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Bush signs new law prohibiting import of exotic animals

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
For those who think Bush only does bad things...

post #2 of 16
It's about time a law like that went into effect. I can understand people being fascinated with big cats to the point where they feel they have to have one, but that's certainly not in the cats' interests.
"Currently 19 states ban the private ownership of dangerous exotic animals as "pets." These states are: Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, and Wyoming."
What's wrong with the other 31 states?
post #3 of 16
how are these laws going to be enforced??? Local law enforcement is already overwhelmed with preventing terrorist attacks without adequate funding from our Homeland Security department.

Overwhelmed airport employees and local police may be able to be able to catch and prosecute an occasional individual for violating such laws, but they wont have high priority. It's great to put a law like this on the books, but will they put any money into it?

I don't think GW only does bad things, I think that his handlers only worry about politics (i.e. staying in office) and benefiting
their wealthy contributors. GW projects virtually no intellectual curiousity about anything; I believe he was picked to be the Republican candidate because the powers in the party knew exactly how to manipulate him, and how easy it would be to do so.
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
It is better to have a law and enforce it than not having the law and not being able to punish or prevent sale of the aminals.

There is a fundamental differeence between Republican and Democratic thinking:
Republicans take action and pass laws that prevent bad situations.
Democrats act upon situations that have already gone wrong and play catch up.

This law is trying to prevent and discourage the importation of exotic animals. A democratic view of this situation in my opinion would be to punish those who have already inported the animal for fear that they could not enforce such a law in the first place.

Just my opinion. As you can tell, I feel pretty strongly for Bush and his administration and I do not feel he gets enough credit for the good things that he does. I am just trying to raise some awareness.

post #5 of 16
Thanks for posting this Ginger. While it may be difficult to enforce, let's face it....there's laws again stealing and murder that are hard to enforce too! That doesn't mean that they aren't good laws.

As to why the other 31 states don't have laws? My guess would be (and I have NO proof to back this up, just my own theory) that there hasn't been any serious attacks due to exotic animals in those states. Most laws aren't proactive, especially not at the state level (in fact, in light of all of the deaths this year alone that have made the news due to big cats being kept in less than ideal circumstances as household pets, I don't really think this is entirely proactive either).
post #6 of 16
I just got word that there was a teenage girl mauled here in North Carolina. She was in the cage "playing with" the two tigers that belong to her family - unsupervised! We're providing some sample legislation to the county involved, and have requests from another county already. It appears likely the state legislature will be taking this up in the next session. (North Carolina actually repealed most of their "exotic" laws - though there are NCDA regulations that prevent the import of certain North American species.) Currently their are some local laws and regulations regarding such animals, but only the North American Black Bear is totally banned in the state laws.

It also looks like we'll be receiving a group of lions and two tigers in roughly three weeks from a planned USDA raid.

By the way, absolutely no one goes in the pen with any of our tigers. We "fixed" a male tiger recently (vasectomy, not a neuter) and he was knocked down from outside the cage (syringe on a pole - much more accurate dosing that the dart gun.) I sat with him for a while while and rubbed his head as he was starting to come around, but we are EXTREMELY careful with these animals. (Someone stays with the animal at all times when they are coming out of anesthesia.) Since he was out I was able to handle him a bit. Even after all this time I was still amazed at the huge mass of muscles. He's roughly 600 lbs - all power. Sorry, this type of animal is not a pet.

post #7 of 16
Originally posted by CharmsDad
(syringe on a pole - much more accurate dosing that the dart gun.)
But not nearly as fun
Glad to hear that somethings finally being done. I doubt it will help much, but its better than nothing.
Thanks for posting,

post #8 of 16
Ohio apparently doesnt have such laws We found a perfect victorian fixer upper in a small town we were going to buy...had a 1 acre yard...just the perfect house...until we went in the back yard...and heard awful noise coming from the yard next door..
I turned around and standing right in front of me <there was no fence> was a cougar in a 12 x 15 cage...it was in the other yard...but the cage backed up to the victorians yard...
I was so upset...
not only was that animal NOt where he belongedin such a small cage but how would i let my children play in this yard?????
I wanted that house so bad but we didnt bid because i just didnt feel safe.
I just dont understand people It was a beautiful animal but how could it be happy there..????
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Lorien, would it be possible to report the location of the cougar to an amimal rescue organization such as George's?
post #10 of 16
I thought about that...but i dont think they could do anything...i think all of it is legal here in ohio.
also there is a small animal sancuatuary in the town I am talking about...so i guess that cat could have just been being held there for a short time...
I just am not sure what the situation is
The town is not far away ...My husband and I will drive up there to see if the cat is still there....this was about a year ago...Ill keep you updated...If he is still there maybe i will try to contact someone..
post #11 of 16
As long as ownership of the animal is legal there's nothing anyone can do. Sanctuary's don't have any legal authority to take animals, only the local law enforcement (sheriff or animal control) can do that, and only under very specific conditions, depending on the local laws.

If a sanctuary helps take an animal it is only in cooperation with and under the direct authority of the legal authorities - who must be present at the time with appropriate paperwork. Though the sanctuary might actually move an animal, technically the legal authority is seizing it and turning it over to the sanctuary to hold on their behalf (under contract) until custody issues are resolved. (In the same way a seized dog or cat would be held at a shelter.) Once legal ownership is obtained by the legal authority the ownership of the animal can then be turned over to the sanctuary. The chain of custody is actually:

owner -> legal authority (county/state/federal) -> sanctuary

If the legal ownership is not obtained by the legal authority the sanctuary must do whatever the court/law direct, which may include returning the animal(s).

In the case of a planned USDA raid the agency generally already has obtained legal ownership of the animals prior to the raid.

post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info George.
post #13 of 16
So there would be nothing to do to help the Cat
Charms dad...
was i right in not buying the house...do you think?
or was i being overparanoid?
ive always wondered...
post #14 of 16
was i right in not buying the house...do you think?
or was i being overparanoid?
Well, to put it bluntly, IMO only a real nut case would keep a cougar in their back yard, and particularly in a neighborhood. When properly housed it would be in a much more isolated area, in a substantial enclosure with climb barriers or a full roof, and the whole thing would be inside another larger enclosure. I absolutely would NOT buy a house in the suburbs next door to someone keeping a cougar in what sounds like a big dog kennel. Next to a legitimate sanctuary or zoo is another thing entirely, but then these usually have large buffer areas around their perimeter fence in addition to their safety measures. A small child running near the cage falling and crying could be all it takes to set off the prey drive in that cougar, leading to some rather awful consequences. I think you did the right thing.

So there would be nothing to do to help the Cat
This really depends on the local laws. A cougar in a kennel in the suburbs seems awfully dangerous to me. Then again, most local areas only enact the laws after some incident which brings people's attention to the problem. You could call the local county government and find out the laws, and express your concerns to animal control. (Be diplomatic - animal control does not write the laws, the elected officials do. Animal control can assess if there's an immediate public danger - but that could be a tough judgement call based on community norms. If they already know about the situation then arguing with them will not help.) The neighbors in the community where this animal lives are likely very concerned themselves.

Be careful about going to the press or trying to start mass letter writing or email campaigns. I know many people try to use this as a first line of offense, but in spite of some high profile but very limited success stories, this much more often creates a backlash and resistance from the local authorities.

post #15 of 16
I am pretty sure this animal is accepted in this area...they are small town folks who will back each other up...which is why i was hesitant in the first place...I will think on it...and drive up there and see if he is still there...
If it was a zoo or a regular sancutary i would have been ok with it..
But it was obvious...even to me....that this cat was stressed...and the thing that worried me the most was her eyes were on my four yr old...who has a very high voice...she was pacing the cage walls back and forth...
plus i was concerned about my dog and cats living there also...it just didnt feel safe...this house just sold a month ago...it was on the market for two years...I am positive this is why it didnt sell...I wish i could help the poor cat
post #16 of 16
You can also check with the Ohio Department of Agriculture (wildlife programs are usually under the dept. of ag. - though Ohio may be different.) Since the cougar is a North American species there are different regulations and restrictions that apply to them. Of course, that doesn't absolutely mean there is a legal recourse. Saddly, the truth is sometimes you have to pick your battles. I'm not saying absolutely to walk away, you'll have to decide. Then again, if you drive by the animal may actually be gone making it all moot.

Good luck.

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