Target: Daniel Ashe, Director, United States Fish and Wildlife Service
Goal: Stop taking wild animals from their natural habitats to be kept as pets.
A young tiger was recently found roaming a Texas neighborhood. The tiger, which seemed to be domesticated, was wearing a leash and collar, suggesting it was an escaped pet. Wild animals such as big cats, foxes, and even bears are allowed to be kept in Texas as pets due to lax exotic animal laws.
Wild animals kept as housepets are confined to much smaller areas than they would be in the wild, and are often deprived of the food and enrichment found in their natural habitats. The exotic animal trade sees millions of animals taken from the wild each year, a practice that poses a serious threat to many species across the world.
According to the Humane Society, there are approximately 5,000 to 7,000 tigers in the United States. Only about 400 of these animals are kept by zoos, while the vast majority are kept by private owners as housepets. Not only do they suffer a severely reduced quality of life in captivity, but they can become dangerous toward humans under some circumstances.
The exotic pet trade will continue until the U.S. adopts uniform laws about the ownership of wild animals as pets. In order to protect tens of thousands of animals from exploitation at the hands of uninformed and ill-equipped owners, it is imperative that a national law is adopted to protect exotic animals from being forced into captivity. Sign the petition below to demand that the federal government implement a ban on owning wild animals as pets.
Dear Mr. Ashe,
A young tiger recently escaped from a home and was found wandering around a Texas neighborhood. While this tiger was friendly and easily manageable due to its small size, the situation could have been much worse. In fact, there have been several recorded instances of pet tigers, mountain lions, and bears injuring or killing humans.
Exotic pets not only have the potential to be dangerous to humans, but they suffer greatly in captivity. They are not given the space, diet, or natural enrichment that they receive in the wild, and can become both physically and mentally ill.
This cruel industry continues in the U.S. due to a lack of federal laws prohibiting it and lax exotic pet laws in many states. This results in the trade continuing even in states that have banned it. We, the undersigned, ask you to implement a federal ban on wild animals as pets in order to protect both humans and animals.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Issadeen