World Wildlife Fund says “No” to Pet Tigers

WASHINGTON, DC, October 20, 2011 – The tragic situation in Ohio has prompted World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to call for a ban on private ownership of tigers. There are more tigers in captivity in the United States (an estimated 5,000) than there are in the wild (as few as 3,200). The vast majority of captive tigers in the U.S. reside in private hands, not in accredited zoos or circuses, which are well regulated.

Lack of regulation of tiger ownership in the U.S. results in inability to track how many tigers are being bred or born each year, how many die (naturally or otherwise), or what happens to tigers or their parts when the animals or their owners die. This is clear by the shock of local authorities when they were confronted with 18 unregistered tigers roaming free in the Ohio countryside and were forced to use lethal force for public safety. By making such private ownership illegal, tragedies like the one outside of Zanesville, OH can be averted in the future. 

Full story.

This comes as a surprise to me, because the WWF is a wise-use conservation group that does not trouble itself with animal welfare. The WWF is a supporter of hunting and sealing, among other consumptive use activities. Ohio officials seem intent on shutting out humane groups from the exotic pet discussion–perhaps, though, they’ll listen to one of their own in the hook-and-bullet crowd?

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