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     I feel no one has really thought through what will happen if an all out ban on exotics were to pass. I mean, really, seriously think about it. 

I know people LOVE to think they are “helping” by signing that petition, or letter to your state legislator. After all, you can only go by what you have been told. Right? WRONG. In order to be able to form a justifiable opinion, one must indeed research the facts. 

Ohio, has went to the extreme on this. They have banned numerous exotic animals. Instead of actually sensibly regulating, they have put into place laws that make it IMPOSSIBLE for even the most responsible exotic owner to comply. Sensible regulations should have been in place to begin with. 

All this was in a knee jerk fashion, after Terry Thompson of Zanesville, Ohio, allegedly opened over fifty some odd cages by cutting them open (all the time having the keys) and lived long enough to kill himself by gunshot, while these so called “dangerous animals” were loose. 

Ohio, now has a concentration camp designed and built to house the captive exotics that they know will be taken from people. . This building was built on Ohio taxpayer’s dime. And just exactly what do people think will happen to these animals there? I guess the ones pushing for this ban thought that all these animals could be “returned to the wild ” (from which they never came) or live out their days in sanctuaries that are ready to take them (fact- Sanctuaries are funded often on the owners own dime, and do not have un limited funds. Oftentimes, the case is that the animals are crammed into smaller environments than they came from) while all the while the sanctuaries are crying they do not have the money nor the room. So what is the outcome of this awful backdoor ban? DEATH. 

    With comments from AR Extremist (Animal Rights) such as “There are more tigers in captivity than in the wild” with nothing to explain, people are left to believe that these tigers are being taken from their native lands. There has been no importation/exportation of rare and endangered species since the induction of CITES in July of 1975. Why I tell you this is because this is a key component. These cats and many other endangered species WILL BECOME EXTINCT should a FEDERAL BAN become effective. 

Now let us take a look at when something is outlawed and banned. Human nature is one of greed. When something is made scarce or forbidden, financially it is a boon to the criminal world. This WILL INCREASE the incidents of trafficking in illegal pet trade, as well as underground canned hunts, body parts etc. The black Rhino, which is protected is the greatest example of how banning works (not) , as well as the Asian/Indian Leopard (which is protected, yet exceeding the race to extinction faster than any other big cat, running neck and neck with the Cheetah) as well.. need I say more than prohibition. That was the highlight of the criminal money making venture.      

     Financially- This will place a monopoly into the hands of facilities that belong to a club. The AZA does do a great job, but understand AZA (Association of Zoo’s and Aquariums) is a member club that dictates what their member zoo’s can and cannot exhibit and breed. Which means that MANY SPECIES will be lost. FOREVER. And AZA also has FACTUALLY been known to place animals that are less than perfect (by their guidelines, non perfect animals cannot be displayed) into non AZA facilities. Where will these animals go? You got it.. DEATH.

By the AZA’s own admission they have to make the decision on which species to save all the time. . 


          Many agencies, such as HSUS, Born Free, IFAW , Tippi Hedren, and Big Cat Rescue like to paint a picture that these animals are all killers. It is a FACT that no big cat has EVER escaped it’s property and went on a rampage attacking and killing people. AND there has been only 21 deaths in 22 years related to big cats! If this is such a dangerous profession, they why are these statistics lower than say.. sky diving? Add to the fact that the only incidents also involved people that knowingly came into contact with the cats. 

     I want a world, where these animals can roam free, without human interference. Until such time as this is possible, I, along with other responsible owners/facilities, want the right to help preserve these animals for our children to see.. and not on google or in a book. Your private facilities, give a lot to their community and the animals. Do I believe that anybody and everybody should own a big cat? NO. But if you have the finances, the land and the knowledge.. then yes. 

When things are on paper, it might look great. But one must look at the entire big picture. Remember that the next time you sign a petition of any kind. You may very well be signing the death warrant of an entire species


Vera is a sixth generation Native Floridian and born in the small community of Arcadia Florida. She has been a Barrel racer,making it to the NBHA national finals for 3 years in a row. She was the President in the Potowattomie County Humane Society, Shawnee Oklahoma 1983. She is a Veterinary Technician and in the veterinary medical field for over thirty nine years, starting by volunteering in Ft. Lauderdale at Three Oaks Animal Hospital for OJT at the tender age of 13 years. She has had a Life time of working and living with all species of animals, domestic and exotic. She holds an Associates in Animal Science. Vera also is an active member of the FCF (Feline Conservation Federation - ) and accredited by the FCF as a Wildlife Educator, as well as licensed by the state of Florida as a wildlife rehabilitator

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