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Comments Opened: "Petition to Amend Animal Welfare Act Regulations to Prohibit Public Contact with Dangerous Animals"

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Peacefulward
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Comments Opened: "Petition to Amend Animal Welfare Act Regulations to Prohibit Public Contact with Dangerous Animals"

Postby Peacefulward » Sat Jul 09, 2016 7:26 pm

The government has opened comments for the proposed amendments to the Animal Welfare act, banning the handling and contact with big cats, bears, and nonhuman primates. They are also seeking comments for questions like:

"1. What factors and characteristics should determine if a type of animal is suitable for public contact? When the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) describes an animal as dangerous, there are certain characteristics we use to classify the animals, such as the size, strength, and instinctual behavior of an animal, risk of disease transmission between animals and humans (i.e., zoonoses such as Herpes B), and ability to safely and humanely handle (or control) the animal in all situations.

2. What animals should APHIS consider including under the definition of dangerous animals? For example, are all nonhuman primates dangerous? We currently identify some animals as dangerous, including, but not limited to, nondomestic felids (such as lions, tigers, jaguars, mountain lions, cheetahs, and any hybrids thereof), wolves, bears, certain nonhuman primates (such as gorillas, chimps, and macaques), elephants, hippopotamuses, rhinoceroses, moose, bison, camels, and common animals known to carry rabies.

3. What animals may pose a public health risk and why? What risks does public contact with dangerous animals present to the individual animal and the species and why?

4. What are the best methods of permanent, usable animal identification for dangerous animals?

5. What are the most humane training techniques to use with dangerous animals?

6. What scientific information (peer-reviewed journals preferred) is available that identifies the appropriate weaning ages for nondomestic felids, bears, elephants, wolves, nonhuman primates, and other dangerous animals?

7. What industry, organizational, or governmental standards have been published for the handling and care of dangerous animals?

8. What constitutes sufficient barriers for enclosures around dangerous animals to keep members of the public away from the animals? What methods (structures, distance, attendants, etc.) are needed to prevent entry of the public into an enclosure and keep the animal safe while still allowing for meaningful viewing?"


So if you have anything to say, make sure you comment. This has the potential to affect exotic pet owners and private owners as well. :icon-frown:

https://www.regulations.gov/document?D= ... 0107-15341
5 Dogs, 2 cats, 2 leopard geckos, 1 guinea pig, 1 axolotl, and a coatimundi currently in my family. :)

Exotic "wishlist": red fox, arctic fox, gray fox, bat eared fox, fennec fox, mink, muntjac deer, owl (any species).
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Ana
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Re: Comments Opened: "Petition to Amend Animal Welfare Act Regulations to Prohibit Public Contact with Dangerous Animals

Postby Ana » Sat Jul 09, 2016 10:57 pm

Statistically, the dog is the most dangerous animal around. Any plans in there to manage that threat?
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Peacefulward
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Re: Comments Opened: "Petition to Amend Animal Welfare Act Regulations to Prohibit Public Contact with Dangerous Animals

Postby Peacefulward » Sun Jul 10, 2016 6:52 pm

Of course not, all the comments I see are baseless and silly too. When will people stop trying to take our rights away, just because in their opinion something is a bad pet?
5 Dogs, 2 cats, 2 leopard geckos, 1 guinea pig, 1 axolotl, and a coatimundi currently in my family. :)

Exotic "wishlist": red fox, arctic fox, gray fox, bat eared fox, fennec fox, mink, muntjac deer, owl (any species).
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Re: Comments Opened: "Petition to Amend Animal Welfare Act Regulations to Prohibit Public Contact with Dangerous Animals

Postby Ana » Sun Jul 10, 2016 10:02 pm

I quit writing letters years ago, it bred resentment and hostility in me, :lol:, and I needed to be more productive, but I went ahead and wrote in for this, and I think everyone should. We've been singled out, as a group, and it's unwarranted, it's ridiculous, and it's frigging un-American.

America is a county that was founded in freedom and personal liberty. The desire for personal autonomy is an integral part of the American spirit, and the American experience, and it's natural that we would feel not just unease, but insult, at the notion of increased government control over our choices. In this current climate of divisiveness and hostility, this legislation is insensitive and ill-timed.

Having said that, many of the animals in question are in need of safety and shelter in the hands of responsible, ethical stewards who have pursued their passion to care for these animals, who are routinely encroached upon and killed by the relentless growth of humanity. The idea of depriving these animals of safety and love is unconscionable.

Certainly there is a degree of danger associated with a great many American past times, hobbies and passions. This has never played a role in restricting the freedom of choice for law-abiding, taxpayers. Nor should it. Please consider the erosion of our fundamental rights, and the resentment it breeds amongst otherwise hard-working, optimistic Americans.

My proposed compromise would be the careful regulation of housing and management, to ensure ethical housing and care of these animals, who are entitled to lives that are enriched by their association with humans, and never degraded.
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Re: Comments Opened: "Petition to Amend Animal Welfare Act Regulations to Prohibit Public Contact with Dangerous Animals

Postby Juska » Mon Jul 11, 2016 2:51 pm

I left a comment.

"If this amendment included domestic dogs and cats, who by under this amendment would fit were they not considered "exotic" and "dangerous" by the general, non-experienced public, there would without a doubt be an outcry as to why the government wants to take away their precious pets. They didn't hurt anyone, so why should they be taken away or people banned from owning them? Why take away the right to have any animal that can be owned as a companion? Because some people who've never encountered or interacted with privately kept "exotic pets" think they're inherently dangerous? Because the only time you hear about "exotic pets" on the news is when something goes wrong, much like shark and pit bull "attacks"? These opinions are derived from their only knowledge of these animals: watching them on television, either in wildlife shows where the animals were born and raised wild, or on shows/news outlets that demonize them and their owners.

I do not believe, as a contributing, right-holding citizen of the United States of America, that other people's uneducated, inexperienced opinions, based only on fear and misguided information, should be the law. And that is what anti-pet ownership laws, acts, regulations and amendments therein are. They're knee-jerk reactions to fear and resentment for something they know little to nothing about."
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Re: Comments Opened: "Petition to Amend Animal Welfare Act Regulations to Prohibit Public Contact with Dangerous Animals

Postby TamanduaGirl » Mon Jul 11, 2016 5:59 pm

This is just prohibiting public contact. Like no more tiger cub photos and no more visiting foxes and getting to touch them, as they are a rabies risk, not banning owning them.
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Re: Comments Opened: "Petition to Amend Animal Welfare Act Regulations to Prohibit Public Contact with Dangerous Animals

Postby caninesrock » Mon Jul 11, 2016 10:50 pm

This could be bad. Many legitimate sanctuaries and educational facilities use animal encounters to bring in money that just non-profit funding by itself wouldn't support.

Wolves are included among this and I can think of several places off the top of my head that allow wolf encounters that would be really hurt by this law:
Wolf Park (Highly respected and well-known educational facility completely dedicated to educating the public that wolves are not vicious monsters. Yet the government wants to reinforce that ignorant stereotype by not allowing Wolf Park to offer encounters anymore.)

Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary ( A Sanctuary that rescues wild dogs, such as wolves, wolfdogs, coyotes, coydogs, foxes, and even New Guinea singing dogs and dingoes. They allow the public to interact with wolves as well in several animal encounters. These encounters help to give them funding to support the sanctuary so they can rescue more animals.)

Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center (Another sanctuary that gets funding by doing wolf encounters.)

Then, there's the matter of what constitutes the public in this law?

Is the public anyone not employed by the facility that owns the animals?

Does that then mean that intern and volunteers, who usually aren't paid and technically aren't actually employed by the company since they get no pay, would be considered the public and not allowed to interact with the animals?

What about vets who need to treat these animals? Would they be exempt or would they have to be specifically employed by the facility to not be considered a member of the public?

Also, the trend of petting zoos, safari type places where you can feed things like deer, etc., and even of cases like Romeo the Wolf where wild animals befriend humans, or the baby bison who got "rescued" by well-intended tourists, but had to be euthanized, prove that people want direct contact with animals. They don't just want to stare at them from behind a fence like in AZA zoos. Speaking of, although not with wolves, big cats, primates, or bears, some AZA zoos do offer paid encounters with animals like feeding giraffes, a encounter with sea lions that they used to have at the Houston Zoo, but sadly don't have any more, and while usually full of domestic animals, almost every big zoo you go to will have a petting zoo area. Then, the rodeo here has everything from camel and elephant rides to photoshoots with wallabies to a petting zoo with deer, wallabies, and other small exotics as well as typical domestic species you'd find in a petting zoo. Our culture is changing. Gone are the days when people were satisfied with watching animals from a distance in the wild or staring at them in cages. Today people want to interact and bond with animals, whether domestic or wild. That's the reason why you always see signs like "Don't feed the bears, Don't feed the dingoes, Don't feed the [insert any other species here]." Because people want to interact with these animals. But when its wild animals (as in animals born and living in the wild) it becomes dangerous for the humans and the animals who often end up killed by hunters since they are easy targets due to their lack of fear of humans. Keeping these species in captivity and allowing them to be imprinted on humans helps people to have the experience they crave from those animals living in the wild without putting the wild-living animals in danger of being shot (since captive animals usually don't have to worry about that) or putting the general public at risk by feeding wildlife since the only people interacting with said captive animals are people that freely choose to do so and know the risk they are getting into.

Heck, Japan even has things like hedgehog cafes, restaurants where monkeys are your "waiters", free-roaming deer in many cities, and a fox petting zoo. All those animals are considered exotic and wild here in the United States, but Japan has never had any problem with them, so it proves people and animals, even so-called wild animals can co-exist.
Exotic Wishlist: high content wolfdog or wolf,low to mid content wolfdog, Coyote, Coydog, Black-backed Jackal, New Guinea Singing Dog, Red Fox, Gray Fox, Mink, Raccoon, Coati,and Kinkajou.

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Re: Comments Opened: "Petition to Amend Animal Welfare Act Regulations to Prohibit Public Contact with Dangerous Animals

Postby caninesrock » Mon Jul 11, 2016 11:03 pm

Edit: I left an abridged version of my post as a comment:
Many legitimate sanctuaries and educational facilities use animal encounters to bring in money that just non-profit funding by itself wouldn't support.

Wolves are included among this and I can think of several places off the top of my head that allow wolf encounters that would be really hurt by this law:
Wolf Park (Highly respected and well-known educational facility completely dedicated to educating the public that wolves are not vicious monsters. Yet the government wants to reinforce that ignorant stereotype by not allowing Wolf Park to offer encounters anymore.)

Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary ( A Sanctuary that rescues wild dogs, such as wolves, wolfdogs, coyotes, coydogs, foxes, and even New Guinea singing dogs and dingoes. They allow the public to interact with wolves as well in several animal encounters. These encounters help to give them funding to support the sanctuary so they can rescue more animals.)

Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center (Another sanctuary that gets funding by doing wolf encounters.)

Then, there's the matter of what constitutes the public in this law?

Is the public anyone not employed by the facility that owns the animals?

Does that then mean that intern and volunteers, who usually aren't paid and technically aren't actually employed by the company since they get no pay, would be considered the public and not allowed to interact with the animals?

What about vets who need to treat these animals? Would they be exempt or would they have to be specifically employed by the facility to not be considered a member of the public?

Our culture is changing. Gone are the days when people were satisfied with watching animals from a distance in the wild or staring at them in cages. Today people want to interact and bond with animals, whether domestic or wild. That's the reason why you always see signs like "Don't feed the bears, Don't feed the dingoes, Don't feed the [insert any other species here]." Because people want to interact with these animals. But when its wild animals (as in animals born and living in the wild) it becomes dangerous for the humans and the animals who often end up killed by hunters since they are easy targets due to their lack of fear of humans. Keeping these species in captivity and allowing them to be imprinted on humans helps people to have the experience they crave from those animals living in the wild without putting the wild-living animals in danger of being shot (since captive animals usually don't have to worry about that) or putting the general public at risk by feeding wildlife since the only people interacting with said captive animals are people that freely choose to do so and know the risk they are getting into.
Exotic Wishlist: high content wolfdog or wolf,low to mid content wolfdog, Coyote, Coydog, Black-backed Jackal, New Guinea Singing Dog, Red Fox, Gray Fox, Mink, Raccoon, Coati,and Kinkajou.

Domestic Wishlist: dogs, cats, ferrets, donkey, mule
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Ana
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Re: Comments Opened: "Petition to Amend Animal Welfare Act Regulations to Prohibit Public Contact with Dangerous Animals

Postby Ana » Tue Jul 12, 2016 12:58 pm

Yeah, it's per usual vaguely worded in order to encompass as much restriction as possibly. Best to use any opportunity to let them know we're here, we're aware, and it's not okay.

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