Baby tigers, lions, and other wild animals are frequently used by unscrupulous exhibitors for public handling, typically until they are just a few months old. The animals are then often discarded, with many ending up warehoused at roadside zoos and pseudo-sanctuaries or in the hands of unqualified people with private menageries.
There is no reason why any member of the public should ever have direct contact with wild animals and their cubs.
You now have the opportunity to object to this inhumane and dangerous activity. IFAW has joined other animal welfare organizations in a legal petition that urges the U.S. Department of Agriculture to ban all public contact and close encounters with big cats, bears, and primates.
Please sign this petition to urge the USDA to create a rule that finally prohibits all public contact with big cats and other wildlife species.
Dear Secretary Vilsack,
As someone who is concerned about public safety and animal welfare, I urge USDA to issue Animal Welfare Act regulations to prohibit public handling of big cats, bears, and primates, regardless of the animal’s age. This practice is unsafe for the public, is harmful to the animals, and undermines conservation efforts.
Traveling zoos and roadside exhibitors, including many USDA-licensed facilities, regularly profit from charging the public a fee to pet, interact with, and take photos with tiger cubs and other big cats, as well as primates and bears. The cycle of breeding, exploiting, and then dumping baby animals after a few months fuels the exotic pet trade, puts animals at risk, endangers the public, and creates a burden for both law enforcement and legitimate sanctuaries.
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Please take swift action to prohibit public contact and close encounters with big cats, bears and primates.
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