Sunday, April 26, 2009

Bill requires permits for tigers, other large carnivores

Bill requires permits for tigers, other large carnivores

By Roger McKinney

Published April 26, 2009 09:09 pm

The Missouri House last week approved a bill that would require people who own lions, tigers and other large, exotic carnivores to have permits.

State Rep. Mike Sutherland, R-Warrenton, sponsored the bill. It also would require owners to post signs warning that “a potentially dangerous large carnivore is kept on this property.”

The animal owners also would have to provide adequate living conditions, food, water and drainage, and remove the animal’s waste at least once a week. Sutherland couldn’t be reached for comment Friday.

The bill now moves to the Senate.

On May 19, 2008, a deputy with the Newton County Sheriff’s Department shot and killed a black leopard that had been pawing at the storm door of a rural Neosho house. The cat had been declawed and was thought to be a domesticated animal that had escaped.

When authorities raided an alleged puppy mill on Feb. 19 in rural Seneca, they seized 208 dogs and a tiger.

The Missouri Department of Conservation regulates native, or formerly native and now captive, large animals, including wolves, bears, bobcats and mountain lions.

James Dixon, a wildlife damage biologist with the Conservation Department, said that when he investigated the leopard incident last year, he was surprised when he determined that there were almost no state regulations about large, exotic animals.

“There’s pretty much nothing in place,” Dixon said. “Everybody was caught off guard by that black leopard that got killed.”

Dixon said owners of non-native animals are required to register them with the local sheriff’s department, but that often isn’t enforced.

He said the Conservation Department requires owners of captive, native animals to have microchips implanted in the animals, and the owners must submit a DNA sample of each animal.

Dixon said any regulation the Legislature approves would be an improvement.

“We’re trying to step up to the plate a little bit and make sure these owners are responsible,” he said.

Beth Preiss, director of the exotic-pets campaign for the Humane Society of the United States, said the legislation, if approved, would move Missouri from near the bottom of the states to the middle in terms of regulating the captive, wild animals.

“It’s a modest bill,” Preiss said. “We think it’s a good step forward.”

Preiss said neighboring Kansas has a model law for the nation. The law, which essentially bans private ownership of wild animals, was approved by the Legislature in 2006.

It was prompted by the Aug. 18, 2005, death of 17-year-old Haley Hilderbrand, of Altamont. Hilderbrand was attacked by a tiger during a photo shoot at an animal sanctuary.

Subsequent federal legislation that would have banned any direct contact between the wild cats and the public failed to receive approval in Congress. It was introduced by then-U.S. Rep. Jim Ryun, R-Kan., and also was prompted by Hilderbrand’s death.

“It’s time for Missouri to take action,” Preiss said. She said people don’t want tigers, lions or other big cats as neighbors.

“It’s better to act before someone is injured or killed,” she said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Tiger owners

An estimated 5,000 tigers are privately owned in the United States. That’s more than those living in the wild in India.

Source: Humane Society of the United States

http://www.joplinglobe.com/local/local_story_116210947.html

http://www.bigcatrescue.org

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Debbie Rose Primates

Sanctuary for monkeys under review
Neighbor's complaint leads to investigation of farm.
Amos Bridges • News-Leader • April 24, 2009
A case involving a meandering monkey could be the first test of a Greene
County zoning ordinance that limits the number of exotic animals that can be
kept on a single piece of property.
Although the pictures he snapped may appear amusing, Sam Nigliazzo's main
concern is the potential harm that could be done by the unexpected guest
that showed up outside his home near Brighton on April 14.
"When I knocked on the window, he lunged at me and the window," Nigliazzo
said of the child-size rhesus macaque, a resident of a nearby private animal
sanctuary. "They're nasty critters."
Nigliazzo called the Greene County Sheriff and later complained to county
planning and zoning. Both offices are investigating potential permit and
zoning violations at the monkey's home, an animal rescue farm operated by the
family of Debby Rose.
Rose gained national attention in 2006 when the local health department
banned her from taking her bonnet macaque, Richard, into restaurants. Rose,
who says the monkey helps her cope with a debilitating anxiety disorder,
claims Richard is a service animal protected under the Americans with
Disabilities Act.
She sued the health department and several businesses in July. The case has
been transferred to federal court and is ongoing.
Search warrant
Even before the controversy arose over her outings with Richard, Rose and
her children had operated the exotic animal rescue at the northern Greene
County property -- a News-Leader story profiled the private sanctuary in
August 2006, shortly after it gained nonprofit status from the state.
At the time, the Roses had 16 monkeys -- including Reese, the monkey who
escaped April 14 -- as well as a variety of other domestic and exotic pets.
Capt. Randy Gibson said deputies counted 28 monkeys at the farm when they
executed an "information-gathering" search warrant on Friday, although the
Roses say just 24 are permanent residents.
All the animals were properly confined when deputies arrived, Gibson said.
"They appeared to be well cared for -- some of the conditions could have
been better, but it didn't appear to rise to the level of animal abuse or
something where we would seize any of the animals."
Sgt. Ron Killingsworth, who reinspected the sanctuary Thursday, said many
of the deficiencies have been corrected and the sanctuary is "more and more
in compliance."
Legal issues
Greene County Associate Commissioner Harold Bengsch said the outcome of the
investigations should clarify some murky legal issues surrounding exotic
animal ownership in the county.
"When the dust settles on this case, we'll know what we can or can't do,"
he said. "There have been other instances where there have been one or two
exotic animals, but this is on a scale that's different from anything I'm
aware that we have encountered before."
Gibson said one issue is making sure Rose obtains all the permits needed to
operate the sanctuary legally.
"Our research indicated no licensing had been obtained, none of the proper
paperwork had been acquired from the county government to be operating any
kind of animal sanctuary at that location," Gibson said.
State law is almost silent on the issue of exotic animals, but does require
owners to register their unusual pets with local law enforcement.
Animal refuges are exempt from that requirement, but only if they are
"properly maintained," according to the law.
"One monkey got loose, so at this point what we're looking at is that
there's some corrections that need to be made," Killingsworth said.
On the federal level, the United States Department of Agriculture regulates
and inspects some exotic animal owners, but the Roses' sanctuary appears
to fall outside such oversight.
"The deciding factor is if they exhibit them to the public or if they breed
and sell them," said Lyndsay Griffin, a spokeswoman for the USDA's Animal
and Plant Health Inspection Service in Colorado. "If they don't, then we don
't have any control over them."
Other applicable requirements appear to be contained in a county zoning
ordinance, adopted in November 2007, that limits the number of animals that
can be kept on a single piece of property.
A provision in the ordinance requires anyone keeping exotic animals --
monkeys are mentioned specifically -- to obtain a "Home Occupation Permit" from
the county.
It also limits the number of exotic animals that can be kept at a single
home to two. To keep any more than that, an owner must obtain a conditional
use permit from the county.
County Planning Director Kent Morris said the ordinance is not meant to ban
exotic animals.
"The thing we're trying to get at is to make sure the animals are being
taken care of properly and not endangering any of the neighbors," he said.
As part of the permitting process, the county can check to make sure
animals are being kept according to national standards, Morris said, and ensure
that other required permits have been acquired.
A "grandfathering" clause in the ordinance could exempt at least some of
the Roses' animals from the requirements -- properties with any number of
animals that were in compliance before the revision was adopted don't have to
seek permits.
But any monkeys or other exotic animals added in the last year and a half
would need permits, Morris said. If there are more than two, the Roses would
need to seek a conditional use permit.
"It would go first through the normal planning and zoning board and then
the board of adjustment," he said, meaning neighbors like Nigliazzo would
have a chance to speak for or against the exemption.
"Whatever it takes"
The Roses have made suggested improvements to the monkeys' facilities in an
effort to prevent another escape.
"We got right on that," said T.J. Rose, the eldest of Debby Rose's adult
sons and one of the sanctuary's principal operators.
He said the family-run nonprofit is a "a labor of love" aimed at rescuing
monkeys that are unwanted or neglected by their previous owners.
"Some people, they'll get a monkey and think it will be a fun pet for the
family," T.J. Rose said, explaining that although the animals can be cute
and cuddly when they're young, they tend to become more difficult when they
reach adulthood.
"That's when we take them and take care of them," he said. "People don't
know that it's not like a dog ... You have to know what you're doing to care
for a primate."
Thursday, a Greene County detective, several county zoning inspectors, a
veterinarian from the zoo and an inspector from the Humane Society of
Missouri visited the farm for a follow-up inspection.
"Everything was inspected today and the Dickerson Park Zoo vet was
pleased," T.J. Rose said, noting that family was working to provide records
showing
the monkeys had been vaccinated and tested for various diseases.
Debby Rose said she also provided inspectors with a copy of the sanctuary's
nonprofit license, which she thinks may preclude the need for some of the
additional permits. "We're willing to do whatever it takes."
For Nigliazzo, the Roses' neighbor, the animals' welfare isn't the issue.
Afraid that his wife or grandchildren could be attacked if the monkey
escapes again, he recently bought a shotgun for protection.
"I try to get along, I try to be patient," he said, noting that visits from
some of the Roses' other animals -- wandering peacocks, a donkey -- have
been an annoyance in the past. "But a dangerous exotic animal like that, I
can't have that ... I want to feel safe to go out on my porch."
Gibson said Nigliazzo's concern is understandable.
"Monkeys, most of them, have an impressive set of canine teeth on them,"
Gibson said. "And a monkey can carry any number of diseases that are
communicable to humans."
Also of concern to the sheriff's department, Gibson said, was whether the
sanctuary was housing any chimpanzees. It wasn't.
"As much as those have been in the news recently killing and maiming
people, that's something we probably would not have tolerated," he said.
The Roses were not ticketed because of the escaped monkey, Gibson said.
"One incident by itself does not constitute failure to control. If it
continues to happen, then yes, that will definitely become an issue they will
have
to address, as will we."
____________________________________

_http://www.news-leader.com/article/20090424/NEWS01/904240382/1001/RSS01_
(http://www.news-leader.com/article/20090424/NEWS01/904240382/1001/RSS01)
**************The Average US Credit Score is 692. See Yours in Just 2 Easy
Steps!(http://pr.atwola.com/promoclk/100126575x1221421330x1201417418/aol?redi
r=http://www.freecreditreport.com/pm/default.aspx?sc=668072&hmpgID=62&bcd=Ap
rilAvgfooter424NO62)

--
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


Sign our petition to protect tigers from being farmed here:

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

Free ways to join us and help the big cats:

Twitter:  Follow Me and be invited to enter our Animal Lover's Dream Vacation Giveaway!  http://twitter.com/BigCatRescue

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.




Tuesday, April 21, 2009

International Fund for Animal Welfare's Statement on the Great Cats and Rare Canids Act of 2009

International Fund for Animal Welfare's Statement on the Great Cats and Rare Canids Act of 2009

WASHINGTON, April 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Jeffrey Flocken, D.C. Office Director, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), issued the following statement on the House of Representatives vote on the Great Cats and Rare Canids Act introduced by Representative Jay Inslee:

"The legislation passed by the House of Representatives today is an important stride forward in the fight to save great cats and rare canids. Faced with the ever-growing threats of habitat conversion, loss of food sources, illegal trade and disease, the vitality and health of these already imperiled species is on the line. Passage of the Great Cats and Rare Canids Conservation Act, which would support conservation programs, educational resources and increase monitoring and law enforcement activities to prevent poaching and illegal trafficking, is a commendable and necessary step by the government.

IFAW applauds the House's action and urges their colleagues in the Senate to quickly pass this bill in order to preserve these magnificent and charismatic creatures."

About H.R. 411: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/D?d111:1:./temp/~bdF4vW:@@@L&summ2=m&/bss/111search.html

About the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)

Founded in 1969, IFAW is an international animal welfare and conservation organization that works to protect wild and domestic animals and to broker solutions that benefit both animals and people. http://www.ifaw.org/ifaw_united_states/

http://news.prnewswire.com/DisplayReleaseContent.aspx?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/04-21-2009/0005010460&EDATE=

http://www.bigcatrescue.org

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Feral Cat Forum 4/15 4:30 Please Speak Up for the Cats


What: Public Forum on Feral Cats - WE NEED TO SPEAK!

When: April 15, 2009 4:30 PM

Where: Click the link below to find out!

Meetup Description: Public Forum

Topic: FERAL CATS

4:30 to 7:30 PM

The County Extension Building (Next to Florida Botanical Gardens, near Animal Services)

Comments will be addressed to the Working Study Group. Its purpose is:

"To study the problems, prevention and solutions relating to the impact of feral cats in Pinellas County; to gather information from stakeholders concerned and impacted by the issue, to provide a public forum for citizen input, and to make viable, consensus based recommendations to Pinellas County."

Learn more here:
http://www.meetup.com/TampaAnimalRights/calendar/10143903/

--
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

Free ways to join us and help the big cats:

Blogger  http://bigcatnews.blogspot.com

FaceBook  http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2235230005  Add our donation app to your page!

LinkedIn  http://www.linkedin.com/in/bigcatrescue

MySpace  http://www.myspace.com/1bigcatrescue

Twitter  Follow Me!  http://twitter.com/BigCatRescue

VEOH TV  http://www.veoh.com/users/BigCatRescue

YouTube  http://www.youtube.com/bigcatrescue

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.