Friday, December 26, 2008

Owner of wild cats receives extension

Owner of wild cats receives extension

By Jeff Pope

Wed, Dec 24, 2008 (11:35 a.m.)

Man to surrender exotic animal license after panther attack (10-23-
2008)

A Lone Mountain man may be able to keep his wild cats for at least
another six months.

County commissioners reversed an earlier agreement with Andy Kay to
have him surrender his exotic animal permit on Dec. 17 and instead on
that day agreed to allow him to keep two exotic animals on his
property as long as he upgrades security there and receives no
violations from Animal Control.

During an October meeting, commissioners said Kay's once sparsely
populated, rural neighborhood is now too urban for wild animals to be
housed there. But on Dec. 17 commissioners said they changed their
minds, saying Kay has met enough of the required upgrades to give him
more time to be in full compliance with county codes.

Commissioners gave Kay six months to complete security upgrades. If
he completes them in time, Kay can keep his permit for two exotic
animals until July 2010, when the permit comes up for review again.
It wasn't clear if Kay intends to keep exotic animals beyond 2010.

Kay, who lives near Ann Road and Riley Street, has been rescuing
animals for the federal government and has kept some, including
panthers and leopards, on his property. He said he considers it his
passion and does it as a service to save the animals.

Kay was before the commission on Dec. 17 to ask for more time to move
the animals to his property in Washoe County.

Washoe has not approved a permit yet and Russell Skuse, who
represented Kay at the meeting, said the single-digit temperatures
upstate were adverse to the cats' health. Skuse asked for an
extension to the spring so the cages could be properly outfitted.

"We want to make it right. We want to make sure everything is in its
place, but we feel like we haven't been given that opportunity," he
said.

He currently has two African Servals ­— spotted felines that can grow
up to 2 feet tall and weigh up to 55 pounds.

An exotic animal is defined as any non-domesticated wildlife.

The commission considered revoking his exotic animals permit in
October after numerous complaints from neighbors and Animal Control,
leading to the agreement then that Kay surrender the license Dec. 17.

Many in the area believed one of Kay's black panthers escaped and was
responsible for an attack on a puppy in the neighborhood in March —
an incident in which responding police shot at but missed a panther
running loose.

Kay said he had two panthers at the time, but they were both locked
up securely.

Commissioners said they weren't convinced the panther that attacked
the dog belonged to Kay and several congratulated him for his rescue
efforts.

The March attack did call attention to the safety of neighbors and to
students at Dean Allen Elementary School located about 100 yards from
Kay's home.

Neither the school nor the houses were around Kay when he started
rescuing wild animals 11 years ago, Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani
said.

"I believe this is one of those situations where they were properly
permitted and we, along with the city, allowed zoning and
encroachment to come into play, which then puts them in an awkward
position," she said.

Giunchigliani also criticized Animal Control for levying violations
on Kay based on a proposed exotic animal ordinance that the
Commission has not adopted.

Kay will have to improve security on his property.

He will have to place GPS locator collars on the cats, provide Animal
Control with photos and identity information and provide emergency
contact information on a sign on the property in the event of an
incident. Kay will be responsible for notifying the school and police
if an animal escapes. He cannot advertise what animals are kept on
the premises.

Kay has six months to complete as many of the provisions as possible.

The board allowed Kay to keep his permit with the new provisions by a
6-0 vote. Commissioner Rory Reid was absent.

Kay told the commissioners he has no problem with the provisions and
already replaced a warped fence with 9-gauge chain-link fencing and
is in the process of obtaining a permit for an 8-foot-tall block wall.

Commissioner Susan Brager, who has three grandsons who live in the
neighborhood, worries more about the public bothering the animals
than the opposite.

"Children are inquisitive. For 10-, 12-year-old boys, there's nothing
greater than to go looking at something like that whether you tell
them not to or not," she said.

Jeff Pope can be reached at 990-2688 or jeff.pope@hbcpub.com.


--
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

http://www.BigCatRescue.org
SaveTheBigCats@gmail.com

Sign our petition to protect tigers from being farmed here:

http://capwiz.com/bigcatrescue/issues/alert/?alertid=9952801&type=CU

This message contains information from Big Cat Rescue that may be
confidential or privileged. The information contained herein is intended
only for the eyes of the individual or entity named above.  You are hereby
notified that any dissemination, distribution, disclosure, and/or copying of
the information contained in this communication is strictly prohibited. The
recipient should check this e-mail and any attachments for the presence of
viruses. Big Cat Rescue accepts no liability for any damage or loss caused
by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.




Thursday, December 25, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Hearing delayed on truck-stop tiger

Hearing delayed on truck-stop tiger

  • By GREG GARLAND
  • Advocate Westside bureau
  • Published: Dec 24, 2008 - Page: 2B - UPDATED: 12:05 a.m.

The fate of a tiger exhibited at Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete has shifted from the courts to the Iberville Parish Council.

A court hearing that had been set for Dec. 29 has been postponed to allow the council time to consider amending a 1993 parish ordinance that bars private individuals from exhibiting dangerous, wild animals such as tigers.

Attorneys involved in the case agreed to the delay in a joint legal motion filed on Monday.

If the council amends the law, it opens the door for Tiger Truck Stop owner Michael Sandlin to continue keeping a 550-pound Siberian-Bengal tiger as a roadside attraction.

Sandlin could be forced to move the tiger if the council refuses, however, because he would not qualify for a permit from the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

Animal welfare activists have complained for years that a barred cage with a concrete floor at a truck stop is not a suitable environment for tigers Sandlin has displayed as roadside attractions.

Sandlin has said he has kept tigers for 20 years without escapes or injuries to humans and that the animals are well cared for at the truck stop.

The issue of what to do about Tony, the only tiger still on display, came up briefly at a council meeting earlier this month. Opposing sides nearly came to blows in a hallway confrontation afterward until a police officer restored order.

Iberville Parish Council Chairman Gene Stevens said, "It really doesn't matter to me" what the council decides to do on the issue.

"The cat's been there eight and a half years and as far as I'm concerned, it can stay there," Stevens said. "But it's up to the whole council, not me."

The move to shift the tussle over the tiger from the legal arena to the political domain of the Parish Council was initiated by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

Bo Boehringer, an agency spokesman for the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, confirmed Tuesday that the agency's attorney suggested a delay in the court hearing until the council considers the issue.

Sandlin's attorney and an attorney for the Parish Council agreed to the proposal during a telephone conference call on Friday, according to a copy of the court filings.

http://www.2theadvocate.com/news/36675329.html

Carole's Note:

Please write the council and ask that they enforce their 1993 ban on the exhibition of wild animals and NOT make an exception for the Tiger Truck Stop.  We make it easy for you to do here:

http://capwiz.com/bigcatrescue/issues/alert/?alertid=12310506&type=CU

--
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

http://www.BigCatRescue.org
SaveTheBigCats@gmail.com

Sign our petition to protect tigers from being farmed here:

http://capwiz.com/bigcatrescue/issues/alert/?alertid=9952801&type=CU

This message contains information from Big Cat Rescue that may be
confidential or privileged. The information contained herein is intended
only for the eyes of the individual or entity named above.  You are hereby
notified that any dissemination, distribution, disclosure, and/or copying of
the information contained in this communication is strictly prohibited. The
recipient should check this e-mail and any attachments for the presence of
viruses. Big Cat Rescue accepts no liability for any damage or loss caused
by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.




Sunday, December 21, 2008

Tony the tiger’s fate lies with court

Tony the tiger's fate lies with court

By Deidre Cruse
Post South
Fri Dec 19, 2008, 11:16 PM CST

Village of Grosse Tete, La. -

The courts will decide the fate of "Tony" the tiger, the roadside attraction at the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete who has gained the attention of both animal rights activists and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

Truck stop Michael Sandlin filed suit in 18th Judicial District Court last week and won a temporary injunction to stop Wildlife and Fisheries from requiring to move the tiger to an approved facility. Iberville Parish, which has an ordinance against keeping wild, exotic, vicious animals and reptiles, also was named as a defendant in the action.

District Judge Robin Free has set a hearing for 9:30 a.m. Monday (December 29) to hear arguments on a permanent restraining order.

Meanwhile, the issue got a brief hearing at the Iberville Parish Council meeting last week. Council Chairman Eugene P. Stevens Jr. allowed an animal rights spokeswoman and Sandlin three minutes each to state their cases.

Independent animal "rescuer" Sky Williamson, backed by animal rights activists from around the country and by local residents, called on the Iberville Parish Council last week to enforce the parish ordinance.

"The tiger needs to be in a different environment for its own health and safety, and for the protection of the public," Williamson told the council.

She said Iberville Parish had created a local ordinance to protect animals, and argued that Sandlin had accumulated a list of violations of U. S. Department of Agriculture regulations over the past 20 years.

"There is no way Sandlin will ever meet the requirements..." Williamson said.

She argued the tiger needed to be cared for by professionals, and that the public should be protected from potential tiger attacks.

"Please do not give in to animal rights advocates who think they know what is best for the tiger," Sandlin urged.

He said the tiger has a proper diet, "the best veterinary care," and  has been "only an asset to Iberville Parish and the community."

Sandlin said the tiger does draw customers to the truck stop, and that the animal is beloved by his 35 employees and customers, alike.

"Do not let Tony be taken away from the only home he has known, and the people who love him," Sandlin said.

After the brief remarks, the representatives of the two sides got into a shouting match outside the council chambers.

John Robbins, a Humane Society member from Metairie, said a woman who attended with Sandlin's party had grabbed the purse of another Humane Society member, Phaedra Wolber of New Orleans.

Robbins said when he stood between Wolber and the other woman, a man accused him of attacking his wife.

The incident was over by the time the Plaquemine Police got to the scene to escort Williamson to her car.

In a brief interview before the council meeting, Williamson, a cable television representative, told the POST/SOUTH she had come to Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina and had been here since then.

She said she began her campaign after she happened to stop at the truck stop and was overcome by the smell of the tiger's cage.

"Before I got out of my car, I could smell feces," she said.

She said the USDA in 2003 had proposed to take and was poised to take four tigers Sandlin maintained at the truck stop, but had agreed to let him keep the one.

Last summer, the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries passed new regulations on ownership of big cats.

In his petition to the court, Sandlin's lawyer said Sandlin met all the requirements, except one that requires him to comply with other federal, state or local laws.

The Iberville Parish ordinance outlaws keeping exotic vicious animals for display or exhibition. Sandlin argued the ordinance hasn't been enforced at his business since the law was adopted in 1993.

Tiger Truck Stop, however, is located within the Village of Grosse Tete, which Mayor Michael Chauffe said has a local law governing vicious dogs, but nothing addressing exotic animals. State laws would supercede any local ordinance, anyway, the mayor said.

Mayor Chauffe said representatives of Sandlin's side had appeared at the last Grosse Tete Board of Aldermen meeting seeking a resolution to ask the Parish Council to consider allowing the tiger to remain at the truck stop.

Chauffe said he agreed to ask the Parish Council for consideration if Sandlin provided proof that he has satisfied all the requirements of Wildlife and Fisheries. He said he has not gotten any documentation.

"My main concern is the safety and well-being of the tiger," the mayor said, noting that the animal had never posed a threat to the community. "I don't live far form the truck stop. When [the tiger's] mad, he gets so loud he roars. A lot of people do stop to look at the tiger."
 

http://www.postsouth.com/news/x1647200325/Tony-the-tiger-s-fate-lies-with-court



Tony the Truck Stop Tiger

Video of the truck stop from Dec. 16, 2008 and the Iberville Parish Meeting

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t74NNFTdN-k


Video of the cat fight that broke out after the above meeting

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RtlMxgDlJY


Video comparing Tony's current existence to what Big Cat Rescue is offering him

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bg4GFewIycM


More info about the Tiger Truck Stop including 20 years of USDA violations

http://www.911animalabuse.com/00abusers/tigertruckstop.htm


Write a letter to help save him here and the update of the new judge info

http://capwiz.com/bigcatrescue/issues/alert/?alertid=12310506&type=CU


Help by texting TIGER to 20222 or donate here:

http://www.BigCatRescue.org/donate.htm

Big Cat Rescue is asking people in Tony's area to find someplace that we can purchase straw to help keep Tony comfortable while awaiting the December 29 trial that will determine his fate.


--
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

http://www.BigCatRescue.org
SaveTheBigCats@gmail.com

Sign our petition to protect tigers from being farmed here:

http://capwiz.com/bigcatrescue/issues/alert/?alertid=9952801&type=CU

This message contains information from Big Cat Rescue that may be
confidential or privileged. The information contained herein is intended
only for the eyes of the individual or entity named above.  You are hereby
notified that any dissemination, distribution, disclosure, and/or copying of
the information contained in this communication is strictly prohibited. The
recipient should check this e-mail and any attachments for the presence of
viruses. Big Cat Rescue accepts no liability for any damage or loss caused
by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.




Monday, December 01, 2008

Daryl Atkinson Loses License Gets Slap on Wrist

By Jason Geary
THE LEDGER

Published: Tuesday, November 25, 2008 at 10:20 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, November 25, 2008 at 10:20 p.m.

BARTOW | The founder of a Davenport wildlife center was sentenced Tuesday to three years' probation and must get rid of his animals.

Darryl Atkinson was accused of accepting money in exchange for signing off on people's community service hours for work they didn't perform.

Atkinson, 52, pleaded no contest to grand theft, culpable negligence and four counts of maintaining captive wildlife in an unsafe or unsanitary condition.

Prosecutors dropped a charge of forgery.

Circuit Judge Dennis Maloney agreed to withhold adjudication, which is a formal finding of guilt that can strip a person of certain rights.

As part of a plea deal, Atkinson agreed to surrender two wildlife licenses.

He is also prohibited from working or consulting about captive wildlife in Florida.

He must get rid of all wildlife in his possession within six months.

Gary Morse, a spokesman with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said Atkinson has already divested himself of many of his large animals, including lions, tigers and bears.

Morse said inspectors would soon visit to see whether any animals remain.

Atkinson did not return a telephone call Tuesday seeking comment.

For years, Atkinson, who founded Horseshoe Creek Wildlife Foundation near Davenport, has had a contentious relationship with wildlife inspectors.

In May 2007, Atkinson entered into a plea agreement on multiple counts of maintaining wildlife in an unsafe condition.

The agreement called for Atkinson to receive money to improve his cages.

Local defense lawyers contributed $1,775, and the State Attorney's Office authorized the donation of $3,000 from fines paid in vice cases.

In February, Atkinson was arrested after an undercover officer posed as a person who needed to perform 100 hours community service, according to an arrest report.

The officer's meeting with Atkinson was secretly recorded, during which Atkinson agreed to sign his paper work for $400, the report states.

In March, Atkinson lost a license for not meeting federal requirements (USDA) and the center was closed to the public.

[ Jason Geary can be reached at jason.geary@theledger.com or 863-802-7536. ]


http://www.theledger.com/article/20081125/NEWS/811250363/1338/NEWS08



--
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

http://www.BigCatRescue.org
SaveTheBigCats@gmail.com

Sign our petition to protect tigers from being farmed here:

http://capwiz.com/bigcatrescue/issues/alert/?alertid=9952801&type=CU

This message contains information from Big Cat Rescue that may be
confidential or privileged. The information contained herein is intended
only for the eyes of the individual or entity named above.  You are hereby
notified that any dissemination, distribution, disclosure, and/or copying of
the information contained in this communication is strictly prohibited. The
recipient should check this e-mail and any attachments for the presence of
viruses. Big Cat Rescue accepts no liability for any damage or loss caused
by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.




Thursday, November 20, 2008

Exotic Cats Make Bad Pets

Dear James,

Thank you for covering this story in a respectable manner.  It is all too easy for the media to play to the ignorant masses with a sob story that is told from the wrong perspective.  Hybrid cats suffer greatly as a result of the pet trade.  They are even more emotionally scarred by their captivity than their wilder cousins because they are so confused about who they are.  More about that here and all of the physical ailments they have as a result of their un natural lineage:

http://www.bigcatrescue.org/cats/wild/hybrids.htm

Most people can't tell a serval from a cheetah and breeders often sell servals and call them Savannahs, because servals are easier to breed and they and the buyers are counting on the authorities not being able to tell the difference between an illegal wild cat and (in most states) a legal hybrid. 

The following is a partial listing (568) of incidents in the U.S. involving captive exotic cats since 1990. The U.S. incidents have resulted in the deaths of 21 humans, 16 adults and 5 children, the additional mauling of 188 more adults and children, 162 escapes, the killing of 89 big cats, and 120 confiscations.  There have also been 172 big cat incidents outside the U.S. that have resulted in the deaths of 63 humans and the mauling of 94 humans by captive big cats.  These figures only represent the headlines that Big Cat Rescue has been able to track.  Because there is no reporting agency that keeps such records the actual numbers are certainly much higher.  http://www.bigcatrescue.org/big_cat_news.htm

This link will tell you about how exotic animals spread disease and threaten local eco systems:

http://www.bigcatrescue.org/000news/0articlesbybcr/zoonosis.htm

Alaska should be proud that they have such good laws to protect their native wildlife and their citizens.  It is the only humane thing to do. 

--
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

http://www.BigCatRescue.org
SaveTheBigCats@gmail.com

Sign our petition to protect tigers from being farmed here:

http://capwiz.com/bigcatrescue/issues/alert/?alertid=9952801&type=CU

This message contains information from Big Cat Rescue that may be
confidential or privileged. The information contained herein is intended
only for the eyes of the individual or entity named above.  You are hereby
notified that any dissemination, distribution, disclosure, and/or copying of
the information contained in this communication is strictly prohibited. The
recipient should check this e-mail and any attachments for the presence of
viruses. Big Cat Rescue accepts no liability for any damage or loss caused
by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.

Recaptured exotic cat must be shipped Outside
ILLEGAL: Serval mix showed it can survive on the loose in wild.

By JAMES HALPIN
jhalpin@adn.com

(11/18/08 22:40:48)

Not two weeks after Simon the Savannah cat was scooped up in a dipnet
and reunited with his owner, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game,
which organized the reunion, is demanding that Sharon Gratrix get rid
of her exotic pet.

The spotted cat is only a quarter serval mixed with a domestic house
cat, but it turns out servals -- small African wildcats -- are not
allowed in Alaska in any ratio. In a letter Gratrix received Monday,
Anchorage wildlife biologist Rick Sinnott explains that the animal is
in fact illegal -- contrary to what biologists first told her -- and
that she has one month to send Simon elsewhere on a one-way ticket.

"I realize this may be a shock to you, having only recently been
reunited with your cat," Sinnott says in the letter. "However, we
cannot allow animals prohibited by law to remain in the state."

Simon bolted out the door of his home near Kincaid Park and was on
the run for six months before being snared along the Glenn Highway
Nov. 7. With a broken tail, Simon was malnourished, in shock and
probably wouldn't have survived much longer, Gratrix said. Now, as
Simon readjusts to domestic life and begins recovering, the thrill of
the unlikely reunion has been snuffed.

"I am heartbroken. ... It never occurred to me that there could be
anything illegal about having this cat," Gratrix said. "I don't think
it's unreasonable that I would not have known; (Fish and Game) didn't
know when they returned him to me."

Though servals are banned in Alaska, Sinnott initially said Savannah
cats appeared to be legal. But state wildlife experts reviewed the
case and concluded otherwise.

State law prohibits Fish and Game from issuing permits for hybrids of
a game animal to be kept as a pet. Under the law, game animals are
defined in part as nondomestic mammals "found or introduced" in
Alaska.

"My initial confusion was well, if this Savannah cat is a hybrid of a
serval -- an African wild animal -- and a domestic cat, then servals
aren't found in Alaska, so therefore it's not an animal that's found
or introduced in Alaska," Sinnott said.

But bringing a Savannah cat into Alaska, even as a pet, constitutes
introducing it here, said Kevin Saxby, an assistant attorney general
specializing in wildlife law. Fish and Game has no discretion to
allow exceptions because the department cannot, by law, issue a
permit for such an animal to be kept as a pet, he said.

One can request the state Board of Game put an animal, like a
Savannah cat, on the "clean list" of allowable animals, and Gratrix
says she plans to do it. But the board heard and rejected a request a
few years back to allow servals because of concern they could
threaten indigenous wildlife, either through predation or disease,
Saxby said.

"The board has a general policy on all exotic species that they can
only be allowed here if they can't survive in the wild and if they
don't otherwise represent a threat to Alaskan species," Saxby
said. "As we found out, servals can escape and survive in the wild in
Alaska, and they're a threat to Alaskan wildlife."

Gratrix has 30 days to provide Fish and Game with proof Simon is gone
or she could be hit with a $250 fine. She said she plans to ship
Simon down to live in exile with her daughter in Arizona until,
hopefully, she can change the law, which also makes one of her
previous pets illegal: the Bengal cat, a hybrid of an Asian leopard
cat and domestic cat.

Since that cat stopped coming home in June 2007 and never was found,
despite a high-profile search involving bus-side posters, there are
no plans to cite her for that pet, Sinnott said. However, there may
still be others to deal with.

"(Gratrix) said there's probably 100 or more Bengal cats in town,"
Sinnott said. "They've even been shown in shows. She says even that
there's a judge in town that has one. I wouldn't know about that, but
this could go bigger than we ever envisioned."

------------------------------

-------

Find James Halpin online at adn.com/contact/jhalpin or call him at
257-4589.

http://www.adn.com/news/alaska/story/594092.html




Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Breaking All the Rules

Breaking All the Rules

This video of people swimming with tigers at T.I.G.E.R.S. aired November 12, 2008 on Inside Edition. Millions of people saw Kevin Antle flagrantly disregarding USDA's big cat policies and many of them complained, but USDA hasn't shut him down yet. Quote: "The handling regulations prohibit the exhibition of such animals without sufficient distance and/or barriers between the animals and the viewing public to assure the safety of the public and the animals. Trained handlers, leashes, and stages, for example, are not substitutes for sufficient distance and/or barriers."

The video:  http://www.insideedition.com/videos.aspx?videoID=208

The USDA policy on big cats:
http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_welfare/downloads/big_cat/big_cat_q&a.pdf

Tell USDA that you believe this is reckless behavior and should not be allowed by their licensees. 

USDA/APHIS/AC
920 Main Campus Drive Suite 200
Raleigh, NC 27606-5210
E-mail: aceast@aphis.usda.gov
Phone: (919) 855-7100
Fax: (919) 855-7123

Regarding:
USDA Exhibitor's License 56-C-0116
Bhagavan Antle, T.I.G.E.R.S.
1818 Hwy 17 N #316
Surfside Beach, SC 29575

--
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

http://www.BigCatRescue.org
SaveTheBigCats@gmail.com

Sign our petition to protect tigers from being farmed here:

http://capwiz.com/bigcatrescue/issues/alert/?alertid=9952801&type=CU

This message contains information from Big Cat Rescue that may be
confidential or privileged. The information contained herein is intended
only for the eyes of the individual or entity named above.  You are hereby
notified that any dissemination, distribution, disclosure, and/or copying of
the information contained in this communication is strictly prohibited. The
recipient should check this e-mail and any attachments for the presence of
viruses. Big Cat Rescue accepts no liability for any damage or loss caused
by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.




Monday, November 17, 2008

capture of 799 suspects

Yunnan destroys its wildlife animal products
http://www.shxb.net/html/20081115/20081115_116963.shtml




(Rough translation)

"Operation Flying Eagle" concluded with the capture of 799 suspects.

From 1st March-31st May 2008, the SFA, Public Security Bureau, Customs and State Commerce Administration coordinated "Operation Flying Eagle" to bust illegal activities associated with forest and wildlife resource nationwide. Yunnan Province extended its Operation until 31st October.

At 9 am yesterday, Yunnan Forestry Public Security Bureau held a press conference. According to the Forestry Public Security Bureau Committee Secretary/Bureau Chief, Mr. Xia Liuchang, the provincial government uncovered 547 cases that are associated with wild animals and plants, arrested 799 suspects, dismantled 38 criminal gangs, and over 4,228 forestry-related cases.

At the end of the conference, the police ushered attendees to an abandoned quarry in Kunming where the products confiscated from "Operation Flying Eagle" were put together and destroyed. Some of the destroyed animal products included 398 skins - some of which were tigers, leopards and bears - and 267 other items that included tiger penises, bear paws, pangolin scales etc., 228.7 kg of snake skins, dried snake, deer tendons etc. The destruction marked the conclusion of "Operation Flying Eagle".

--
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

http://www.BigCatRescue.org
SaveTheBigCats@gmail.com

Sign our petition to protect tigers from being farmed here:

http://capwiz.com/bigcatrescue/issues/alert/?alertid=9952801&type=CU

This message contains information from Big Cat Rescue that may be
confidential or privileged. The information contained herein is intended
only for the eyes of the individual or entity named above.  You are hereby
notified that any dissemination, distribution, disclosure, and/or copying of
the information contained in this communication is strictly prohibited. The
recipient should check this e-mail and any attachments for the presence of
viruses. Big Cat Rescue accepts no liability for any damage or loss caused
by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.




Thursday, November 13, 2008

UK Urges China to Close Tiger Farms

New EDM 2495 - Wild Tigers

Wed, 12 November 08 | House of Commons - Early Day Motion

 

Summary
EDM 2495 was first put down on 12th November 2008 by Elliot Morley

That this House notes with grave concern the illegal trade in Asian big cat parts and derivatives and the diminishing population of big cats; further notes that tiger farming in China represents a significant threat to the remaining wild populations by stimulating demand; welcomes the measures taken by the Indian government in recognising the importance of intelligence-led law enforcement in tackling wildlife crime through the foundation of the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau; calls for the Government to convey its gravest concerns to the Chinese government about its role as the major consumer of tiger parts and to urge China to complement efforts in India by closing its tiger farms and consolidating and destroying all stockpiles of tiger parts and to maintain and enforce its 1993 State Council Order banning the use of tiger products; recognises the negative impact of industrial encroachment on tiger forests; and urges the Government to develop enhanced regulations for UK-based companies and their subsidiaries operating in tiger range states to ensure their actions do not harm tigers or their habitat.



--
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

http://www.BigCatRescue.org
SaveTheBigCats@gmail.com

Sign our petition to protect tigers from being farmed here:

http://capwiz.com/bigcatrescue/issues/alert/?alertid=9952801&type=CU

This message contains information from Big Cat Rescue that may be
confidential or privileged. The information contained herein is intended
only for the eyes of the individual or entity named above.  You are hereby
notified that any dissemination, distribution, disclosure, and/or copying of
the information contained in this communication is strictly prohibited. The
recipient should check this e-mail and any attachments for the presence of
viruses. Big Cat Rescue accepts no liability for any damage or loss caused
by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.




Thursday, November 06, 2008

Danger of big cats in wrong hands

Danger of big cats in wrong hands

10:52 PM CST on Wednesday, November 5, 2008

ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- Twice this year at two separate locations in Missouri, workers almost lost their lives in tiger attacks.

The terrifying incidents prompted News 4 to examine the exotic animal trade business and the potential danger of having big cats in the wrong hands.

Watch News 4 coverage
> Larger player

Camels, zebras, spider monkeys, ostriches, sloths, even a baboon are all for sale at Lolli Bros. livestock auction in central Missouri.

(KMOV.com Extra: News 4 Investigates: Exotic Animal Trade)

An undercover News 4 camera also recorded a rare white lion cub, born in a small family-owned West Virginia zoo. She'll be sold at auction to the highest bidder.

The auction, which is legal, will sell hundreds of exotic species, but there is growing concern that because of auctions and backyard breeders, the big cats are winding up with people who may not appreciate the danger.

Dick Stephens bought his tigers from a backyard breeder when they were cubs.

Now he keeps the full-grown tigers in an outdoor cage at his home just north of Springfield.

Stephens downplays the danger, but a tiger lunged at News 4's Craig Cheatham when he got too close to the cage.

Three years ago, Ronda Good's 17-year old daughter Haley was supposed to be posing for a picture with a tiger cub at a Kansas sanctuary, but the cub wasn't available, so Haley stood next to a full grown tiger hooked to a chain.

Haley turned to run, and the tiger attacked.

Despite the obvious danger connected with owning big cats and other exotic animals, the Lolli Bros. auction has attracted a remarkable following.

During News 4's visit, vehicles with license plates from thirty states and Mexico were seen in the parking lot.

Julie Leicht is the executive director of the Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation, a group trying to strengthen the state's exotic animal laws, which she believes are among the weakest in the country.

Leicht says dangerous exotic animals like tigers, lions and bears should be microchipped and registered so the state can easily track them.

She said the owners should have to pay registration fees, should not be allowed to let anyone touch the animals and should be required to get insurance.

Leicht said neighboring states of Illinois, Iowa and Kansas all have stronger laws than Missouri.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration admits it has no idea how many lions and tigers are in America, but several animal welfare groups believe there could be thousands of them.

For now the fate of some potentially deadly, sometimes unregulated animals are in the hands of people who may not recognize the danger.

http://www.kmov.com/localnews/4investigates/stories/kmov-stlouis-081105-tigers-investigate.184d54e2f.html

Watch the video there.  You can thank Big Cat Rescuer, La Wanna, for making this undercover story happen.

--
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

http://www.BigCatRescue.org MakeADifference@BigCatRescue.org

Sign our petition to protect tigers from being farmed here:

http://capwiz.com/bigcatrescue/issues/alert/?alertid=9952801&type=CU

This message contains information from Big Cat Rescue that may be
confidential or privileged. The information contained herein is intended
only for the eyes of the individual or entity named above.  You are hereby
notified that any dissemination, distribution, disclosure, and/or copying of
the information contained in this communication is strictly prohibited. The
recipient should check this e-mail and any attachments for the presence of
viruses. Big Cat Rescue accepts no liability for any damage or loss caused
by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.




Monday, October 27, 2008

Big Cat Rescue comments on USDA Disaster Plan

Big Cat Rescue's comments:

 

The State of Florida has a disaster plan requirement that is a good starting point.  You can download it here and it is incorporated by reference in my comments:

www.floridaconservation.org/permits/Docs/CWIDisasterPlan.pdf

This is only the bare minimum however and like any plan is only as good as its implementation. No amount of paper work or planning can prevent a disaster where exotic animals are concerned.  Keeping exotic animals in cages does nothing to protect them in the wild.  The biggest problem with this proposed round of comments is that this is just more wasted time and energy when the solution is much simpler and has far more public support.  The solution is to end the private possession and trade of exotic animals.

In an online poll where 8,260 people responded we asked:

Would you support a ban on exotic animals as pets?

Answers             Votes             Percent

Yes                        6,338               77%

No                          1,922               23%

                

Web site resources on dealing with emergencies involving exotic cats:

http://www.bigcatrescue.org/emergency.htm

http://www.bigcatrescue.org/zzBCRmanual/ANIMALEMERGENCY.htm

http://www.bigcatrescue.org/000news/0articlesbybcr/hurricanes2005.htm

Contingency plans should be submitted along with USDA renewals and if found lacking, the USDA license should not be renewed.  These plans should be provided in a format that can be posted online for public scrutiny as the public is often the only line of defense the animals have from the inadequacies of their owners.  There are not enough inspectors currently to provide even the most minimal assurance of care.  Adding to their job the necessity of being the only ones responsible for monitoring the disaster plans means that plans will not be thoroughly scrutinized, much less enforced.

This rule was proposed in the wake of the 2005 Hurricane season and while some exotic animals were displaced or killed, there was only one exotic cat fatality to my knowledge and that Lynx was in Belize.  The disaster that causes hundreds of exotic cats (mostly tigers) to be killed and displaced each year is the lack of financial planning for the life of the animal. 

  1. Zoos breed indiscriminately and discard the animals because they have no facilities to keep the adults when they are breeding to satisfy the public's desire to see babies.
  2. Circus acts discard their big cats when they mature and will not perform.
  3. Hundreds of big cats are bred for photo booths and petting sessions and discarded when they are over a few months old because they become a financial liability.
  4. Pseudo sanctuaries and hoarders collect big cats to gain public sympathy and support, but the support rarely is sufficient for the next year's care, so more animals are "rescued" in a reverse pyramid scheme that ultimately collapses.  www.911AnimalAbuse.com lists 60 shameful facilities and 37 have been shut down or fined by USDA in just the past couple of years.  When these facilities collapse there is nowhere for their wild cats to go due to a lack of financial preparation or responsibility. 
  5. Pet owners buy exotic cats from USDA facilities and yet are almost never willing to provide lifetime care to the animals they buy.  Exotic cats make bad pets and there is no legitimate second market for an unwanted exotic.

Ways to effectively address these issues would be to ban the breeding and trade of exotic animals, especially exotic cats.  A more complex approach would be to institute a permit requirement for breeding each species, whereby the funds necessary to cover lifetime care for that animal were deposited into an interest bearing account held by USDA/APHIS.  The interest on the collective funds would be income to USDA to enable enforcement of the AWA.  The principle would be returned at the end of the life expectancy, if the animal died prior to normal life expectancy to thwart those who would kill the animals at a young age to replace them with babies.  If animals capable of breeding are housed together, some prorated amount should be required on deposit each year to offset the unreported births that will result. 

http://www.bigcatrescue.org/big_cat_news.htm  documents 560 incidents in the U.S. involving captive exotic cats since 1990. The U.S. incidents have resulted in the deaths of 20 humans, 15 adults and 5 children, the additional mauling of 183 more adults and children, 159 escapes, the killing of 88 big cats, and 119 known confiscations.  Since most of these disasters involving humans are the direct result of poor judgment of the owners of exotic cats, these prohibitions should be enacted:

  1. No exotic cat should be taken from his or her primary enclosure, or off site except for the purpose of a scheduled veterinary visit or in the transfer to another licensed facility.
  2. No contact should be allowed between the public and any exotic cat.  The public should be defined as anyone who is not the owner, a full time paid employee, a documented full time volunteer who can prove no less than 8 hours per week of services to the facility for no less than 2 years prior to contact or the attending veterinarian. 
  3. A distance of no less than three feet should be maintained between the caged exotic cat and the public and no devise for reaching, touching or feeding the cat should come within three feet of the cat so that the cat cannot hook such item and pull the person unexpectedly close.
  4. Primary cages should be built in such a manner that the exotic cats can be closed into a separate section to create the required safe space for keepers to clean the empty sections without coming too close to the cats. 
  5. Transport cages or temporary cages should be designed in such a way that food and water may be offered and the cage cleaned without endangering the keeper.
  6. Pound for pound exotic cats are 12 times stronger than a man.  For that reason alone, there is never a time that an exotic cat on a leash is truly restrained.  Leashes are for pets, not wild animals.

I saw semi tractor-trailers in treetops after hurricanes passed through Florida.  I have seen entire expanses of interstate torn up and blown away. There is no way to safely transport a big cat from one location to another.  Tornados hit without warning and big cats have escaped from car crashes.  The prudent thing to do is to keep exotic cats off the road unless it is absolutely necessary for their well-being.  The facility grounds should be required to be in areas that are not prone to flooding, fires, and earthquakes.  In an emergency it should always be preferable to provide on site care than to expose the cats to the dangers of being off site.  Circus acts that use big cats have already been banned in other countries and it is time they are banned here as well. 

10,890 people responded to our online poll when we asked:

Should big cats be made to perform in circus acts?

Answers             Votes             Percent

Yes                        1,142             10%

No                          9,748             90%

Results were similar when polls asked if big cats should be exhibited at fairs.  The public doesn't want to see it.  USDA shouldn't be allowing it.

If roads can be blown away in a hurricane or tornado, or disappear entirely in the aftermath of an earthquake, there is no structure that can be guaranteed to contain a big cat under such powerful forces.  There is no legitimate reason to collect or breed exotic animals for life in cages. Being held captive in environments that are profoundly more restrictive than their natural range does not enhance the animal's welfare. 

All humane issues aside, there just is no way to safely contain a dangerous exotic animal and no legitimate reason to be doing so in the first place.  Please use this critical time to gather useful information on ways to phase out exotics held captive.  It is about time the Animal Welfare Act actually gave the animals some relief from antiquated practices.

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

http://www.BigCatRescue.org MakeADifference@BigCatRescue.org


Make your comments here:


http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/main?main=DocketDetail&d=APHIS-2006-0159
 

(Choose Add Comment > for Gov. agency choose Animal Plant Health Inspection Service)


[Federal Register: October 23, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 206)]
[Proposed Rules]               


[Page 63085-63090]



From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr23oc08-17]                         

 




=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
 




DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


 




Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

 




9 CFR Part 2



 




[Docket No. APHIS-2006-0159]


RIN 0579-AC69



 




 




Handling of Animals; Contingency Plans

 




AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.
 




ACTION: Proposed rule.



 




-----------------------------------------------------------------------
 




SUMMARY: We are proposing to amend the Animal Welfare Act regulations 
to add requirements for contingency planning and training of personnel 
by research facilities and by dealers, exhibitors, intermediate 
handlers, and carriers. We are proposing these requirements because we 
believe all licensees and registrants should develop
 




[[Page 63086]]



 




a contingency plan for all animals regulated under the Animal Welfare 
Act in an effort to better prepare for potential disasters. This action 
would heighten the awareness of licensees and registrants regarding 
their responsibilities and help ensure a timely and appropriate 
response should an emergency or disaster occur.

 




DATES: We will consider all comments that we receive on or before 
December 22, 2008.



 




ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by either of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://

www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/

main?main=DocketDetail&d=APHIS-2006-0159 to submit or view comments and 
to view supporting and related materials available electronically.
     Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Please send two copies of 
your comment to Docket No. APHIS-2006-0159, Regulatory Analysis and 
Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, 
Riverdale, MD 20737-1238. Please state that your comment refers to 
Docket No. APHIS-2006-0159.


    Reading Room: You may read any comments that we receive on this 
docket in our reading room. The reading room is located in room 1141 of 
the USDA South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue, SW., 
Washington, DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., 
Monday through Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is there to 
help you, please call (202) 690-2817 before coming.
    Other Information: Additional information about APHIS and its 
programs is available on the Internet at http://www.aphis.usda.gov.
 




FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Jodie Kulpa-Eddy, Staff 
Veterinarian, Animal Care, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 84, Riverdale, 
MD 20737; (301) 734-7833.


 




SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:


 




Background




 




    Under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) (7 U.S.C. 2131 et seq.), the 
Secretary of Agriculture is authorized to promulgate standards and 
other requirements governing the humane handling, care, treatment, and 
transportation of certain animals by dealers, research facilities, 
exhibitors, operators of auction sales, carriers, and intermediate 
handlers. Regulations established under the AWA are contained in the 
Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) in 9 CFR parts 1 and 2, and 9 CFR 
part 3 contains standards for the humane handling, care, treatment, and 
transportation of animals covered by the AWA. Part 3 consists of 
subparts A through E, which contain specific standards for dogs and 
cats, guinea pigs and hamsters, rabbits, nonhuman primates, and marine 
mammals, respectively, and subpart F, which sets forth general 
standards for warmblooded animals not otherwise specified.
    The only requirement for contingency planning by licensees and 
registrants currently in the regulations is located in Sec.  3.101(b), 
which covers water and power supply requirements at facilities housing 
marine mammals. Specifically, this section requires facilities to 
submit written contingency plans to the Deputy Administrator of Animal 
Care (AC) regarding emergency sources of water and electric power 
should primary sources fail. Among other things, the plans must include 
evacuation plans in the event of a disaster and a description of backup 
systems and/or arrangements for relocating marine mammals requiring 
artificially cooled or heated water.

    Following the events experienced during the 2005 hurricane season, 
a Federal document, ``The Federal Response to Katrina: Lessons 
Learned,'' which can be found on the Internet at http://
www.whitehouse.gov/reports/katrina-lessons-learned/, was published that 
highlighted the need for planning to minimize the impact of disasters. 
AC's experience indicates that, although contingency planning would 
benefit the health and welfare of animals covered by the AWA, at least 
some entities responsible for regulated animals have not undertaken 
such planning. Therefore, we believe all licensees and registrants 
should be required to develop a contingency plan for all animals 
regulated under the AWA in an effort to better prepare for potential 
disasters. We are proposing to add requirements for contingency plans, 
and training of personnel regarding their roles and responsibilities, 
to a new Sec.  2.38(l) for research facilities and to a new Sec.  2.134 
for dealers, exhibitors, intermediate handlers, and carriers. For 
marine mammal facilities, these proposed requirements would be in 
addition to the requirements of Sec.  3.101(b) mentioned above.
    The regulations in current Sec.  2.38(i) allow a person or premises 
to be designated as a recognized animal site for holding animals in 
lieu of a research facility, if the research facility obtains prior 
approval of the AC Regional Director. Likewise, the regulations in 
Sec.  2.102 allow a person or premises to be designated as a recognized 
animal site for holding animals in lieu of a dealer, exhibitor, or 
intermediate handler if the dealer, exhibitor, or intermediate handler 
obtains prior approval of the AC Regional Director. We would also amend 
these provisions to require that any site so designated either be 
directly included in the contingency plan of the research facility, 
dealer, exhibitor, or intermediate handler or develop its own 
contingency plan in accordance with the regulations for research 
facilities, dealers, exhibitors, or intermediate handlers.
    Due to the fact that the individual circumstances for facilities 
may be different (e.g., holding exotic animals versus pet animals, 
being situated in a State with a cold climate versus a temperate 
climate, etc.), it is difficult to go into specific detail as to what 
elements must be included in all contingency plans. However, we are 
proposing a set of general criteria to which contingency plans would 
have to adhere. These criteria would require licensees and registrants 
to develop contingency plans that:


     Identify situations the facility might experience that 
would trigger the need for a contingency plan, including emergencies 
such as electrical outages, faulty HVAC systems, fires, and animal 
escapes, as well as natural disasters the facility is most likely to 
experience. Listings of areas most at risk for specific natural 
disasters can be found on the U.S. Geological Survey Web site at http:/
/www.usgs.gov/hazards or on the Weather Channel Web site at http://
www.weather.com/ready/?from=secondarynav.

     Outline specific tasks required to be carried out in 
response to the identified emergencies including, but not limited to, 
detailed animal evacuation instructions or shelter-in-place 
instructions and provisions for providing backup sources of food and 
water as well as sanitation, ventilation, bedding, veterinary care, 
etc.




     Identify a chain of command and who (by name or by 
position title) will be responsible for fulfilling these tasks.
     Address how response and recovery will be handled in terms 
of materials, resources, and training needed.

    We are also considering the development of a guidance document (or 
other means) to provide examples of elements that may be included in 
contingency plans. We welcome public comment on Web sites, articles, or 
other sources that may be used to develop such guidance, in addition to 
suggestions as to what elements should be included as examples for an 
adequate contingency plan. We would retain the specific requirements in 
Sec.  3.101(b) that are applicable to marine mammals.
 




[[Page 63087]]



 




    We are further proposing that the plans be made available to APHIS 
upon request and, in the case of research facilities, to any funding 
Federal agency representatives. Contingency plans would have to be in 
place 180 days after any final rule following this proposal became 
effective and would have to be reviewed by the research facility, 
dealer, exhibitor, intermediate handler, or carrier on at least an 
annual basis. Training of personnel would have to take place within 60 
days following the adoption of a contingency plan by the research 
facility, dealer, exhibitor, intermediate handler, or carrier. 
Employees hired within 30 days or less after adoption of the 
contingency plan would be included in the training period taking place 
within 60 days following adoption of the contingency plan. For 
employees hired more than 30 days after adoption of the contingency 
plan, training would have to be conducted within 30 days of their start 
date. Training of personnel could be developed and offered by the 
research facility, dealer, exhibitor, intermediate handler, or carrier 
or provided by an outside entity.


    Each research facility, dealer, exhibitor, intermediate handler, or 
carrier would be expected to review its contingency plan on at least an 
annual basis to ensure their plan adequately addresses the four 
criteria listed above. For licensees and registrants who travel with 
animals or have multiple sites where animals are maintained, their 
contingency plans would have to address potential hazards for all areas 
where the animals are maintained for regulated purposes. Any changes to 
a contingency plan resulting from the annual review would have to be 
communicated to employees through training, which would have to be 
conducted within 30 days of making the changes. The plan would also be 
reviewed by APHIS personnel as a part of the routine inspection process 
(similar to the process for our review of dog exercise and nonhuman 
primate environment enhancement plans).

 




Executive Order 12866 and Regulatory Flexibility Act
 




    This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12866. This rule 
has been determined to be significant for the purposes of Executive 
Order 12866 and, therefore, has been reviewed by the Office of 
Management and Budget.



    For this proposed rule, we have prepared an economic analysis, 
which is summarized below. The analysis includes an initial regulatory 
flexibility analysis that considers the potential economic effects of 
the proposed rule on small entities as required by the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act, and a cost-benefit analysis as required by Executive 
Order 12866. The full economic analysis may be viewed on the 
Regulations.gov Web site or in our reading room (see ADDRESSES above 
for instructions for accessing Regulations.gov). The full analysis may 
also be obtained from the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT.




    Lack of disaster preparedness can leave businesses and 
organizations and the animals in their care vulnerable, as was the case 
in the southern United States in 2005. The devastating impact of the 
2005 hurricane season, in particular the many animals that were 
stranded and died in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, underscores 
the need for contingency planning for all animals covered under the 
Animal Welfare Act. Regulated animal populations, in addition to non-
regulated animal populations, suffered as a result of the hurricane. In 
one particular instance, 90 percent of the animals left in a facility 
after personnel were evacuated either died or had to be humanely 
euthanized.



    In 2004, USDA's Animal Care reported 1,101,958 animals, including 
dogs, cats, guinea pigs, nonhuman primates, hamsters, and rabbits, were 
used by registered research facilities (http://www.aphis.usda.gov/
animal_welfare/publications_and_reports.shtml). This does not 
include regulated animals in zoos and other types of facilities. This 
high number of animals used by research facilities illustrates the need 
for contingency plans to protect animals and mitigate impacts of 
natural and manmade disasters.


    Currently, only facilities that house marine mammals are required 
under the regulations to develop contingency plans. The proposed rule 
would require that all licensees and registrants, of which there are 
more than 10,000, develop and document contingency plans for all other 
animals covered under the Act. In addition, training and 
familiarization with these plans would have to be provided to all 
facility employees.



    The proposed requirements may affect research facilities, dealers, 
exhibitors, intermediate handlers, and carriers that fall into nine 
categories of the North American Industry Classification System 
(NAICS). For the purposes of this analysis, the potentially affected 
entities are classified within the following industries: All Other 
Animal Production (NAICS 112990), Pet and Pet Supplies Stores (NAICS 
453910),\1\ Schedule Freight Transport (NAICS 48112), Research and 
Development in Physical Engineering and Life Sciences (NAICS 541710), 
Veterinary Services (NAICS 541940), Zoos and Botanical Gardens (NAICS 
712130), Nature Park and Other Similar Institutions (NAICS 712190), 
Environment Conservation and Wildlife Organizations (NAICS 813312), and 
Pet Care Services (NAICS 812910). Data are unavailable on the size of 
the specific entities, but we may assume that the majority of the 
establishments that would be affected by the rule are small, based on 
the industry estimates obtained from the Economic Census and the Census 
of Agriculture.



---------------------------------------------------------------------------
 




    \1\ Businesses are included in this category if they deal in 
exotic pets such as primates.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------
 




    In terms of economic impacts, we anticipate that the proposed 
changes would only impose minimal costs to develop and document the 
contingency plans and provide employee training. This is because the 
cost of training for facility personnel is expected to vary depending 
on the type and size of business and many of the larger facilities, in 
particular, already have contingency plans in place. In addition, there 
is a wealth of information available from various Federal and State 
agencies and private organizations that addresses animal disaster 
planning. A list of resources that may aid in the development and 
implementation of contingency plans is included in the full economic 
analysis.




    We do not have any estimates of the costs of implementing 
contingency plans for facilities that do not already have contingency 
plans in place, such as the costs of equipment or materials that may be 
needed. We welcome public comment on the types of equipment or 
materials that may be needed to implement contingency plans and the 
costs of this equipment or materials.

 




Significant Alternatives to the Rule

 




    One alternative to the rule would be to require that all licensees 
and registrants submit their contingency plans to APHIS for review, as 
is required for the marine mammal facilities. There are more than 
10,000 licensees and registrants that would be submitting plans for 
review under this alternative, which we expect would take an enormous 
amount of resources for the Agency to process, review, and store. 
Another alternative would be to retain the status quo, i.e., not amend 
the regulations to require regulated entities other than marine mammal 
facilities to prepare contingency plans. However, we believe that this 
alternative would



 




[[Page 63088]]



 




not provide adequate protection for the general public and the animals 
in these facilities. Thus, the approach we are proposing in this 
document, which would ensure that contingency plans are developed and 
can be reviewed by APHIS during scheduled inspection visits or at other 
times, is preferred.



 




Summary




 




    Preparedness for disasters can reduce harm caused to animals and 
loss of life. The devastating impact of the 2005 hurricane season 
underscores the need for contingency planning for all animals covered 
under the Animal Welfare Act. Currently, only facilities that house 
marine mammals are required under 9 CFR 3.101 to develop contingency 
plans. The proposed rule would require that all licensees and 
registrants develop and document contingency plans for all other 
animals covered under the Act. In addition, training and 
familiarization with these plans would be provided to all facility 
employees. The licensees and registrants fall into various categories 
of the North American Industry Classification System and while no 
economic data are available on business size for the specific entities, 
we may assume the majority of the establishments are small, based on 
the industry estimates obtained from the Economic Census and the Census 
of Agriculture. In terms of economic impacts, we anticipate that the 
proposed rule would only impose minimal costs to develop and document 
the contingency plans and provide employee training. The cost of 
training for facility personnel is expected to vary depending on the 
type and size of business. Many of the larger facilities, in 
particular, already have contingency plans in place. Overall, we do not 
anticipate a substantial economic impact on the entities affected. 
Nevertheless, APHIS welcomes public comment on the proposed rule's 
possible impacts, including the cost of implementing contingency plans.
 




Executive Order 12372



 




    This program/activity is listed in the Catalog of Federal Domestic 
Assistance under No. 10.025 and is subject to Executive Order 12372, 
which requires intergovernmental consultation with State and local 
officials. (See 7 CFR part 3015, subpart V.)

 




Executive Order 12988



 




    This proposed rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, 
Civil Justice Reform. It is not intended to have retroactive effect. 
This rule would not preempt any State or local laws, regulations, or 
policies, unless they present an irreconcilable conflict with this 
rule. The Act does not provide administrative procedures which must be 
exhausted prior to a judicial challenge to the provisions of this rule.
 




Paperwork Reduction Act



 




    In accordance with section 3507(d) of the Paperwork Reduction Act 
of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), the information collection or 
recordkeeping requirements included in this proposed rule have been 
submitted for approval to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). 
Please send written comments to the Office of Information and 
Regulatory Affairs, OMB, Attention: Desk Officer for APHIS, Washington, 
DC 20503. Please state that your comments refer to Docket No. APHIS-
2006-0159. Please send a copy of your comments to: (1) Docket No. 
APHIS-2006-0159, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, 
Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238, 
and (2) Clearance Officer, OCIO, USDA, room 404-W, 14th Street and 
Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250. A comment to OMB is 
best assured of having its full effect if OMB receives it within 30 
days of publication of this proposed rule.

    The proposed rule would amend the current regulations and would 
require all licensees and registrants, which include research 
facilities, dealers, exhibitors, intermediate handlers, and carriers, 
to develop and document contingency plans for the handling of animals 
during all emergencies or disasters.

    These criteria would require licensees and registrants to develop 
contingency plans that:



     Identify situations the facility might experience that 
would trigger the need for a contingency plan, including emergencies 
such as electrical outages, faulty HVAC systems, fires, and animal 
escapes, as well as natural disasters the facility is most likely to 
experience.



     Outline specific tasks required to be carried out in 
response to the identified emergencies or disasters including, but not 
limited to, detailed animal evacuation instructions or shelter-in-place 
instructions and provisions for providing backup sources of food and 
water as well as sanitation, ventilation, bedding, veterinary care, 
etc.




     Identify a chain of command and who (by name or by 
position title) will be responsible for fulfilling these tasks.
     Address how response and recovery will be handled in terms 
of materials, resources, and training needed.

    We are further proposing that the plans be made available to APHIS 
upon request and, in the case of research facilities, to any funding 
Federal agency representatives. Contingency plans would have to be in 
place 180 days after any final rule following this proposal became 
effective and would have to be reviewed by the research facility, 
dealer, exhibitor, intermediate handler, or carrier on at least an 
annual basis.



    We are soliciting comments from the public (as well as affected 
agencies) concerning our proposed information collection and 
recordkeeping requirements. These comments will help us:
    (1) Evaluate whether the proposed information collection is 
necessary for the proper performance of our agency's functions, 
including whether the information will have practical utility;
    (2) Evaluate the accuracy of our estimate of the burden of the 
proposed information collection, including the validity of the 
methodology and assumptions used;


    (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to 
be collected; and



    (4) Minimize the burden of the information collection on those who 
are to respond (such as through the use of appropriate automated, 
electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or 
other forms of information technology; e.g., permitting electronic 
submission of responses).


    Estimate of burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of 
information is estimated at 4 to 6 hours (average 5 hours) per 
response.




    Respondents: Dealers, exhibitors, research facilities, carriers and 
intermediate handlers.



    Estimated annual number of respondents: 10,351.
    Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 1.
    Estimated annual number of responses: 10,351.
    Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 51,755 hours. (Due to 
averaging, the total annual burden hours may not equal the product of 
the annual number of responses multiplied by the reporting burden per 
response.)




    Copies of this information collection can be obtained from Mrs. 
Celeste Sickles, APHIS' Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 
851-2908.




 




E-Government Act Compliance


 




    The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is committed to 
compliance with the E-Government Act to promote the use of the Internet 
and other information technologies, to provide increased opportunities 
for citizen access to Government information and services, and for 
other purposes. For information pertinent to

 




[[Page 63089]]



 




E-Government Act compliance related to this proposed rule, please 
contact Mrs. Celeste Sickles, APHIS' Information Collection 
Coordinator, at (301) 851-2908.


 




List of Subjects in 9 CFR Part 2


 




    Animal welfare, Pets, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, 
Research.




 




    Accordingly, we propose to amend 9 CFR part 2 as follows:
 




PART 2--REGULATIONS



 




    1. The authority citation for part 2 continues to read as follows:
 




    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 2131-2159; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.7.
 




    2. Section 2.38 is amended by adding new paragraphs (i)(4) and (l) 
to read as follows:



 




 




Sec.  2.38  Miscellaneous.


 




* * * * *




    (i) * * *



    (4) The other person or premises must either be directly included 
in the research facility's contingency plan required under paragraph 
(l) of this section or must develop its own contingency plan in 
accordance with paragraph (l) of this section.

* * * * *




    (l) Contingency planning. (1) Research facilities must develop, 
document, and follow an appropriate plan to provide for the humane 
handling, treatment, transportation, housing, and care of their animals 
in the event of an emergency or disaster (one which could reasonably be 
anticipated and expected to be detrimental to the good health and well-
being of the animals in their possession). Such contingency plans must:
    (i) Identify situations the facility might experience that would 
trigger the need for a contingency plan, including emergencies such as 
electrical outages, faulty HVAC systems, fires, and animal escapes, as 
well as natural disasters the facility is most likely to experience.
    (ii) Outline specific tasks required to be carried out in response 
to the identified emergencies or disasters including, but not limited 
to, detailed animal evacuation instructions or shelter-in-place 
instructions and provisions for providing backup sources of food and 
water as well as sanitation, ventilation, bedding, veterinary care, 
etc.;




    (iii) Identify a chain of command and who (by name or by position 
title) will be responsible for fulfilling these tasks; and
    (iv) Address how response and recovery will be handled in terms of 
materials, resources, and training needed.

    (2) The contingency plan must be in place by [date 180 days after 
effective date of final rule]. This plan must be made available to 
APHIS and any funding Federal agency representatives upon request. The 
plan must be reviewed by the research facility on at least an annual 
basis to ensure that it adequately addresses the criteria listed in 
paragraph (l)(1) of this section. Facilities maintaining or otherwise 
handling marine mammals in captivity must also comply with the 
requirements of Sec.  3.101(b) of this subchapter.
    (3) The facility must provide and document participation in and 
successful completion of training for its personnel regarding their 
roles and responsibilities as outlined in the plan. Training of 
facility personnel must be completed within 60 days of the adoption 
date required under paragraph (l)(2) of this section; employees hired 
30 days or less after that date must also be trained within that 60-day 
period. For employees hired more than 30 days after adoption of the 
contingency plan, training must be conducted within 30 days of their 
start date. Any changes to the plan as a result of the annual review 
must be communicated to employees through training which must be 
conducted within 30 days of making the changes.

    3. Section 2.102 is amended by adding new paragraphs (a)(4) and 
(b)(3) to read as follows:


 




 




Sec.  2.102  Holding facility.


 




    (a) * * *



    (4) The other person or premises must either be directly included 
in the dealer's or exhibitor's contingency plan required under Sec.  
2.134 or must develop its own contingency plan in accordance with Sec.  
2.134.




* * * * *




    (b) * * *



    (3) The other person or premises must either be directly included 
in the intermediate handler's contingency plan required under Sec.  
2.134 or must develop its own contingency plan in accordance with Sec.  
2.134.




    4. A new section Sec.  2.134 is added to read as follows:
 




 




Sec.  2.134  Contingency planning.


 




    (a) Dealers, exhibitors, intermediate handlers, and carriers must 
develop, document, and follow an appropriate plan to provide for the 
humane handling, treatment, transportation, housing, and care of their 
animals in the event of an emergency or disaster (one which could 
reasonably be anticipated and expected to be detrimental to the good 
health and well-being of the animals in their possession). Such 
contingency plans must:



    (1) Identify situations the facility might experience that would 
trigger the need for a contingency plan, including emergencies such as 
electrical outages, faulty HVAC systems, fires, and animal escapes, as 
well as natural disasters the facility is most likely to experience;
    (2) Outline specific tasks required to be carried out in response 
to the identified emergencies or disasters including, but not limited 
to, detailed animal evacuation instructions or shelter-in-place 
instructions and provisions for providing backup sources of food and 
water as well as sanitation, ventilation, bedding, veterinary care, 
etc.;




    (3) Identify a chain of command and who (by name or by position 
title) will be responsible for fulfilling these tasks; and
    (4) Address how response and recovery will be handled in terms of 
materials, resources, and training needed.

    (b) The contingency plan must be in place by [date 180 days after 
effective date of final rule]. This plan must be made available to 
APHIS upon request. The plan must be reviewed by the dealer, exhibitor, 
intermediate handler, or carrier on at least an annual basis to ensure 
that it adequately addresses the criteria listed in paragraph (a) of 
this section. Dealers, exhibitors, intermediate handlers, and carriers 
maintaining or otherwise handling marine mammals in captivity must also 
comply with the requirements of Sec.  3.101(b) of this subchapter.
    (c) Dealers, exhibitors, intermediate handlers, and carriers must 
provide and document participation in and successful completion of 
training for personnel regarding their roles and responsibilities as 
outlined in the plan. Training of dealer, exhibitor, intermediate 
handler, and carrier personnel must be completed within 60 days of the 
adoption date required under paragraph (b) of this section. Employees 
hired 30 days or less after that date must also be trained within that 
60-day period. For employees hired more than 30 days after adoption of 
the contingency plan, training must be conducted within 30 days of 
their start date. Any changes to the plan as a result of the annual 
review must be communicated to employees through training which must be 
conducted within 30 days of making the changes.

 




 




[[Page 63090]]



 




 




    Done in Washington, DC, this 17th day of October 2008.
Bruce Knight,



Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs.
[FR Doc. E8-25289 Filed 10-22-08; 8:45 am]

 




BILLING CODE 3410-34-P


--
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

http://www.BigCatRescue.org MakeADifference@BigCatRescue.org

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