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.