Monday, May 18, 2009

Come With Us To FWC Meeting in June

Please come with us to the meeting.  The FWC usually only hears from the breeders, dealers and animal abusers.  They need to hear from people who care about animals so they can make rules to protect wild animals rather than to continue to exploit exotic animals. 

The FWC often changes their agenda, so you should keep checking at: http://www.myfwc.com/COMMISSION/2009/Comm_09_AgendaJun.htm to see if the issues we care most about have been rescheduled.  I usually go and sit there for two days straight so that they do not get away with hearing an issue with no animal lover present. 

If you come, please wear business attire and a paper nametag that says: PROTECT Wild Animals SERVE Floridians.  I will provide tags in this folder for you.  Their motto is to protect and serve, so this lets them know that we expect them to do just that.  This way they will know we all speak as One, but doesn't make it just look like we dragged our staff and volunteers out as members of the community will be given these same suggested instructions.

Commission Meeting Agenda June 17-18 (18th is just about fishing @ agenda)

Plantation Inn  9301 West Fort Island Trail  Crystal River, FL  34429 Phone: 352-795-4211  http://www.plantationinn.com

This meeting is open to the public and starts at 8:30 am, but they have five rather large issues to address before Captive Wildlife Rules, so they probably won't be hearing anyone on it until after lunch, but there is no way to know for sure.

Captive Wildlife Rules
                     1. 68A-6.0011, Possession of Wildlife in Captivity; Permit Requirements - The proposed rule would require USDA registered research facilities currently exempt from caging requirements to maintain a detailed research proposal and meet the strength requirements for cages or enclosures.  The proposed rule would clarify that enclosure requirements would not apply to Bison kept for the production of meat, skins or hides, or progeny.
                     2. 68A-6.002, Categories of Captive Wildlife - The proposed rule would address current Class I and II wildlife listings to reclassify certain wildlife species from Class II to Class I including the cougar, cheetah, hyena, aardwolf, gaur, American alligator, patas monkey, giraffe, okapi, tapir and certain wild species of the family Bovidae. The proposed rule would require wild/domestic hybrids that are substantially indistinguishable from the wild animal to be regulated as wildlife at the class of the wild parentage; and prohibit personal pet possession of wild fox, skunks, bats, raccoons or white-tailed deer.
                     3. 68A-6.0021, Possession or Transfer of Class I Wildlife as Personal Use Wildlife; Transfer of Wildlife and Record Keeping Requirements - The proposed rule would provide a "grandfather" clause for any Class II wildlife possessed for personal use that is reclassified as Class I, and require all Class I wildlife possessed for personal use to be permanently identified. The record keeping requirements and time frame for which these records must be maintained are moved from this proposed rule into 68A-6.0023, thereby consolidating captive wildlife related record keeping requirements in one rule.  The title of the proposed rule is amended to reflect this change.
                     4. 68A-6.0022, Possession of Class I, II, or III Wildlife in Captivity: Permit Requirements - The proposed rule would require a permit to possess brushtailed possums; clarify experience requirements for Class I and II wildlife possession; clarify documentation of experience requirements for corporations; require a USDA license when Class I wildlife is possessed for exhibition or sale; and clarify who needs to submit the Critical Incident/Disaster Plan and when such plan applies.
                     5. 68A-6.0023, General Regulations Governing Possession of Captive Wildlife; Record Keeping Requirements - The proposed rule would require outdoor enclosures of non-native venomous reptiles and reptiles of concern to be covered; require the use of barriers when exhibiting Class I and II wildlife to the public; and require written approval prior to the use of certain Class I wildlife for incidental contact with the public.  The proposed rule incorporates record keeping requirements from Rule 68A-6.0021, thereby consolidating record keeping requirements for captive wildlife; would require records on all changes in wildlife inventory; and increases the length of time to 3 years that records of sale/transfer must be maintained.  The title of this rule would be changed to include "public contact", "transfer of wildlife and record keeping requirements."
                     6. 68A-6.0024, Commercialization of Wildlife; Public Contact; Bonding or Financial Responsibility Guarantee - The proposed rule would establish criteria for "consistent and sustained commercial activity" and delete "Public Contact" in the rule title.
                     7. 68A-6.0025, Sanctuaries; Retired Performing Wildlife and Identification - The proposed rule would establish requirements to operate a wildlife sanctuary; and allows persons possessing performing wildlife that can no longer perform due to age or physical condition to continue possession for lifetime care under the exhibition/sale license.  The proposed rule would require permanent identification for captive wildlife possessed in a captive wildlife sanctuary and retired performing wildlife.
                     8. 68A-6.003, Facility and Structural Caging Requirement for Class I, II and III Wildlife - The proposed rule would require footers or internal devices to reduce digging or burrowing in certain enclosures; require measures to be taken to address erosion; add the hyena, aardwolf, guar, cougar and cheetah to the list of Class I wildlife that may not be possessed on property zoned solely for residential use.  The proposed rule also includes an exemption from the land area requirement for Class II Saki monkeys.
                     9. 68A-6.004, Standard Caging Requirements for Captive Wildlife - The proposed rule would require variances for some open air habitats and require temperature regulation in Red Panda enclosures.
                    10. 68A-6.0041, Exceptions to Standard Caging Requirements for Captive Wildlife - The proposed rule would exempt Bison (when possessed for propagation purposes only) from standard caging requirements, except fencing
                    11. 68A-6.005, Transportation Requirements for Wildlife; Caging Requirements for Performing and Non-Performing Animals - The proposed rule would clarify the requirements for wildlife transportation.  The proposed rule would require wildlife to be transported in a cage or enclosure; require the cage or enclosure to be labeled "Live Animal" and list the number of specimens and the common and scientific name of the wildlife; and address labeling requirements for wildlife being transported in trailers.
                    12. 68A-6.007, Possession, Transportation, Exhibition and Caging of Venomous Reptiles and Reptiles of Concern - The proposed rule would include the "taxonomic successors" of the reptiles of concern and address the experience requirements to possess them.  The proposed rule clarifies the documentation of experience requirements for corporations.
                    13. 68A-6.0071, Record Keeping and Reporting Requirements - The proposed rule provides for the modification of the Captive Wildlife Inventory-Reptile form.  The proposed modification is technical in nature and corrects spelling errors on the form.
                    14. 68A-9.006, Wildlife Rehabilitation Permit - The proposed rule would correct the permit application title; clarify that a rehabilitation permit is not necessary for rehabilitating non-native species; establish a timeline for rehabilitation of native wildlife and how wildlife is evaluated as un-releasable.  The proposed rule would prohibit the comingling of sick and injured exotic or non-native wildlife in the same cage or enclosure with sick injured or otherwise impaired native wildlife; prohibit the release of fully recovered specimens of American alligators or American crocodiles; and authorize the use of exotic or non-native wildlife or domestic animals for fostering orphaned native wildlife.
               3. Game Farm Rule
                     1. 68A-12.011, Regulations Governing the Establishment and Operation of Game Farms - The proposed rule would replace the substantive portions of existing statute, Section 379.302, Florida Statutes which is expected to be repealed by the Legislature after this replacement rule is adopted.  The proposed rule clarifies the requirements for lawful operation of game farms in Florida.  It also clarifies the housing, transportation, selling/transferring of game and record keeping requirements, and provides exemptions to the licensing provision

8:30 am, Thursday, June 18, Reconvene to talk about fish.


--
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.




Thursday, May 14, 2009

Feds seize lion, tiger, ivory from yacht

Feds seize lion, tiger, ivory from yacht

Associated Press

13 May 2009

 

MIAMI (AP) - Federal authorities say they seized 29 illegal wildlife items from a yacht in Miami including tiger, lion, zebra skins and elephant ivory.

The items were taken from the yacht "Mystere" as part of a prosecution under the Endangered Species Act and other laws. The corporate yacht owner - Ruzial Limited - pled guilty earlier this month and paid 150 thousand dollars.

The seized items will be used in efforts to educate the public about illegal wildlife trafficking. US Attorney Alex Acosta says poachers continue to kill protected animals because there is a strong market demand. Officials put the value of the contraband at over 85 thousand dollars.

 

http://www.wrcbtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=10359342



--
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.




Thursday, May 07, 2009

U.K.: Keeping dangerous pets at home to be made easier under new plans

Laws on keeping dangerous animals at home are to be relaxed under new proposals to be put forward by the Government.

By Chris Irvine Last Updated: 7:05AM BST 06 May 2009

Owners of big cats, crocodiles and dangerous snakes could soon only need to get a licence every two years and have their premises inspected less often under proposals that would change the Dangerous Wild Animals Act, 1976.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) say they want to reduce the "burden" of red tape on private animal keepers, arguing that the Act is "considered by many to be overly burdensome". A recent survey of 87 local authorities recorded 267 dangerous snakes, 36 camels, 36 scorpions, 30 crocodilians (including caimans and alligators), 23 big cats and one zebra kept in homes across Britain. Some of the more surprising "pets" included a snow leopard in East Cambridgeshire and a cheetah kept in a 20m x 50m enclosure at a disused farm in Macclesfield in Cheshire.

The Dangerous Wild Animals act was brought in because of a fashion in the 1970s for keeping exotic pets. One of the problems is the cost of the local authority licenses, which Defra says cost from £30 to nearly £700, something they feel may be deterring people from applying for a licence.

The RSPCA has condemned the proposals, pointing out that Defra proposed to make the act "more robust" only five years ago.

It added that the Act has already been relaxed, when 18 months ago, a number of exotic species, including emus, sloths and squirrel monkeys, were removed from the list for which a licences is required.

They argue that an extension on license from one to two years as well as making inspections on renewal non-mandatory, could lead to welfare problems.

Ros Clubb, scientific officer in the RSPCA's Wildlife Department, said: "We don't think the legislative framework is strong enough anyway and we're really not happy with any kind of weakening of it.

"It wasn't exactly great protection for them in the first place, and weakening it even further will have a detrimental effect on the welfare of these animals.

"With a lot of dangerous wild animals, people don't know how to look after them properly - you get into the realm of specialist keepers. Our concern is that people don't fully understand that."

Mark Amey, 47, a pet shop owner who has 27 venomous snakes, more than 30 scorpions and a 5ft-long African crocodile, said: "Sure, financially, it's great. I'm a licence holder; I'll be pounds up. But extending a licence from one year to two years isn't good from an animal welfare point of view. Some people who keep wild animals aren't qualified and just don't do it properly."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/5281880/Keeping-dangerous-pets-at-home-to-be-made-easier-under-new-plans.html

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Learn more about big cats and Big Cat Rescue at http://www.bigcatrescue.org

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Texas: County's wild animal rules remain in debate



Published April 28, 2009

Possible changes to Kerr County's Wild Animal Ordinance remain just that - possible, following Monday's commissioners' court meeting.

For months, commissioners have weighed whether to amend the ordinance, adopted in 2001, to ban "dangerous wild animals." The issue arose after a 330-pound Siberian tiger escaped from its enclosure Jan. 18 on private property in Ingram.

The big cat , owned by Anke Leitner, was found at about

3 a.m. in the 100 block of Beaver Road, and was tranquilized by Kerr County Animal Control and returned to its owner

While no injuries resulted from the incident, the tiger's brief romp around a neighborhood caused a stir in the community.

During their Jan. 26 meeting, commissioners heard from both sides of the issue, including the tiger's owner and a woman whose yard was the scene of the animal's capture.

In January, Leitner described the incident as a "freak accident" and said work was being done on the tiger's enclosure to prohibit its escape in the future.

Mildred Crenshaw, after voicing concerns about the animal's cage, said she thinks it's ridiculous "to have an animal like that in a neighborhood that's populated."

At that time, commissioners planned for a public hearing on the matter, but no one appeared to speak on the topic.

On Monday, Precinct 4 Commissioner Bruce Oehler, who represents the area where the tiger is kept, said he had failed to notify Crenshaw about the public hearing and wanted to give her a chance to speak.

"I do not think these animals are pets," she said. "We were very fortunate it happened when it did (3 a.m.)" and questioned what would have taken place had the tiger come into contact with children in the area.

Oehler contends it would make sense to prohibit such animals in more populated areas while allowing them in less congested parts of the county. But he said the law stipulates such an ordinance must apply countywide.

Also, he isn't sold on the idea of adding a new law to the books. Instead, he contends there needs to be better enforcement of those that already exist.

"We need to take responsibility for that," Oehler said.

It was noted during the January meeting that the county plans to inspect such properties "every other month" as opposed to once a year, as required by state law.

Oehler said he could argue both sides of the issue, and noted if changes are forthcoming, he would like to see animals currently housed in the county be "grandfathered" into the new policy, which would allow them to remain here.

In the end, commissioners decided to have a proposal created and then submit the recommended changes for public comment at a later date.

http://dailytimes.com/story.lasso?ewcd=3d478a87b7db9476

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Learn more about big cats and Big Cat Rescue at http://www.bigcatrescue.org