It's unbelievable that restaurants in the US are allowed to serve lion meat. It's almost impossible to find out where the meat comes from -- it could be imported, from animals in zoos or circuses, or from lions raised on farms in the Midwest -- the people who kill lions and sell them as meat aren't exactly forthcoming ... and they don't have to be because lion meat isn't really regulated by the government.
That's not only bad news for the animals, who could be raised and slaughtered in inhumane conditions, but also for people. The diets and drug use in lions aren't regulated for human consumption, which means lion meat could be dangerous to eat.
Over the summer, I started a petition when I heard about a restaurant in Kansas that was planning a dinner event with meat from lions and other exotic animals. That restaurant listened to us and took lion off the menu, but since then, I've heard of other restaurants in other parts of the country serving lion burgers. This shouldn't be legal.
Right now, the US Fish and Wildlife Department is considering adding lions to the endangered species list. These amazing animals are already considered endangered by several other countries. I've done volunteer work with African lions and recently visited a sanctuary for big cats in the U.S. These majestic animals deserve better than to wind up on someone's plate. They should be protected, not cooked and eaten!
Please join me in asking the USDA to ban the sale of lion meat.
- USDA Acting Program Manager for the Office of Program Evaluation, Enforcement and Review
- USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety
Dr. Elisabeth A. Hagen
- USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety
- USDA Administrator
Alfred V. Almanza
- Deputy Administrator
- USDA Assistant Administrator, Office of Public Affairs and Consumer Education
- USDA Secretary of Agriculture
Tom Vilsack (USDA Secretary of Agriculture)
Please ban the sale of lion meat for human consumption.
I was appalled to learn that restaurants can legally serve lion meat and it can be sold in stores. Some brokers even advertise it as "USDA-approved," even though lions are not on the list of species regularly inspected by the USDA. I'm concerned that the lack of regulatory oversight -- including exemption from the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, among other laws -- means that the animals may be mistreated and that the meat has not been proven fit for human consumption.
Furthermore, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department is currently reviewing a petition to list African lions under the Endangered Species Act, and has issued a positive preliminary 90-day finding on the petition.
I urge you to be proactive in protecting animals and people. Please close the loophole that allows the sale of lion meat and ban the possession, slaughter and sale of lions for human consumption.
Cheryl Semcer started this petition with a single signature, and now has 198,375 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.