark-victory-adi-$478000.htm