Pa. Senate considers ban of dangerous exotic pets

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HARRISBURG

The Humane Society of the United States is urging the state Senate to quickly pass a bill that would ban the private possession of dangerous exotic animals — including lions, tigers, bears, wolves, coyotes, bobcats, leopards, cougars, cheetahs, jaguars and primates. 

House Bill 1398, sponsored by Rep. Edward Staback, D-Lackawanna/Wayne, is in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Under current Pennsylvania law, it is legal to keep dangerous wild animals as pets provided the person purchases a permit from the Pennsylvania Game Commission to keep that animal. There is no requirement that the permit holder notify neighbors, local law enforcement or schools that the animal is being kept. There is very little regulatory oversight, according to the Humane Society.

The Humane Society recently released the results of an undercover investigation into GW Exotic Animal Park in Wynnewood, Okla., which revealed unwarranted breeding, tiger deaths and dangerous incidents involving paying customers and their children. The investigator witnessed or heard reports about numerous dangerous public interactions at the roadside zoo – some with a nearly full-grown tiger – including at least six cases where visitors were bitten or scratched.

The facility regularly takes tigers across state lines to shopping malls and other venues for photo opportunities with the public, according to the investigation. In 2008, GW Exotics shipped two 11-week-old tiger cubs to the Genesis Wildlife

Center in NayAug Park in Scranton – a year before Genesis closed down.

“The tigers from GW Exotics may now be living in a Pennsylvania backyard,” said Sarah Speed, Pennsylvania state director for the Humane Society. “We should not wait until another tragedy occurs before adopting strict standards in the law. Pennsylvania’s lawmakers should act swiftly to pass this bill to protect residents and prevent animals from suffering in backyards and basements.”

In 2009 Kelly Ann Waltz was attacked and killed by her pet bear in Ross Township, Monroe County. Waltz also held a permit allowing her to keep a Bengal tiger and an African lion. Waltz was cleaning the bear’s 15-foot by 15-foot steel and concrete enclosure when she was attacked. A neighbor shot the bear after the attack.

Ohio lawmakers this week are considering legislation banning private citizens from acquiring dangerous wild animals as pets.

The Pennsylvania bill does apply to reptiles, amphibians, birds, deer, guinea pigs, ferrets, alpacas and other animals. To see the most recent version of the bill visit:- http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/billinfo/billinfo.cfm?syear=2011&sind=0&body=H&type=B&BN=1398.

News Link:-http://www.publicopiniononline.com/localnews/ci_20676535/pa-senate-considers-ban-dangerous-exotic-pets

Alleged abuse at GW Exotic Animal Park seen on tape

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(CBS News) WYNNEWOOD, Okla.

There are more captive tigers in the U.S. today than there are in the wild throughout the world.

The popularity of exotic pets, such as tigers, lions, bears, even monkeys, has touched off a fierce debate between owners and animal activists.

Critics point to a recent tragedy in Zanesville, Ohio.

Five exotic animals were returned to an eastern Ohio farm earlier this month. It was a painful reminder of the day last October when owner Terry Thompson released 56 such animals before, police said, committing suicide.

Forty-eight of his animals were eventually killed by authorities concerned over public safety, pushing Ohio lawmakers to author a bill restricting private ownership of exotic pets.

Arguably, one of the loudest, most defiant voices on the front lines of the big cat debate is that of Joe Schreibvogel, owner of GW Exotic Animal Park outside Oklahoma City.

He’s had run-ins with regulators.

What is he standing up for?

“The American right (in the) Constitution to be able to own whatever I want to own, as long as it’s legal.”

State laws on private ownership of wild animals are all over the map.

GW Exotic is licensed by the federal government because it’s open to the public – charging admission to come very close to what Schreibvogel calls the largest “refuge” for “unwanted” animals in the world.

Rolling out over 54 acres, it’s home to nearly 170 big cats: lions, tigers, leopards, and about 800 other animals of every size and stripe, including camels and exotic birds.

He also runs a controversial breeding program, selling tiger cubs – only to zoos, he says – for up to $5,000 each and, at the same time, cross-breeding exotics like “ligers,” a cross between a lion and tiger, and even what he calls a tuliger, a mix of a liger and a tiger.

Does Schreibvogel have a background in zoology or veterinary medicine?

“I grew up a farm kid, and that’s pretty much my background,” he replied.

Over the years, GW Exotic has come under scrutiny by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for concerns ranging from “public contact with dangerous animals” to a “lack of physical barriers.

Armen Keteyian spoke with “CBS This Morning” co-hosts Erica Hill and Charlei Rose about the state of regulation of exotic animal ownership across the country, and about what it was like being so close to wild animals in GW Exotic Animals Park.

Records show that, in 2006, it had its license suspended for two weeks and paid $25,000 for “facilities violations”.

It is currently under investigation by the USDA for the death of 23 tiger cubs between 2009-2010.

Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, says, “If something does go wrong, it can happen on a scale and on a magnitude that we have not seen before in this country.”

The Humane Society was so concerned it recently sent an activist undercover into GW Exotics, posing as an employee.

“If he don’t want to walk,” Schreibvogel says as he’s seen in an undercover video smacking a cub, “smack him in the ass and make him walk.”

The undercover operative documented what the Humane Society calls alarming and abusive behavior.

Other undercover video shows a tiger being hit on the nose and a tiger being dragged on gravel.

In another incident on tape, a boy was suddenly attacked while interacting with a young tiger, and began screaming.

“Any person with any whit of common sense,” says Pacelle, “knows that large, predatory animals are going to lash out at people. That’s why sensible organizations say you have to keep people and dangerous wild animals separate.”

CBS News showed the undercover video to Schreibvogel, who charged the incident with the boy was “set up” by the Humane Society.

Is he saying the Humane Society would put a little boy in harm’s way?

“Oh, hell yeah, in a heartbeat,” Schreibvogel replied. “I am saying Wayne Pacelle would stoop low enough to put a little kid at risk to get his agenda, so he could continue to get money.”

Pacelle called that “a desperate and pitiful comment. Joe Schreibvogel has a history … of allowing private citizens, patrons, tourists to interact with his animals.”

Told that Pacelle had called GW Exotic “a ticking time bomb” potentially 10 times worse than Zainesville, Schreibvogel responded, “It is a ticking time bomb – if somebody thinks they’re going to walk in here and take my animals away, it’s going to be a small Waco.

Questioned about the highly emotive comparison by CBS News, he responded: “It’s a very powerful statement, because I have poured my entire life into what I do, to care for animals. Nobody is going to walk in here and freely shut me down and take my rights away from me as long as I am not breaking the law.”

Schreibvogel says he believes in regulation, but only in what he calls the “right” regulation, whatever that may be.

To see Armen Keteyian’s report, which has some of the undercover video, click on the video in the player above.

News Link:-http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505263_162-57435200/alleged-abuse-at-gw-exotic-animal-park-seen-on-tape

Tigers and Public in Danger at Roadside Zoo

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HSUS Undercover Investigation Reveals Dead Tigers, Safety Threats at Oklahoma’s GW Exotic Animal Park

Park may have more dangerous predators than any other roadside zoo in the nation

The Humane Society of the United States has released the results of an undercover investigation into an Oklahoma exotic animal park, where an investigator recorded tiger deaths, unwarranted breeding and dangerous incidents involving children and adults. HSUS undercover video footage taken at GW Exotic Animal Park in Wynnewood, Okla. in the summer and fall of 2011 shows potentially illegal actions that imperil both animals and humans.

GW Exotic Animal Park houses approximately 200 tigers and other dangerous exotic animals and is acting as a petting zoo and traveling zoo that breeds tiger and bear cubs and allows the public to handle exotic animals for a fee, both at its own facility and at shopping malls and other venues around the country. Today, The HSUS filed a series of complaints with state and federal authorities regarding potential legal violations, and called for strengthening certain areas of the law dealing with dangerous exotic wildlife.

Published on 16 May 2012 by 

An HSUS investigation, lasting from July through November 2011, shows a roadside zoo called G.W. Exotics in Oklahoma where animals like tigers and lions are kept in cruel conditions and allowed to interact with the public

At least five tigers died at the facility during the investigationtwo of them had been sick for months and may have been shot by GW employees. A 6-year-old tiger named Hobbes died without receiving veterinary care and a 6-week-old cub being raised inside the GW owner’s house somehow sustained head injuries and had to be euthanized. And the death of 23 infant tigers at the facility over a 13-month period between 2009 and 2010 prompted the U.S. Department of Agriculture to open an investigation into GW Exotics for the unexplained death rate at the park

Read the rest of this news here:-http://www.humanesociety.org/news/press_releases/2012/05/ok_exotics_investigation.html

NEW PETITION TO ENSURE TONY IS RELEASED TO A REPUTABLE SANCTUARY

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NEW PETITION TO ENSURE TONY IS RELEASED TO A REPUTABLE SANCTUARY

Link to petition on  Care2 network   Petition on Change.org

We have all fought long & hard for Tony the tiger, I’m so grateful to all those that have signed & noted the numerous post’s.  Many people think Tony has already been moved to a sanctuary…BUT HE IS STILL AT THE TRUCK STOP…If Michael Sandlin has his way, Tony will go to live at G.W.Exotics…thats worse than where he is now!! A proper sanctuary doesn’t breed tiger cubs for photo shoot’s to earn money…G.W.Exotics does exactly that!!

Clearly this facility does not comply with the following sanctuary criteria as defined by The Captive Wildlife Safety Act:
• Must be a non-profit entity that is tax exempt under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code
• Cannot engage in commercial trade in big cat species, including their offspring, parts, and products made from them
• Cannot breed big cats
• Cannot allow direct contact between big cats and the public at their facilities
• Must keep records of transactions involving covered cats
• Must allow the Service to inspect their facilities, records, and animals at reasonable hours

Reference: http://www.fws.gov/le/pdffiles/CWSA_Factsheet.pdf

Ref: UAPPEAL & USZA –  sound very official acronyms don’t they… you will these on the G.W.Exotic website

UAPPEAL Is Just a Group of Exotic Animal Owners It is just an officious sounding name for a small group of exotic pet owners, lead by Joe Exotic Schreibvogel of G.W. Exotic Animal Park, who have made it their mission to block any law that would restrict the private ownership of dangerous wild animals.

USZA Isn’t a Real Accrediting Body It is just an officious sounding name for a small group of exotic pet owners, lead by Joe Exotic Schreibvogel of G.W. Exotic Animal Park, who have made it their mission to block any law that would restrict the private ownership of dangerous wild animals.

PLEASE PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION & FORWARD IT TO FRIENDS, WE CAN’T LET TONY GO TO G.W.EXOTICS

Ref: Please check out Joe Exotic below

http://911animalabuse.com/?s=Joe+Exotic&submit.x=0&submit.y=0&submit=Go

Thank you

GW’s Sleazy Associates

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People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

via GW’s Sleazy Associates.

GW’s Exotic Animal Trade | PETA.org

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Legitimate sanctuaries do not breed, buy, sell, or trade animals. True sanctuaries provide animals with lifetime care and operate under conditions that far exceed the minimal standards of the federal Animal Welfare Act.

On the other hand, a pseudo-sanctuary, such as G.W. Exotic Animal Memorial Park,breeds animals to keep itself supplied with cute babies to draw visitors to the park, profits by using them for public photo opportunities, and buys, sells, and trades animals.

via GW’s Exotic Animal Trade | PETA.org.

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