Born Free USA Applauds Illinois Representative Luis Arroyo for Introducing Lion Meat Bill

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Born Free USA investigation revealed industry under-regulated leading to animal suffering and human health risks

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Born Free USA

No one seems to be testing lion meat or care where the meat is coming from. Lions are not covered under the Humane Slaughter Act. Animals are suffering. People are at risk. It is a sham.

Born Free USA, a leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, applauds Representative Luis Arroyo for introducing HB 2991 a bill championed by Born Free USA that would ban the sale of lion meat and the slaughter of the animals in Illinois.

According to Adam Roberts, Executive Vice President, Born Free USA, “We applaud Representative Arroyo for introducing this bill. The lion meat industry is fraught with regulatory pitfalls and shortcomings that place people and lions at risk. People who are interested in lions should focus on ways to protect them in the wild where they belong, not ‘farm’ them for their cubs and meat for cheap thrills, and restaurant gimmicks.”

In 2011, Born Free USA released the results of a year-long investigation that revealed shocking information about the raising, slaughter, sale and consumption of lion meat, raising serious animal welfare, conservation, and human health concerns. The organization began looking into the lion meat trade in June 2010, after receiving reports of lion meat availability across the country, including in Arizona.

Roberts explains, “What we uncovered is a shady business cycle that involves lion cubs bred for the captive display industry, caged lions shot at a slaughterhouse, and frightening lack of regulatory oversight and accountability.”

“Our year-long examination proved that government agencies are not enforcing regulations to protect animals and the public. Neither the USDA nor the FDA knows where lions slaughtered for meat originate and therefore are unable to guarantee how safe the meat is for human consumption and how the animals are being treated prior to or during slaughter. The ‘regulation’ of the lion meat industry is simply a sham and both lions and the American public deserve better from our government officials,” Roberts added.

As a result of Born Free USA’s findings, the organization called on state legislatures across the country to prohibit the commercial exploitation of lions for their meat. Because in most if not all, lion meat recently sold was traced back to originating in Illinois, passing legislation in the state is key.

The African lion currently is not listed on the U.S. Endangered Species list, although Born Free USA along with other conservation organizations has petitioned for its listing. The lion population in Africa has been reduced by half since 1980. Born Free USA is concerned that increased popularity of lion meat in the United States could influence global trends and result in increased threats to the survival of the species in the wild.

For the complete investigation report, visit

Born Free USA is a nationally recognized leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic “pets,” trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to America the message of “compassionate conservation” -- the vision of the U.K.-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film Born Free, along with their son Will Travers, now CEO of both organizations. Born Free’s mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally. More at, at Twitter, and one Facebook

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Rodi Rosensweig
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