Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wesa-A-Geh-Ya Owner Faces New Charges on Missing Cats


 

Last modified: Wednesday, June 25, 2008 8:31 AM CDT


Wesa-A-Geh-Ya owner faces new charges

By Sarah Whitney

Ken Smith, owner of the wildlife facility Wesa-A-Geh-Ya, is once again facing charges.

Smith was charged May 13 with failure to maintain accurate records of a wildlife breeder with the Missouri Department of Conservation.

The charges resulted from one cougar and two wolves that were registered but were not at the facility during a Missouri Department of Conservation inspection.

"It's a different violation of keeping track of the animals," Warren County Prosecuting Attorney Mike Wright said about the new charges.

Smith has maintained his innocence regarding the most recent and past charges during a telephone interview.

"It's all the same stuff," he said.

Wright said his office has contacted Smith's lawyer in an effort to resolve the new charges.

The charges followed a May 6 judgment that found Smith guilty of failing to register dangerous wild animals with the Warren County Sheriff's Department.

In that case, Associate Circuit Judge Wes Dalton determined that Wesa-A-Geh-Ya was not a wildlife sanctuary. The distinction would have made the facility exempt from registering its nearly 50 animals, including tigers, lions and wolves, with local law enforcement officials.

Smith is serving two years of court-supervised probation. If he has no additional charges on his record, after that time, the charges will not go on his record.

The most recent charge did not violate Smith's probation because it occurred before he was sentenced for the first charge, Wright said.

Thursday morning, Warren County Sheriff Kevin Harrison sent a letter to Warren County Commissioners requesting that they pass an ordinance that would clearly distinguish jurisdiction and rules regarding housing exotic and wild animals in Warren County.

The Smiths could not be reached for comment at their Warren County home before Journal press time.

The request is in response to an increase in residents' calls to his department expressing concern after Ken and Sandra Smith announced their intentions to expand the facility, Harrison said.

"I am requesting a county ordinance that would prohibit these animals altogether," he said in a phone interview. "Naturally, existing animals would be grandfathered in, but it would cap the animals."

Southern Commissioner Randy Lewis said the commission is waiting to see what actions the state takes.

Harrison said he understands the Smiths have a right to keep their animals, but he also has to look out for the public safety of the community.

In the letter he wrote: "This facility has always posed potential public safety threats, and distinct challenges to my department. We can no longer sit idle and allow this facility to operate unregulated within our community."

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Tom Feeney Votes against Protecting Primates

Rep. Tom Feeney Votes against Protecting Primates, Public Health and Safety

 

WASHINGTON (June 18, 2008) -- Last night, U.S. Rep. Tom Feeney (R-Fla.) yet again voted against a common-sense animal welfare measure that was overwhelmingly approved by the U.S. House of Representatives. This time, he voted against a bipartisan bill called the Captive Primate Safety Act, an anti-cruelty and public safety measure written to stop the movement of primates for the pet trade. The House of Representatives passed the bill by an overwhelming vote of 302 to 96.

 

"Primates belong in the wild, not in our basements and bedrooms," said Michael Markarian, president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund. "Tom Feeney is out of step with Florida citizens who want common-sense animal welfare policies and want their communities protected from dangerous attacks and diseases."

 

The bipartisan Captive Primate Safety Act, H.R. 2964, prohibits the interstate and foreign commerce in apes, monkeys, and other primates for the exotic pet trade. These animals can inflict serious injuries and spread life-threatening disease, and the average pet owner cannot provide for the animals' basic social, psychological, and physical needs in captivity. These highly intelligent and social creatures are often confined in small cages, and their teeth are pulled out to make them less dangerous.

 

Twenty states already prohibit private possession of these animals as pets, but primates are easily obtained over the Internet and through out-of-state dealers and auctions, making federal legislation necessary to complement the efforts of state law enforcement. The bill has received strong support from a broad range of scientists and organizations, including Dr. Jane Goodall, the American Veterinary Medical Association, and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

 

The state of Florida allows certain primates as pets but is in the process of reviewing requirements and increasing standards for keeping some species. In April 2008, a monkey wearing a diaper was running loose outside an Orlando apartment complex and had to be recaptured. The animal had apparently escaped though an open window.

 

The Humane Society Legislative Fund noted that Rep. Feeney has consistently voted against common-sense humane laws. He has voted to allow the trophy shooting of threatened polar bears, to ship American horses to other countries for slaughter where horse meat is considered a delicacy, and not to include pets in disaster planning. 

-30-

 

Media contact:

Heather Sullivan: 301.548.7778; hsullivan@hslf.org

The Humane Society Legislative Fund is a social welfare organization incorporated under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code and formed in 2004 as a separate lobbying affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States. The HSLF works to pass animal protection laws at the state and federal level, to educate the public about animal protection issues, and to support humane candidates for office. On the web at hslf.org. 


Carole's Note:  While I discourage the posting on non cat issues on this blog, the Primate Bill actually has an element called, "the big cat fix" that helps strengthen the language that prohibits the sale of big cats across state lines as pets, so this bill has been very important to us.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Petition to stop Savannah cat trade in Australia

From: Snake Rescue [mailto:contact@snakerescue.com.au]
Sent: Wednesday, June 18, 2008 6:32 AM
To: Info@BigCatRescue.org
Subject: Please help with petition against importation of Savannah cats

 

Hi,

 

We have started a petition to stop the importation of the so called "Savannah Cats". This would be an absolute disaster for Australian wildlife. I was hoping you could find the time to sign this petition.

 

Please visit the website for more details and to sign the petition if you would like to help!!

 

 

Any assistance would greatly be appreciated

Please pass this email on to anyone who might also be interested in signing!

 

 

Thank you for your help

 

Kind Regards,


Per Thomsen

 

Snake Rescue

Mob:  0408 365 948
Ph:   +61-3-9746 0662

Web: http://www.snakerescue.com.au




Saturday, June 14, 2008

HSUS Sponsored Grassroots Meeting in Largo

HSUS Sponsored Grassroots Meeting in Largo

When
Saturday, June 28, 2008 10:00 AM
Where

 SPCA Tampa Bay
 9099 130th Avenue North
 Largo FL 33773
 850-386-3435


Please note that the time is 10 a.m.-12 noon. I look forward to meeting you on June 28.

For more information about the event, please visit:
https://community.hsus.org/humane/events/meeting_LargoFL_June28/details.tcl

Regards,
Jen Hobgood
Florida State Director

PLEASE RSVP TO: Jen Hobgood, jhobgood@humanesociety.org

The Humane Society of the United States is hosting a grassroots meeting on Saturday, June 28, where participants will learn how to make a tremendous difference for animals in Florida. R.S.V.P. for this free event to jhobgood@humanesociety.org

As the Florida State Director for The Humane Society of the United States, I am eager to meet other animal advocates in our state. This event is an opportunity for you to engage in the many exciting efforts to improve life for Florida's animals. The meeting will provide attendees with legislative updates, news on current events, and immediate ways to take action for the animals.

Please take time to attend this meeting to find out what you can do to help our cause at the local level. Feel free to bring a friend and pass this information on to others who might like to join us. This event is free of charge, but an R.S.V.P. is requested to attend. R.S.V.P. now to jhobgood@humanesociety.org
Hope to see you there!

Sincerely,

Jennifer Hobgood
Florida State Director
The Humane Society of the United States

--
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.



Wednesday, June 11, 2008

FL Summary of Proposed Rule Changes - 2008

Summary of Proposed Rule Changes - 2008
Chapter 68A-6, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.)

68A-6.002 Categories of Captive Wildlife

  • Clarify that categories of wildlife includes taxonomic successors and subspecies thereof.
  • Classification changes:
  • Class I:
    • Gaur (family Bovidae)
    • Hyena and Aardwolf (family Hyaenidae)
    • Cougars, panthers (Puma concolor)
    • Cheetahs (Acinonyx jabatus)
  • Class II:
    • Patas monkeys (genus Erythrocebus)
    • Vervet, Grivet or Green monkeys (genus Chlorocebus)
    • Change Bearded sakis to include all sakis (genus Chiropotes and Pithecea)
    • Change reference of specific jackal species to all jackal species (family Canidae).
    • Change reference of Gray wolves and Red wolves to all wolves (family Canidae); and delete reference to wolf x domestic hybrid percentage.
    • Include American alligator (family Alligatoridae)
    • Giraffe and Okapi (family Giraffidae)
    • Tapirs (family Tapiridae)
    • Wild cattle, forest, woodland, and arid land antelope and similar species of nonnative hoof stock of the family Bovidae.

      Examples include: Forest buffalo, Banteng, Anoa, Waterbuck, Wildebeest, Hartebeest, Eland, Kudu, Nilgai, Bongo, lechwe, Roan and Sable antelope, Sitatunga, Bontebok, Blesbok, Topi, Kob, Addax, Oryx, Gemsbok, and other species of the family Bovidae which are of similar size, habits and nature.
  • Delete percentage language associated with wolf x domestic hybrids.
    • Include language to address the regulation of hybrids resulting from wild x domestic animal crosses which are substantially similar in size, characteristics, and behavior so as to be essentially indistinguishable from wild animals.
    • Such hybrids to be regulated as wildlife at the highest Class if the wild parentage.
  • Provide that fox, skunks, bats, raccoons or white tail deer taken from the wild may not be possessed as personal use wildlife.

    Top of page

68A-6.004 Standard Caging Requirements for Captive Wildlife0

  • Include proposals to use open air habitats, except as provided, must be approved in writing by the Commission prior to use before housing wildlife.
  • Add the requirement for providing devices that allow for temperature regulation in Red Panda enclosures, as is necessary to ensure the well being of this species.

68A-6.0011 Possession of Wildlife in Captivity; Permit Requirements

  • Require USDA registered research facilities currently exempt from meeting the requirements of 68A-6, F.A.C., to maintain a detailed research proposal, annual record of progress toward research objectives and to meet cage strength requirements in 68A-6.003, F.A.C.
  • Provide that the provisions of 68A-6, F.A.C., do not apply to Bison possessed exclusively for the purpose of production of meat, skins or hides, or progeny thereof.

68A-6.0022 Possession of Class I, II, or III Wildlife in Captivity: Permit Requirements

  • Remove brushtailed possums from the list of wildlife that may be possessed for personal use without a permit. (Currently listed federally as an injurious species).
  • Require experience for Class I and Class II to be with the species or other species in the same genus that are substantially similar in size, characteristics, care and nutritional requirements to the species for which the permit is sought .
  • Require applicants for Class I and II to provide times experience was obtained.
  • Increase the hours of experience requirement with test option, as provided for Class II applicants to 500 hours. (Same as VR)
  • Modify reference requirements to allow for one of the references to be provided from a representative of a professional or governmental institution such as a University, Public Service agency, Zoological association or herpetological society.
  • Provide that the experience requirements do not apply for alligators when possessed in accordance with 372.6673, F.S.
  • Provide that the experience requirements do not apply to Bovidae when possessed in accordance with 372.16 or 372.661, F.S.
  • Require corporations to have qualified personnel responsible for the care of Class I or II wildlife.
    • Personnel must meet the experience requirements provided for Class I or II wildlife.
    • Documentation of experience for such personnel must be submitted upon initial application and any change in personnel.
  • Require a USDA license to be obtained within 180 days after initial application and maintained when Class I wildlife is possessed for exhibition or sale.
  • Clarify language for Critical Incident/Disaster Plan requirement (372.921, 372.922, and 68A-6), modify form and form date.

    Top of page

68A-6.005 Transportation Requirements for Wildlife; Caging Requirements for Performing and Non-Performing Animals

  • Include language in (1) (g) that all wildlife shall be transported in a cage or enclosure appropriate for the species.
  • Include language that all transport cages which contain wildlife shall be labeled "Caution or Danger – Wild Animal"

68A-6.007 Possession, Transportation, Exhibition and Caging Venomous Reptiles and Reptiles of Concern

  • Clean up language for reptiles of concern to include their "taxonomic successors."
  • Address taxonomic split of the amthistina complex in the genus Morelia to better reflect the intent of the listing of Amethystine or scrub pythons as reptiles of concern.
    • Includes all subspecies of the genus Morelia that exceed 12' in length upon maturity.
  • Modify reference requirements to allow for one of the references to be provided from a representative of a professional or governmental institution such as a University, Public Service agency, Zoological association or herpetological society.
  • Require corporations to have qualified personnel responsible for the care of venomous reptiles.
    • Personnel must meet the experience requirements provided for venomous reptiles.
    • Documentation of experience for such personnel must be submitted upon initial application and any change in personnel.
    • Consistent with requirements for Class I and II wildlife.
  • Insert new form date for the Critical Incident/Disaster Plan form due to form modifications.

68A-6.0041 Exceptions to Standard Caging Requirements for Captive Wildlife

  • Include Bison (when possessed for propagation purposes only) as exempt from standard caging requirements, except fencing requirements, of 68A-6.004.
  • Corrected rule reference in paragraph (4), as necessary due to previous rule changes.

68A-6.003 Facility and Structural Caging Requirement for Class I, II and III Wildlife

  • Require cages or enclosures that use the ground as flooring to have buried concrete footers or bottom apron to further prevent escape from digging or erosion.
  • Insert new form date for the Critical Incident/Disaster Plan form due to form modifications.
  • Make changes to (2)(c)5. as necessary for newly proposed changes to Class I and Class II:
    • The following proposed Class I wildlife may not be possessed on property within an area zoned solely for residential use:
      • Gaur (family Bovidae)
      • Hyena and Aardwolf (family Hyaenidae)
      • Cougars, panthers (Puma concolor)
      • Cheetahs (Acinonyx jabatus)
  • Make changes to (2)(d) as necessary for newly proposed changes to Class II non-human primates:
    • Include all sakis as exempt from facility requirements as specified in (2)(c)1.-4.
    • Exclude Patas monkeys as exempt facility requirements as specified in (2)(c)1.-4., due to size0 range upon maturity.
  • Clarify in (2)(e) which facility requirements are being referenced when referring to the facility requirements that Class I or II are exempt from meeting.

    Top of page

68A-6.0021 Possession or Transfer of Class I Wildlife as Personal Use Wildlife; Transfer of Wildlife and Record Keeping Requirements

  • Make change to rule title to include "Record Keeping Requirements"
  • Provides a "grandfather" clause for any Class II wildlife possessed for personal use that is up listed to Class I.
    • Any Class II wildlife that is up listed to Class I wildlife upon the effective date of Rule 68A-6.002, F.A.C., is eligible for a permit in accordance with the provisions for Class II wildlife.
  • Provide in paragraph (1) that no other class I wildlife may be "transferred" or kept for personal use. The intent is to prevent continued acquisition of Class I for personal use by grandfathered entities.
  • Require all Class I wildlife possessed for personal use to be permanently identified by means of tattoo, brand, passive integrated transponder (PIT tag), photographic id or other method that identifies the specimen from others of the same species.
    • Specifies requirements in instances where photographic identification is used.
    • Requires owners to maintain records of identification and submit same to FWC.
    • Permanent identification requirements effective July 1, 2009.
  • Change the length of time records of sale/transfer are required to be maintained to 3 years.
  • Specify that sale/transfer records are to include: date, quantity and species, name and complete address of recipient; and license identification number where applicable.
  • Provide that record of sale/transfer are not required for that wildlife that may be possessed for personal use without a permit as specified in 68A-6.0022 (2) (a) – (v), except as otherwise required.

    Top of page

68A-6.0023 General Regulations Governing Possession of Captive Wildlife; Record Keeping Requirements

  • In paragraph (2)(a) include "68A-6.007" as it pertains to requiring wildlife to be maintained in cages or enclosures constructed in compliance with the specified rules.
  • Include language that requires out door enclosures for non-native venomous reptiles or reptiles of concern to be covered as provided in rule 68A-6.007.
  • Require structural safety barriers to be present to prevent public contact with unconfined Class I or II wildlife by the public.
  • Requires possessors to maintain an accurate record of all changes in inventory to include: births, deaths, acquisition and sales or transfers.
    • Records are to be kept on the licensed premises and open to inspection.
    • Describes the information required for records of birth, death, and acquisition.
    • Requires that records of sale/transfer are to be maintained as provided in 68A-6.0021, F.A.C.

68A-6.0024 Commercialization of Wildlife; Public Contact; Bonding or Financial Responsibility Guarantee

  • Delete reference to "public contact" in rule title. Language pertaining to public contact will remain in 68A-6.0023.
  • Require persons permitted in accordance with 372.921, F.S., to demonstrate consistent and sustained commercial activity as characterized by:
    • A regular media advertising campaign, or Internet Web site;
    • Signs, billboards or flyers advertising commercial wildlife services or operations;
      Regular "Open for business" hours;
    • Written business is conducted on printed letterhead, indicating the name of the company or business;
    • Documented exhibition of wildlife to the public, with or without a charge, of no less that 12 times per year;
    • Sale of wildlife including any lesser acts thereof as defined in Rule 68A-1.004, F.A.C.
  • Paragraph (1) is renumbered as (2); and paragraph (2) is renumbered as (3).

    Top of page

68A-9.006 Wildlife Rehabilitation Permit

  • Delete reference to "joint" permit and update language to accurately reflect federal permit requirement when rehabilitating migratory birds.
  • Reflect correct application title and delete "incorporated by reference" to allow for standardization of agency permit applications without necessitating a rule change.
  • Update the reference of no rehabilitation permit required for rehabilitation on non-native species, to include Class III, venomous reptiles and reptiles of concern.
  • Provide that exotic or non-native wildlife may not be comingled with native wildlife possessed for rehabilitation purposes.
  • Provide that wildlife may be held no longer than 180 days before it must be released, transferred or euthanized.
  • Allow that the 180-day requirement may be extended in instances where a licensed veterinarian has certified that a longer holding period is necessary in the interest of the health and welfare of the wildlife.
    • Require medical records in these instances to be maintained at the facility and made available for inspection upon request.
  • Require evaluation by an independent rehabilitator or veterinarian before physically impaired wildlife is diagnosed as unreleasable.

68A-6.0025 Sanctuaries; Retired Performing Wildlife and Identification (New proposed rule)

  • Defines captive wildlife sanctuaries as a facility established solely for the purpose of providing lifetime care for unwanted or infirmed wildlife.
  • Requires sanctuaries to be licensed per 372.921 and not for profit corporation status as described in 501 (c) 3 of the Internal Revenue Code.
  • Prohibits acts which perpetuate the commercial trade in captive wildlife including the trade, sale, offering for trade or sale, breeding, or buying of captive wildlife or parts thereof.
  • Prohibits full or incidental contact as defined in Rule 68A-6.0023 (3)(a)2.- 3., F.A.C., between the public and such wildlife.
  • Requires permanent identification, recordkeeping of such identification and submission of such identification records to FWC.
  • Allows persons licensed per 372.921, F.S., to maintain performing wildlife which due to age or physical condition may no longer perform, for the purposes of providing lifetime care.
    • Requires permanent identification, recordkeeping and submission of such records as required for wildlife maintained by a captive wildlife sanctuary.

68A-6.0071 Record Keeping and Reporting Requirements.

  • The Captive Wildlife Inventory-Reptile form, FWCDLE_620IV-R (12-06), will be reviewed to determine if modifications are necessary. Should modifications be made the date (12-06) will be changed to reflect the modified date.
  • No additional changes are anticipated for this rule.
Check online for details and changes:

http://myfwc.com/captive/CaptiveChanges_08Summary.htm

Meetings on these proposals will be held in Kissimmee tonight, Gainesville Thursday and Tallahassee on Friday.
June 11 Wed. 7 pm PLACE: Kissimmee Civic Center, 201 E. Dakin Avenue, Kissimmee, FL 34741
June 12 Thurs 7 pm PLACE: Florida Department of Agriculture, Division of Plant Industry (1st Floor Auditorium), 1911 SW 34th Street,Gainesville, FL 32608 June 13 Tallahassee 7 pm PLACE: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Bryant Building, 2nd Floor Auditorium (Room 272), 620 S. Meridian Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399
--
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.