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The Big Cat Safety Act is Not a Feel-Good Bill — It Could Very Well Spell Extinction for Tigers

Some experts say it could rapidly speed up the true extinction of tigers and other big cats.

In surface level media reports, the bill seems like a well-intentioned effort to protect tigers from private zoos and owners who are up to no good — something that just about anyone could agree with. As with many bills, the devil is in the details.

Of course there are bad and exploitative animal owners, zoo staff, and even sanctuary owners. There are also bad dog owners who raise aggressive animals that maim or kill — but no reasonable person is calling for dogs to be banned. We assume that people who wish to adopt a puppy do so with good intentions. The government and private organizations only step in when there is actually suspicion of abuse or mistreatment. So, why should there be different standards when it comes to people who choose to care for or work with exotic animals?

Fatal dog attacks in the United States cause the deaths of about 30 to 50 people in the US each year, with approximately 4.5 million Americans bitten by the animals annually. In comparison, three people are killed by tigers in the United States every five years. This number also counts deaths in accredited zoos and sanctuaries, not just involving private owners.

More people die from drowning in toilets than are killed by tigers in the United States. From 1996-1999, sixteen Americans drowned in toilets — that is four people a year. Read Entire Article:

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