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Big Cat Coalition | Big Cat Rescue




If it appears slightly late to be discussing these coalitions,  it’s as a result of we now have to be as stealthy because the cats we’re defending, in order that those that abuse wild cats can’t thwart our mission.  There are LOTS of thrilling issues happening behind the scenes proper now that we will’t speak about, for that very cause, however now that we’ve got achieved lots of our objectives, it’s time to offer credit score the place credit score is due.

The timeline of the Big Cat Coalition begins with the


Timeline of the Worldwide Tiger Coalition

That is being informed from the attitude of Carole Baskin, Founder and CEO of Big Cat Rescue.


2007  A unfastened coalition of NGO’s started working collectively and had achieved some unprecedented objectives by 2009 when Big Cat Rescue joined the coalition.  Judy Mills was the facilitator for our month-to-month and typically weekly conferences.   

HelpWanted2009 Big Cat Rescue attended the launch of the World Financial institution’s involvement in Washington, D.C. which was emceed by Harrison Ford and attended by Bo Derek and Robert Duvall.  The coalition’s preliminary aim was to cease tiger farming for his or her elements in China and to extend the wild tiger inhabitants to 10,000 animals by the subsequent Yr of the Tiger.  Big Cat Rescue joined the Worldwide Tiger Coalition to make sure that these teams thought-about the truth that cub dealing with within the U.S. was exacerbating the poaching in vary states and giving China an excuse to farm tigers for his or her elements since breeders in America farm them for cub dealing with exploitation.

2010 Big Cat Rescue sponsored the ITC sales space at CITES and sponsored the attendance of the ITC Moderator, Judy Mills on the Tiger Summit in St. Petersburg, Russia.

2010 Big Cat Rescue sponsored the Worldwide Tiger Coalition sales space in Doha, Qatar because of your votes for us within the Chase contest the place we gained $25,000. Your votes assist save tigers!

2011 Big Cat Rescue made introductions to the Rose Church of members of the ITC to type the Big Cat Coalition.

four/four/2011 Rose Church a professional bono lawyer for the Ian Somerhalder Basis contacted Big Cat Rescue asking what Ian might do to assist Tony the tiger be saved from the truck cease in Grosse Tete, LA.  Ian Somerhalder is the star of the Vampire Diaries and from Louisiana and had a Twitter following of two.three million followers at the moment.

We had been working to save lots of Tony since 2009 and so had the Animal Authorized Protection Fund and there wasn’t something extra that might be accomplished on the time as this stuff drag out by means of years and years of appeals, so Howard Baskin and I prompt that if Ian actually needed to make a distinction for giant cats that he assist us cease cub dealing with.

Rose couldn’t consider that such abuse truly existed on this nation and contacted her regulation professor, Diane Sullivan, to see what could possibly be completed. They thought that bringing collectively the large non income who work on huge cat points collectively for a spherical desk can be a good suggestion and requested if I knew anybody.  I gave her the contacts we had within the Worldwide Tiger Coalition and she or he managed to get representatives from quite a lot of them to return to a gathering on July 25, 2011.

Attendees have been:

ALDF  Stephan Otto from the Animal Authorized Protection Fund

BCR  Howard Baskin and Carole Baskin from Big Cat Rescue

BF USA  Adam Roberts and Tracy Coppola from Born Free

GFAS  Patty Finch from the International Federation of Animal Sanctuaries

HSUS  Debbie Leahy from the Humane Society of america

IFAW  Jeff Flocken, Nathan Herschler & Gina Miller from the Worldwide Fund for Animal Welfare

ISF  Rose Church from the Ian Somerhalder Basis

MSL  Dean Diane Sullivan, from Massachusetts Faculty of Regulation, filmed the Plight of Tigers additional down

WCAR  World Council for Animal Rights

WCCLAS  Wild Cat Conservation Authorized Help Society

WWF  Leigh Henry from the World Wildlife Fund

Mixed we symbolize greater than 18 million supporters.


Eight/22/11 After a gathering with the USFWS the Generic Tiger concern was revealed to the Federal Register for public remark and acquired over 15,000 feedback in help of our request to ban the breeding of non purebred tigers.

The coalition continued to have weekly calls and lots of of emails to compile the proof and drafting of our submissions to USDA, USFWS and Congress.

1/26/2012 Met w/ USDA to current all the proof that they will and will ban public contact underneath the Animal Welfare Act.

2/29/2012 Rep. McKeon and Rep. Loretta Sanchez launched the Big Cats and Public Security Safety Act within the Home (HR 4122) and Sen. Kerry commits to introducing into the Senate, which he did simply previous to the elections.

three/2/2012 Ian Somerhalder tweets it to his followers.

three/28/12  Massachusetts Faculty of Regulation gained a Bronze Telly Award for the Plight of Tigers movie.


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July 2012  Carole introduced this on the Taking Motion for Animals convention in Washington, D.C.


One individual might be the cat-alyst for change. In case you are sitting on this viewers, YOU is perhaps the sort of one that has the eagerness to beat the unattainable with a purpose to assist save hundreds, or tens of millions of animals. Rose Church is a type of individuals.

What number of of you’ve heard about Tony the tiger who has been stored at a Louisiana truck cease for the previous decade?

What number of of you might have heard of, or acknowledge Ian Somerhalder from the Vampire Diaries?

Ian Somerhalder

Rose Church is a professional bono lawyer for the Ian Somerhalder basis and she or he needed to get Ian concerned in liberating Tony the tiger. Ian has 2,300,000 followers on Twitter and she or he thought that getting him to Tweet about Tony may assist increase consciousness about Tony the truck cease tiger. She contacted me to ask what Ian might ask his followers to do.

Despite the fact that we get extra complaints about Tony than another single state of affairs and have been working to free him for the previous decade, we had exhausted our capability to do something. We had employed the tiger a lawyer and had proven up with loads of supporters to testify, nevertheless it had turn into apparent that the state of Louisiana was not going to do something. USDA has revoked the license to show the tiger, however that not often appears to cease exhibitors from exhibiting.

The ALDF (Animal Authorized Protection Fund) had continued the battle in the one venue left, which was the authorized system. Courtroom instances wind their means by way of the system like a river of molasses so there wasn’t a lot anybody might do. It appeared like the entire world already knew about Tony, so having Ian Tweet his viewers didn’t appear to be a really productive factor to do. If we had the assistance of a star we advised Rose that he might make a far nice impression for hundreds of tigers like Tony by educating his fan base concerning the problem that causes so many tigers and different massive cats to finish up being bred, exploited and discarded.

The underlying trigger for nearly all of this struggling is cub petting.

I defined to Rose that it was huge enterprise within the U.S. for breeders to cost the general public to pet or pose with huge cat cubs. One claims to have made $23,000 in a single weekend at a mall, charging individuals to interact with the cubs and / or have their pictures made with the cubs. The breeders and sellers have been doing these pay to play periods with older lions and tigers up till the demise of a highschool scholar named Haley Hildebrand.

Because of strain from the media after which the general public, the USDA issued a FAQ sheet suggesting that cubs beneath Eight weeks shouldn’t be used this manner. In a separate appellate courtroom case the decide dominated that cubs over the age of 12 weeks have been too harmful for such interplay. The unintended outcome was making a loophole whereby breeders might nonetheless cost clients to the touch cubs who have been between Eight-12 weeks previous. That resulted in large breeding so as to have worthwhile cubs to make use of. Since their shelf life was solely four weeks, breeders determined to supply lion and tiger cubs each month in order that they might all the time have “legal” age cubs to make use of.

Rose might hardly consider her ears. To start with, she had by no means seen these mall reveals the place tiger breeders arrange store and supply cubs as photograph props all day over a 4 day weekend. Second, she couldn’t consider that USDA hadn’t executed one thing to shut that four week window that they had created.

It may be something from fixing a damaged toy to curing some social unwell; have you ever ever had a type of moments the place you see a state of affairs and assume to your self, “I can fix this.” This was Rose’s second. She stated to herself, “I can do something about this!”

Rose figured there at LOTS of animal safety teams on the market and if all of them labored collectively they might repair this factor. However, she doubted that anybody would take heed to her if she made the suggestion that they achieve this. She took the knowledge to her professor from Regulation Faculty, Diane Sullivan as a result of she knew that Dean Sullivan had her personal animal regulation tv present and a variety of clout within the animal safety group. She figured that if Dean Sullivan have been to ask the large animals teams to return collectively that it’d truly occur.

Rose requested me who the large gamers are that care about tigers. That was a simple query as a result of I had been a part of a workforce of greater than 40 such organizations who labored collectively because the Worldwide Tiger Coalition. The ITC had been shaped primarily to finish the tiger farming in China, however again and again the hurdle was that China would resist our recommendations by stating the truth that the U.S. doesn’t even know what number of tigers we’ve got nor the place they’re nor how they’re being housed. I gave her the names and get in touch with information for the individuals who I felt had been most concerned within the ITC and who might work properly collectively.

Rose contacted IFAW, the Worldwide Fund for Animal Welfare and went over the record to get additional enter on who can be prepared to work collectively on the tiger problem. The outcome was a spherical desk assembly in D.C. at IFAW in July 2011. On the desk have been the Worldwide Fund for Animal Welfare, the Humane Society of the USA, Born Free, the World Wildlife Fund, the Animal Authorized Protection Fund, the Wild Cat Conservation Authorized Assist Society, World Council for Animal Rights, the Dean of the Massachusetts Faculty of Regulation, Ian Somerhalder Basis, the International Federation of Animal Sanctuaries and Big Cat Rescue. Mixed we characterize greater than 18 million supporters.

I’ve been part of different animal welfare coalitions however this group has labored higher collectively than something I’ve ever seen earlier than. The assembly was massively profitable and we acquired to the basis of the tiger drawback: cub petting. In your convention luggage one can find a 4 web page abstract of the Tiger Dealing with Disaster. There’s one other web page of citations used for the doc that we’re offering on-line at

What the group concluded was that we will’t save wild tigers so long as there’s such unregulated commerce in captive tigers who present a authorized smoke display for unlawful actions similar to poaching. China has made the argument that they need to be allowed to farm tigers for his or her elements to fill the demand, however there’ll all the time be a requirement for the “real” tiger; the “wild” tiger and increasing the market via farming tigers will solely end in them being exterminated extra shortly within the wild.

Proper now there are extra tigers in again yard cages in America than are left within the wild. It’s thought that there are lower than 3200 tigers left within the wild and eventually rely, by USDA, there have been about 5000 tigers in USDA amenities. Solely about 200 of these are AZA zoos, so the remaining are in roadside zoos, circus acts, and again yards; and that’s simply those who voluntarily reported and who maintain USDA licenses. For many who will not be licensed by USDA, the individuals who personal them as pets, there was no census completed.

Because the group appeared on the state of affairs within the U.S., it turned obvious that the primary trigger for therefore many tigers to finish up in deplorable circumstances was the very profitable cub petting business. Two elements made this abuse attainable.

Again within the 1980s white tigers turned all the fad. White tigers would promote for $60,000 as a result of the general public was so enamored with seeing this freak of nature. What the zoos stored quiet was the truth that the one approach to create that white coat was via purposely inbreeding, father to daughter, mom to son and brother to sister. Over time the cubs turned increasingly more genetically impaired, affected by membership ft, open spines, crossed eyes and badly shaped bones and tooth. Earlier than lengthy the Bengal tigers have been so inbred that they have been not reproducing or cubs have been being born lifeless. However the public demanded to see white tigers, so the zoos began hybridizing Bengal tigers and Siberian tigers to proceed the inbreeding a couple of generations extra.

So many zoos and yard breeders have been cross breeding tigers that the USFWS determined it wasn’t value their time to course of the captive bred wildlife permits which are required for endangered species, in order that they created the “generic” tiger loophole. What this did was allowed zoos and personal house owners to breed non purebred tigers with no oversight and the tiger inhabitants exploded within the U.S.

The opposite issue that made it really easy for tigers to be bred and used as photograph and petting props was that although USDA had inadvertently created a 4 week window, between Eight and 12 weeks when cubs could possibly be petted by the general public, that they had no approach to implement it as a result of they don’t require any kind of registration of tigers and rely virtually completely on what the tiger proprietor tells them as to the age of the cub or why the cub was taken from their mom. The identical one that claims to make over $20,000 in an excellent weekend on the mall had 23 tiger cubs die over the span of just a bit over a yr, however thus far the USDA has achieved nothing about it.

So, the coalition selected a 3 prong strategy to ending the abuse of tigers:

Shut the generic tiger loophole on the USFWS

Ask USDA to shut the four week window of cub petting

A federal invoice that ends the breeding and commerce in huge cats outdoors of AZA zoos

Solely a yr has handed since one individual organized for a bunch of animal safety teams to work on this and we’ve got excellent news to date:

The USFWS has put the suggestion of closing the generic tiger exemption out on the Federal Register for public remark and greater than 14,000 commented in favor of doing so. The rule hasn’t been made last, however the authorities strikes slowly.

We met with USDA, introduced the Cub Dealing with Crises flier you’ve gotten, together with the citations and the concurrence of 20 zoo vets who agree that cub petting ought to be banned. Sadly, the USDA has taken the place that they don’t have the facility to shut the window. They made it; they need to be capable of shut it, however they’re unwilling, so we’re nonetheless engaged on that one. For probably the most half their angle appears to be that they don’t assume it’s a large enough drawback as a result of they don’t hear about it a lot. Together with your assist we will repair that!

In March of 2013 our federal invoice HR 4122 was launched. It’s gaining momentum and we presently have 30+ cosponsors. Senator Kerry’s workplace is engaged on a companion invoice and we might be shepherding these federal payments by way of Congress by reaching out to our 18 million supporters and asking them to personally name or go to their Congress women and men to help this invoice. This stuff often take a number of years to realize the momentum essential to be heard earlier than your complete Home and Senate, however the excellent news is that when they’re heard, the help is nearly common.

The coalition continues to satisfy each couple of weeks by telephone to replace one another on our progress. We visited with Rose in Boston a couple of weeks in the past and she or he tells us that Ian Somerhalder has met with President Obama. We hope that Ian may be capable of persuade the President to direct USDA to make it a precedence to guard huge cat cubs by closing the cub petting window.

In abstract I’d wish to level out that one individual could make a distinction. Whether or not you’re a younger lady who’s donating time to a non revenue, like Rose, who will get big organizations to all work as one, or you’re a teen idol like Ian, who can handle an viewers with the President of america, you may be the voice for the unvoiced.


Again to the Big Cat Coalition Timeline


9/2/2012  By this time we had garnered greater than 400 telephone calls from our guests to their members of Congress in our present store at Big Cat Rescue.

Sign Re Big Cat Ban

9/17/2012 Senator John Kerry launched S.3547, the Big Cats and Public Security Safety Act.

9/20/2012  Introduced a unified entrance to a Congressional Briefing

Big Cat Coalition-Congressional-Briefing

10/18/2012 Petition to finish cub petting was introduced to USDA

12/31/2012 Resulting from a scarcity of motion by the Home and Senate, largely to do with the election after which the “fiscal cliff,” the Big Cats & Public Security Act died.

1/7/2013 Petition to finish cub petting was amended and introduced to USDA

5/15/2013 Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon & Rep. Loretta Sanchez re-introduced the Big Cats and Public Security Act as HR 1998.

7/29/13 Sen. Richard Blumenthal re-introduced the Big Cats and Public Security Act as S 1381.

Eight/5/2013 The USDA posted a request for public touch upon our petition to ban cub dealing with for 30 days.  See the 21,552 feedback and supporting paperwork right here:

11/17/2013  IFAW and Big Cat Rescue organized for a Fly In of 17 of Big Cat Rescue’s most ardent supporters who have been in key Congressional districts.


11/18/2013 The above remark interval had been prolonged because of the AZA wishing to exempt their cheetah petting fundraisers, however closed in the present day with over  15,000 responses and over 100,000 responses in the event you embrace these submitted by way of coalition associate’s supporters.

2/10/14  Big Cat Rescue employed a Republican lobbyist to guarantee Republicans that this can be a bipartisan invoice the place everybody can agree that massive cats don’t belong in backyards and basements.

6/26/14  Big Cat Rescue was the Diamond Sponsor at Taking Motion for Animals in Washington, D.C. and introduced the invoice to the eye of 1,200 attendees via our sales space, two one hour shows, three workshop panels and a presentation on the plenary.

7/1/2014 Now that Congress is again in session we’ll proceed to construct the cosponsors for our payments.  We at present have 108 cosponsors within the Home and 5 cosponsors within the Senate.  Need to assist?  Name your lawmaker or ship an e mail right here:

1/6/2015 Judith A. Mills releases her expose on the tiger commerce referred to as Blood of the Tiger.  It connects the hundreds of tigers being bred and killed for his or her elements in China to the U.S.’s personal failure to manage the captive commerce in tigers, and the way that is exterminating tigers within the wild.

2/5/2015  Our payments died with out being heard final yr, however the Home model had 119 cosponsors and the Senate model had 6 and did have a sub-committee assembly that went very properly.  Actually, the one adverse assertion made in the course of the assembly was that the Senators thought we must be banning extra and proscribing extra with our language.  We’re at present trying to re-introduce the invoice and can hold you posted.

7/7/2015  We anticipate the invoice to be reintroduced any day now. Aids hold telling us they are going to be introducing the invoice quickly.

9/17/2015 HR 3546 was re-Launched within the Home.  A senate model is prepared and the sponsor has dedicated.  A congressional briefing has been scheduled.

2/11/2016 SB 2541 was launched within the Senate by Senator Richard Blumenthal.  Congress strikes VERY slowly.

2/11/2016 Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders and Senator Richard Blumenthal wrote a proper letter to USDA asking that they take motion to guard massive cats and their cubs. Bernie Sanders Richard Blumental USDA 

four/three/2016 USDA cracks down on abuse of cubs beneath the age of 4 weeks.  In response to a 2012 authorized petition filed by The Humane Society of america, World Wildlife Fund, Detroit Zoological Society, Worldwide Fund for Animal Welfare, Born Free USA, Big Cat Rescue, Fund for Animals and International Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, the U.S. Division of Agriculture issued steerage making clear that exhibitors violate the Animal Welfare Act by permitting members of the general public to deal with or feed toddler unique cats like tigers, lions, cheetahs, jaguars or leopards.  Learn extra.

four/5/2016 USFWS introduced that they’re rescinding the generic tiger loophole. Big Cat Rescue has been pressuring the USFWS since at the very least 2007 to rescind this loophole and on Eight/22/11 after a gathering with the USFWS the Generic Tiger problem was revealed to the Federal Register for public remark and received over 15,000 feedback in help of our request to ban the breeding of non purebred tigers.  Learn extra.

6/24/16 USDA posts a further request for feedback relating to the dealing with of harmful wild animals and their cubs.

Eight/31/16 The Coalition petitions USDA with Further Info In Help of Petition to Prohibit Public Contact with Harmful Wild Animals (Docket No. APHIS-2012-0107)


In 2011 Muskingum County Sheriff Matthew J. Lutz and his deputies got here nose to nose with a nightmare: a personal proprietor of unique animals in Zanesville, Ohio had opened the cages of his 56 tigers, lions, cougars, bears and wolves and allow them to unfastened. Recognizing that the animals have been a critical public security danger as nightfall approached, deputies had no selection however to shoot a lot of the animals earlier than they might scatter into the night time and threaten the lives of the close by group. Tranquilizers don’t work such as you see on TV as there’s a 20-30 minute delay, in the event that they work in any respect.

Regulation enforcement ought to by no means need to be put in that state of affairs and we perceive why they made the choice they did. However we don’t ever need this to occur once more, which is why we’re working with Sheriff Lutz and the Nationwide Sheriffs’ Affiliation to unfold consciousness and achieve help for the Big Cat Public Security Act.

Final month Big Cat Rescuers attended the Nationwide Sheriffs’ Affiliation’s annual convention in Minneapolis with this message: tigers, lions and different unique cats stored in individuals’s houses, backyards, and roadside zoos pose a critical and utterly pointless danger to public security, regulation enforcement, and first responders.

The Nationwide Sheriffs’ Affiliation has been very welcoming of our message, lately publishing our article about huge cats and public security of their July/August concern of Sheriff & Deputy journal and passing a Decision in help of the Big Cat Public Security Act.

We’re grateful to the Nationwide Sheriffs’ Affiliation and look ahead to constructing relationships with Sheriff departments throughout the nation. To study extra go to: lawenforcement


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