Tell USFWS to Rescind the Generic Tiger Exemption

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Originally Posted: 25 August 2011

Tell USFWS to Rescind the Generic Tiger Exemption

[Ed. Note: For more about tigers and the realities they face, read CAPS Exposes Zoo Breeding Tigers for Circus Owner, EU, China and India Thrash Out Deal on Tigers and Tiger Parts, Tiger Farm Horrors.]

FROM Big Cat Rescue

ACTION

Tell the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to rescind the generic tiger exemption. That exemption covered "privately owned" tigers from being protected. We need ALL tigers in captivity in the U.S. to be protected from being bred, raised and slaughtered for the enormous illegal trade in tiger parts and products, like tiger bone wine and alleged "traditional" medicines and aphrodisiacs.

To have any chance of saving the tiger from extinction in the wild we must control and track their breeding in the U.S. to be sure our tigers are not going into the illegal trade.

Take action before September 21. If you have any difficulty with their website, please mail a letter in your own words to:

Public Comments Processing
Attn: FWS-R9-IA-2011-0027
Division of Policy and Directives Management
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042-PDM
Arlington, VA 22203

FWS is not accepting emails, but you can comment on line. Go to Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants: U.S. Captive-bred Inter-subspecific Crossed or Generic Tigers (Document ID FWS-R9-IA-2011-0027-0001) and click on Submit a Comment button at the top right. Please enter your name and address so they know it is a real person:
http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FWS-R9-IA-2011-0027-0001

INFORMATION / TALKING POINTS

There is an enormous illegal trade in tiger parts and products made from their parts, like tiger bone wine and alleged “traditional” medicines and aphrodisiacs. We have no way to know how many of the thousands of tigers that languish in private hands in the U.S. in squalid conditions are being killed and sold into this very lucrative illegal trade.

The reason we don’t know how many tigers there are, and where they are, is that in 1998 the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) created a rule that exempted “generic” tigers from the permit and reporting requirements that normally apply to endangered species. All tigers bred outside of AZA accredited zoos are generic. Lack of reporting makes it very easy to kill a tiger and sell its parts without detection. Increasing the supply of these tiger products builds the market for them and creates greater and greater incentives for poachers to kill the rapidly shrinking population of wild tigers.

To have any chance of saving the tiger from extinction in the wild we must control and track their breeding in the U.S. to be sure our tigers are not going into the illegal trade. After FWS received thousands of emails from our supporters and others in recent years, we are thrilled to report that FWS has responded by proposing a new rule removing the exemption!

This is fantastic news, but the battle is not yet won. The people who want to use and abuse tigers and rampantly breed generic tigers to make money selling and exhibiting them will be writing in to oppose this. The proposed rule is open to public comment until September 21, 2011. We need to support FWS by showing that the overwhelming majority of Americans love tigers and want to protect them from abuse and slaughter in captivity and extinction in the wild. It is critical that FWS receive comments from you supporting this proposal!

You don’t have to be eloquent. Just let them know you are FOR the new rule rescinding the generic tiger exemption. (This is the main point and really all you need to say.) If you like you can point out, as FWS says in their explanation for rescinding the rule, that breeding generic tigers has no conservation value and that we should control breeding so trade in their parts does not further threaten the survival of the tiger in the wild. Please use your own words – comments that appear to be “form letters” have less impact.


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