Las Vegas, NV (PRWEB) March 17, 2007
Private owners of wild and exotic animals in the USA have been coming under ever increasing attacks from animal rights (AR) activists and uninformed legislators to end the private ownership of exotics in the name of 'public safety'. Many unfair laws have already passed on the federal, state and local levels.
REXANO, http://www.REXANO.org, a free web resource designed to give facts-based research material to private owners of exotics to fight unfair legislation, just finished compiling a statistical table proving the legislators passing laws under the guise of public safety used misleading claims.
"In the last 10-16 years, 1.5 person on average gets killed yearly by captive reptile, 1 by captive big cat, 0.81 by captive elephant, 0.125 by captive bear and 0 by captive non-human primate," reports Zuzana Kukol, a REXANO co-founder. "For comparison, 45,000 people die each year in traffic accidents, 47 by lightning and 1,600 by falling from stairs."
"Our statistical analysis of the data disproves the claim that exotic animals in captivity are a threat to public safety. No uninvolved public has ever been killed in the USA since 1990 as a result of a captive big cat, primate, bear, elephant or reptile at large," adds Scott Shoemaker, a REXANO co-funder. "The majority of fatalities are to owners, trainers or people voluntarily visiting the property where the animals are kept."
Under the Federal Trade Commission Act:
-advertising must be truthful and non-deceptive;
-advertisers must have evidence to back up their claims; and
-advertisements cannot be unfair.
According to the FTC's Deception Policy Statement, an ad is deceptive if it contains a statement -- or omits information -- that:
-is likely to mislead consumers acting reasonably under the circumstances; and
-is "material" -- that is, important to a consumer's decision to buy or use the product.
"If it is illegal for businesses to advertise and sell products using misleading and fraudulent claims, why is it OK for legislators and lobbyists to introduce, gain public support and pass bills using fraudulent claims they can't back up with facts?" asks Kukol. "These unneeded tax money wasting bills are appeasing the minority of special interest animal rights groups and a few individuals falling for the claims of imaginary threat at the expense of constitutional freedoms for a majority of Americans. Many animal businesses are regulated out of existence as a result of this deception."
"There are no hard facts and statistics to support the case for these bans, only so called incident reports compiled by the various AR groups," says Andrew Wyatt, President of NC Association of Reptile Keepers, http://www.NCARK.org. "These incident reports amount to scary stories about scary animals. Many are unconfirmed, manufactured or ridiculous. Deaths or serious injury are exceedingly rare. The reality is that you are more likely to contract E.coli virus from eating spinach, and die as a result, than die from being attacked by an exotic animal."
"It would be nice if for once the AR fanatics could refrain from exploiting isolated tragic incidents, but they never do. They feed on this kind of hysteria," says Feline Conservation Federation, http://www.thefcf.org, president Lynn Culver. "AR groups use grieving relatives of those harmed by exotic animals as their poster children to help push their agenda of prohibiting exotic animals in society."
"Fear trumps over freedom. Will America be coerced by inflammatory rhetoric from the AR Movement into over reacting to a non-existent threat by enacting overly intrusive animal bans? I hope not," adds Wyatt.
"Even people who don't own animals should realize that every time a new law is passed, the government powers and bureaucracy are growing and our personal freedoms shrinking," warns Kukol.
"Animals are personal property; and we oppose legislation that restricts the private ownership or use of animals, or that inhibits free trade of any animal provided it meets Ohio Department of Agriculture testing and import requirements," adds Polly Britton, Secretary of the Ohio Association of Animal Owners, http://www.oaao.us.
"As long as animal welfare and public safety laws are followed, the private ownership of all animals should be protected in the USA," says Shoemaker.
"Control the land and the animals, then you control the people." states Kim Bloomer a natural pet care educator, lecturer and host of the online radio show Animal Talk Naturally http://www.AnimalTalkNaturally.com.
"There is a hidden agenda with regard to all of these laws and it has nothing to do with public safety or concerns for good animal care. Rather, it is about eroding or removing American freedoms, the right to own as many animals as we can provide for."
Current focus of REXANO is to reverse the trend in over regulation.