Target: Melinda Plaisier, Food and Drug Administration’s Associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs
Goal: Stop the sales of meat from animals on threatened species lists
Recently, a restaurant in California added lion meat to its menu for a few weeks – a decision for which it faced serious backlash from the community. Many long-standing regulars have refused to return to the restaurant, which offers other exotic meats such as ostrich, alligator, and kangaroo. The restaurant has since stopped serving lion – which the restaurant’s owner claims was provided from a farm in Illinois – but this does not address the issue. Since lions are on the threatened species list, rather than the endangered, the sale and distribution of their meat is not illegal. The restaurant has faced no legal repercussions for selling the meat of a threatened animal.
The issue is such: providing consumers with a taste of a threatened species may spark more interest in consumption, leading to further population declines within an already threatened species. The Food and Drug Administration sets the regulation standards for the sale and consumption of foodstuffs, and the threatened species list needs to be added to the list of banned foods.
Investigations by a non-profit animal rights organization, Born Free USA, claim that lion meat often comes from captured lions which have been turned into exotic pets, rather than being raised on meat farms. This leads to further concern regarding any species on the threatened list: are these animals in fact raised on farms, or captured from declining wild populations only to be killed and eaten?
Sign this petition to urge the Food and Drug Administration to add the sale of threatened species to the list of illegal food items. Preventing the decline of threatened animal species can lead to population growth, whereas killing and eating animals that are already threatened will only inhibit their decline.
Dear Melinda Plaisier,
A restaurant has recently found its way into the media’s spotlight for serving lion meat. While the restaurant owner claims that the lion meat originated from a farm, research indicates that the origins of this type of meat are often misrepresented – many of these animals are, in fact, captured from the wild. The restaurant in question faces only public backlash for selling a threatened species for consumption, yet faces no legal implications: there is nothing stopping them from doing this again.
I urge you, as the Associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs, to enact stricter regulation on the sale of threatened species for consumption. As they are not yet endangered, regular public consumption can only lead to further decline in native populations of these species. Restaurants cannot be allowed to offer threatened species to consumers, and I fear an initial taste may spark heavy interest in further consumption of these threatened species. Please, set stricter regulations for the sale of meat belonging to threatened species.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Kristin De More via Freefoto