(PRWEB) February 12, 2004
The Feline Conservation Federation, the nationÂs oldest non-profit organization dedicated to excellence in exotic feline care is opposed to HB1151. ÂIt is part of the 11,000 animal bills and ordinances being proposed nation-wide this year at every level of government. There is an epidemic of hysteria orchestrated by animal rights extremists to sell an agenda that America wonÂt buy at face value, and it is a recipe for disasterÂ, said Lynn Culver, Legal Affairs Director of the FCF.
ÂThe challenge of leadership is to avoid hysteria when tragedies happen, to be rational and informed so as not to do more harm then good. ThatÂs why facts and statistics must supercede horror stories. There is an average of one death per year from big cat accidents in a population of 15,000. Statically this means driving a motor vehicle is three times more dangerous then keeping a tiger. The likelihood of a tiger escaping and killing a member of the general public cannot be calculated because it has never happenedÂ, says Lynn Culver.
The Feline Conservation Federation will not be satisfied until that one death a year is reduced to zero. ÂInstead of going around on a witch-hunt, FCF is going around the country conducting husbandry classes to increase keeper knowledge and discourage casual ownership. FCF authored a model for state regulations and developed standards for facility accreditation. The last thing we want to see in the state of Washington is passage of HB 1151. It punishes the majority of conscientious caregivers and the majority of non-dangerous felines for the mistakes of a very few people by forcibly uprooting animals from good homes while eliminating any alternative homes, necessitating their euthanasia.Â says Lynn Culver.
The captive population is a fail-safe against extinction. Captive animals enhance survival of the species in the wild through education of the public about the ecological role and conservation needs of the species. FCF captive breeding programs satisfy this demand for wild cats species so that wild specimens are not used.
According to Lynn Culver, Âthe recent Congressional passage of the Captive Animal Safety Act has effectively eliminated the problem of interstate sales of big cats to novice owners by requiring all parties be USDA licensed. Washington State does not need HB1151. It will add more uprooted felines to an already overburdened sanctuary community and hurt the conservation work of responsible owners.Â
For more information about the Feline Conservation Federation visit our website at http://www.felineconservation.org.
Director of Legal Affairs