Take immediate action for exotic cats in Missouri!
Proposed bills in Missouri would prevent local authorities from inspecting roadside zoos and circuses. Time is of the essence.
Missouri House Bill 951 aims to prevent local authorities from inspecting facilities that raise livestock or are used for "the production or raising of dogs or other animals..."
How does that impact exotic cats? The bill language is so vaguely written and poorly thought out that it does not include any definitions for keywords such as raising and livestock. Animal welfare experts in the state believe that the term raising would encompass the breeding, housing, and care of exotic wildlife, such as tigers and lions, kept at roadside zoos or used by the circus. Moreover, Missouri statutes have various definitions for livestock, with the primary meaning explicitly including exotic animals!
(5) "Livestock", cattle, swine, sheep, goats, horses and poultry, llamas, alpaca, buffalo, bison, and other domesticated or semidomesticated or exotic animals;
The Missouri House has already voted HB951 forward. But we have a chance to stop it in the Senate where it has also been rolled into a larger agriculture bill SB133, allowing two avenues for passage.
These bills would restrict public safety officials from ensuring that exhibitors who raise dangerous exotic animals, such as lions and tigers, are securely housing their animals to prevent an escape or injurious activity. Likewise, they tie the hands of animal control officers from responding to citizen concerns about the welfare of animals and investigating reports of cruelty, neglect, or abuse at roadside zoos and circuses.
TAKE ACTION NOW! A vote could occur any day. Urge your state senator to oppose both HB951 and SB133.
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