USDA/APHIS: USDA Docket NO. APHIS-2012-0107 (DO NOT PROHIBIT PUBLIC CONTACT)
This petition had 159 supporters
We stand against this amendment to further limit contact with big cats, bears and nonhuman primates of any age. This amendment to an already questionable, and not easily understood or enforced, regulation is not needed or wanted. By not allowing any contact with the animals you are doing a much greater disservice to the animals in question than a benefit.
Several of these species reproduce solely in captivity and by not nurturing younger animals or allowing them to have public contact, especially at young ages, you are creating animals that will never feel safe in a zoological setting and be unable to reproduce future generations for exhibition, education and possible reintroduction into the wild.
The petitioners of this proposed amendment have a specific agenda to bankrupt and force responsible private owners, exhibitors, circuses, breeders, educational facilities, and zoos out of business. This proposed amendment only affects those animal owners who are USDA regulated an does not affect any private owners, facilities or groups that have not gone through the certification process. Regulated facilities are not at the heart of this problem, and should not be punished by further unnecessary regulations.
Animal interaction fosters something very special in the lives of everyone that they ambassador to. To actually be able to feed, feel and interact with these rarely seen animals gives children and adults alike a new found respect and love of animals. To only see these magnificent creatures in books and on the television would be actual disservice to the public. As we all know, 99% of these animals are born in captivity just like 10 generations prior to them. They are not bringing a health threat to the public any more than your household dog or cat. These animals undergo better care and treatment than the majority of personal pets and are furthermore inspected at the very least several times a year by veterinary staff, the professionals that care for them and APHIS staff at every inspection. This amendment to current regulations is quite obviously based on the opinion of obscure animal rights fanatics and not on actually protecting exotic animals and the public. Please vote NO to this amendment.
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