U.S. urged to regulate ‘backyard tigers’

Apparently some people like to keep tigers as pets. This seems like a dumb idea to me, and after all, who needs a tiger in their backyard? But of course, what has need got to do with it?

CNN article doesn’t really list much wrong with keeping a tiger. Maybe there are other cases, but they only list 2 tiger attacks in the U.S. A 10 year old boy was killed by his ant’s pet tiger and the other was Siegfried’s Roy getting mauled. Siegfried and Roy could hardly be considered backyard tiger keepers so I’m not sure why that is relevant.

The article also says that some tigers are kept in bad conditions. So we have children getting killed by pets and pets being kept in bad conditions. There is nothing different here between tigers and dogs. Leigh Henry of the World Wildlife Fund isn’t even worried about those two things any way. What distresses him the most is “when you know tigers are supposed to be ranging over hundreds and hundreds of acres,” but instead they are kept in cages that are too small. Uh, doesn’t that describe just about every Zoo in the U.S.? I’ve been to the Oklahoma City Zoo several times (unfortunately) and haven’t seen any hundred acre habitats. So what does that have to do with “backyard tigers”?

Although apparently there are no problems with backyard tigers, as related by the article, that don’t also apply to millions of dogs in the U.S., I’m sure Mr. Henry has a sensible solution that uses the least amount of government power to alleviate the problems of A) tigers occasionally killing people and B) poor treatment of tigers and C) cages that are too small.

These yawning gaps in regulation could be resolved by implementing “a central reporting system and database run by the federal government and that would be required for all tigers in the U.S. without exception,” Henry says.

“We want to know where all these animals are, who owns them, when they’re sold and transferred, when they are born, when they die, so we have a better grasp on what going on with this immense population of tigers to ensure they are not filtering into illegal trade,” Henry said.

WTF? How does a mandatory federal government database resolve any of those problems? It wouldn’t, it would not solve any of the problems outlined in the rest of the article. I tell you what it would do though. It would make it easier to go back through that list when they get laws passed banning the private keeping of tigers. Why does that sound familiar? What is it… just something…almost on the tip of my fingers…hmmm…what could it be?

h/t The Agitator.

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  • Brass  On October 25, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    I find it interesting that there are only 2900 Tigers in the wild but over 5000 in the US with the majority of those not in zoos.

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