Will the US tighten regulations on keeping tigers in captivity?

Americans may think that the illegal trade in tiger parts is halfway around the world, but in reality, the United States is an important part of this lucrative global market.

Across the United States, there have been more than 300 accidents involving big cats since 1990. In the past 10 years, “four children have lost their lives and dozens of others have lost limbs or suffered other injuries. other accumulation. Sixteen adults were killed…”

There are an estimated 10,000 tigers in the United States in zoos or on private property – nearly double the estimated 4,981 tigers in the wild globally. However, to date, there has been little research on the legal and illegal tiger trade in the US.

Research results Patterns of illegal and legal tiger parts entering the United States over a decade, 2003–2012 A publication in the journal Conservation Science and Practice indicates that the number of tiger parts imported into the United States may be much larger than reported.

Based on Federal Government records, the above research identified a significant number of illegal tiger parts being imported into the United States. The study authors examined legal import permits for tigers and tiger parts, and nearly half were for previously seized or confiscated animals. The records do not indicate whether the legally traded items seized or confiscated came from the wild or from captive-bred tigers. However, a significant number of both legally and illegally imported tigers originate from the wild.

The study raises many questions about the demand for tigers and the management of captive tigers in the United States. If demand is high, as speculated based on legal and illegal tiger imports, it is likely that demand is also met by tigers born and raised in captivity in the United States.

However, there is currently no way to track captive tigers in the US, and many states lack laws and processes to monitor the disposal of highly valuable tiger parts once the pets become pets. This is dead.

It is worth noting that wildlife trafficking is also linked to national security concerns due to its links to drug, arms and human trafficking. In addition, it continues to threaten the survival of tigers, which have declined to only 5% of their previous population.

Currently, owning a pet tiger is still legal in some areas of the United States. For example, 13 states only require big cat licenses, but three others – Alabama, North Carolina and Wisconsin – have no laws regarding keeping big cats as pets.

The Big Cat Safety Act was introduced in the US House of Representatives. It amends restrictions relating to the possession and exhibition of big cats, such as lions, tigers, leopards, etc. in the country. A previous version of the bill was voted in favor in December 2020 in the House of Representatives by 272 to 114 votes, but was not approved by the Senate and was killed in the 116th Congress.

The current bill will next be voted on in the House and then the Senate. If passed as a federal bill, it would amend the underlying wildlife trade regulations of the Lacey Act and clarify provisions enacted by the Farmed Wildlife Safety Act confinement, in an effort to continue big cat conservation and public safety.

The act would ban individuals from owning big cats as well as the public from petting, playing with and feeding them. Additionally, by cutting back on tiger tourism at unaccredited zoos, which promotes unnecessary tiger breeding in the United States, this legislation would also ensure the United States plays an active role. in global conservation efforts through regulations on captive tiger farming.

Category: Pet