From Mike Hitchen Online Let's Hear You! presents selected news and information from non profit organizations and individuals promoting community or rights oriented issues.
Items are selected from a wide range of sources and are not confined to major or international issues. Submissions from individuals or organizations (large or small) are welcome.
New York State Assembly passes bill putting distance between public and big cats
The New York State Assembly has
signed bill A.9004-C/S.6903-C (Rosenthal/Avella) into law. Introduced
by Assembly Member, Linda B. Rosenthal (D-Manhattan)
and initiated by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), the
ruling prohibits direct contact between members of the public and
tigers, lions and other dangerous wild animals owned by licensed dealers
Regulations banning private ownership of big cats and other dangerous wild animals have been strongly enforced in New York
since 2005; however, a major loophole has allowed certain individuals
and some USDA-licensed facilities to regularly profit from charging the
public a few to hold, take photos with, and otherwise interact with wild
animals at roadside zoos, malls and other public areas throughout the
preventing the public's contact with dangerous wild animals, my bill
will ensure that the public is protected," said Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal
(D/WF-Manhattan). "While they may look cute and cuddly, big cats are
born predators with instincts to kill despite any level of training. In
addition, the bill will protect the animals, who are often kept in
deplorable conditions at roadside zoos masquerading as animal
sanctuaries. This law is a win-win, and I look forward to the Governor
signing it into law."
Incidents involving captive big cats in the United States
have resulted in the deaths of 24 people in the past two decades – five
of them children. In addition, 300 people have been mauled or injured.
"Mixing wild animals with the public is just a bad idea no matter how you look at it." adds Jeff Flocken,
North American Regional Director, IFAW. "It's bad for the animals, and
it's dangerous for the people. When the Governor signs this bill, New York will be able to count itself a leader on behalf of both human safety and animal welfare."
In addition to the New York
legislation, IFAW is spearheading a federal bill, the Big Cats and
Public Safety Protection Act (H.R. 1998/S.1381), to end the big cat pet
and roadside zoo trade across the country.
About IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare)
in 1969, IFAW saves animals in crisis around the world. With projects
in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to
prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife
and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.