In October 2011, dozens of exotic animals such as lions and rare tigers were released into human population by local private owner, Terry Thompson. This act not only put hundreds of the local populated area at very alarming high risk of extreme danger, it also led to “49 animals were slaughtered, including 18 Bengal tigers, 17 lions, six black bears, a pair of grizzlies, three mountain lions, two wolves and a baboon.”(abc news, paragraph7). Soon after Mr. Thompson released these animals, he then, cowardly took his own life.
Mr. Thompson had a history of trouble with the local authorizes before many times in the past but was he the source of the problem the lead to one of the worst animal’s massacre in our nation history. If someone gives a chimpanzee a gun and the chimpanzee shots someone, is the blame on the chimp or is the blame for that someone that gave the gun to the chimp in the first place? The laws that are in place for animal protection may be the gun that is giving to the chimp. Of course animals and human rights are different by nature because of where humans are placed at on the evolutionary scale but that needs be stricter newer laws in placed that ban private organizations from ownership of exotic animals and protect them from hunting and trapping for sport or profit.
The first problem is that there should be a ban on the private ownerships of exotic animals. The exotic animal trade industry is a very profitable network across the globe but “wherever they come from, the global commercialization of exotic animals is a multi-billion dollar industry that often results in animal cruelty, health risks and serious population declines.” (A.S.P.C.A., paragraph 1). This statement is very true due to the events that happen in the State of Ohio. The exploitation of these animals is a very serious matter among animal rights groups. Although many people might not share the same interests as theirs when it comes to different other issues surrounding animals’ rights that these groups believe in, but many people do agree that these animals should remain in their natural habitants unless there is a need to give them protection in fear of their safety.
The State of Ohio incident is a good example of how humans sometimes makes poor choices to their surrounding and disrupt the natural order of things. How can we make sure that this type of act does not happen again? Since this is a worldwide problem, what are the solutions that our government has in places for this issue? Every State in the United States has its own different types of regulation in regards to animals ‘rights. Some States, such as Alaska, have strict bans that prohibit the possession of exotic animals.
Other States, such as the State of Ohio, have no bans of the ownership of these animals, while the other States, such as Arizona and Arkansas do fall in the middle. In the State of Ohio, no one needs any type of license or permit to own any types of non-domestic animals. Now going back to the incident in the State of Ohio with Mr.Thompson, had a criminal record regarding the animal cruelty in the past, “According to investigators he has been cited in the past for animal abuse and neglect.” (abc news paragraph 20). There is a serious problem with our State government laws if a convicted criminal can have some of natural most beautiful and rare animals in their possession. Our local States government really needs to address this problem or another incident may take place that may end in a loss of human life.
The second problem is that there should be new laws in place to protect animal from hunting and trapping for sport or profit. Many of us do agree with animal rights groups on hunting and trapping of animals but from a different approach. We oppose hunting and trapping; if it is done as a sport or for personal gains and provides no importance in the development of mankind. Hunters and trappers in the exotic animal trade has a very special role to play “to meet the demand for exotic pets, thousands of animals are taken from their native lands each year, perpetuating the decline of many species and disrupting delicate ecosystems. The animals often endure horrific transport conditions before being sold—many die along the way.” (A.S.P.C.A., paragraph 5). Not only hunting and trapping of any class of animals is immoral from a personal gain viewpoint, it is also a quick way to eliminate the different species of the animal kingdom.
Like it was stated previously, every State has its own regulations regarding to animal rights. In the State of Ohio, someone a permit to obtain a non-domestic animal but does not need a permit to keep one. Let’s say a private reserve wildlife owner that wanted a couple of bobcats and a mountain lion, however, they could not get a permit from the State to go and purchase these particular animals. So the owner gives employee permission, and then the employee becomes a hunter. He tells the employee if he can go and get these animals for him, then he will pay the employee top dollar for them.
The employee agree with his order of goods that he is looking for and then go out on the hunt and trap these animals and make the drop off to hid owner. Another example is . A person was telling us a story of how he and his grandfather used to drive down the street to purposely hit a deer with their truck, so they can report to the local law enforcement to later take it home to eat. He thought the story was funny, but many of us thought it was horrible to kill animals that way. The animals are part of the circle of life, but they should not be killed just for fun. This is a good example of how someone can easily bend the laws to work in their favor. Now the law states that people do not need a permit for the ownership of non-domestic but the private reserve wildlife, so now the owner have a couple of bobcats and a mountain lion. What happen to the law that protects animal rights?
The solution to the first problem of why there should be a ban of private ownership of exotic animals is because they should only be in the care of a regulated government organization. Every zoo has to go through the proper paperwork and many processes to insure the safety of animals and the many the people that work with them and go and see them every day. These organizations such as “zoos, circuses, and marine mammal parks are regulated under the Animal Welfare Act and its regulations and inspected for compliance on a regular basis. Wildlife is not regulated unless exhibited to the public or used in research or teaching.” (USDA, 2011).
These government compounds for animals insure their safety and well-being under the Animal Welfare. As stated earlier in this essay about Ohio laws of permits for exotic animals, there are too many loop holes that a private wildlife owner can do to obtain these animals. In the State of Ohio, people needs a permit to purchase an exotic animal but that same people do not need a permit if they already have one. This type of loop hole in the State of Ohio’s animal rights laws is the reason why a massacre of these beautiful creatures happened in the first place. What can we do to make sure that another incident, like what happened in Ohio, won’t happen again? We cannot sit around and wait for our elected officials to make this decision on their own. Everyone can play his or her own part into making sure exotic animals are protected.
The Born Free foundation has five very important ways that anyone can do to ensure the safety of exotic animals. The first step we can take in the protection of these animals is to not buy them. If we stop contributing to the problem then it has very low potential of increasing rapidly. Second, if someone sees or hears about any type of exotic animal being mistreated, then it needs to be reported right away. Third, people should educate themselves of this type of animal issue. This is a good step into gaining knowledge and passing it alone to someone else, so more people can build a better understanding of this topic. Fourth, get behind to all legislation that supports the ban of owning exotic animals. The last one is being aware of the types of regulations of exotic animals in people’s home State. This last one would fall into the third step but it’s definitely a good piece of information to be aware of to know where your own home State stands on this issue (Born Free USA, 2011).
The second solution for having new laws set on hunting and trapping for sport or profit is to add new taxes laws to any person that has any types of licenses, permits or even a background history of dealing with any types of exotic breed of animals. It is fair to say that every hunter and trapper falls into the category of destroying these animals for sport or personal gain, but “although the majority of animals slaughtered for their fur come from notoriously cruel fur factory farms, trappers worldwide kill millions of raccoons, coyotes, wolves, bobcats, opossums, nutria, beavers, otters, and other fur-bearing animals every year for the clothing industry” (PETA, 2011). The hunting and trapping industry gross over billions of dollars and a lot of these businesses are exempt from taxes.
Every State has its own set of tax laws that govern anything that deals with the exotic animals business but “certain other types of businesses are specifically exempt by law or regulation. No exempt business has to be licensed or registered.” (Animal Welfare Act, paragraph 2). No wonder so many animals are getting slaughtered for their goods because the government tax laws are not strong enough to govern the revenue of income that brought in each year for this industry. With the proper tax laws being places on all avenues of this industry, then the hunting and trapping for personal gains will decrease. If our State government acts on this new idea of animal goods products being tax across the broad then the ending result would be less private ownership and less trade of these animals. Failure to proceed with this action may result in different incidents, like in the State of Ohio.
Not only adding new tax laws will help control this industry, but it will also help to create stronger permit laws for private wildlife owners. People believe that the new tax laws will automatically help to put a tougher ban in place for private ownership. The laws that are currently in place in the State of Ohio gives private wildlife reserve owners too much space in between to beat the system. The previous statement gave an example in essay about someone that wants any type exotic animal and does not need a permit to get one for them if they already own them in the State of Ohio. This person then turns to a trapper to gets what they want.
There needs to be a new tougher law in place for those State, like the State of Ohio, with those loop holes. If there was a law set in place that is says that every non-domestic animal must have a permit and if the person’s animal does not have one, then they will lose the animal. It will come to the conclusion of either pay a fine or lose any type of ownership rights for keeping any non-domestic breed; however, also the charges made are depending on the individual. If this was the case, then in this little what if story of the private wildlife owner would not pay the trapper to find exotic animals.
Call to Action
We do not have time to wait around for another “State of Ohio” incident to happen all over again. What will it take for our State government act on this issue? The all animals need us human’s protection. The reason for saying that is because we live together on this earth. The animals are our food source in many different ways. Even those animals that can harm us are in our circle of life. If there is no action taken on exotic animal ownership laws then the State of Ohio incident may just be the next step into a men, women, or child getting seriously injury or even killed. Does our State government will move than? We have to stop things before it happens and we need to prevent the problem. This “State of Ohio” incident should never happen in first place, if the law was not screw up the way it is. Yes, whether there’s a law for it or not, some people can be cruel to animals, however, we can lower the risk of those wild animals to be either injured or killed.
The animals on this planet are part of us from the start, and that fact will never change as long as this planet earth exists. The Born Free programs have come up with five different ways that everyone can help solve this problem. Every single person that is willing and able to move needs to play their own part into stopping the private ownership of non-domestic animals. The killings of billions of animals each year needs to be fully regulated by new government tax law to insure that each animal that is being killed or hunted down for providing a real purpose for humans and not for one’s personal gain or sport. Since the beginning of mankind, humans were put on this Earth to rule over all the thousands breeds of animals that exist here and that is the reason why we are different from animals and we have no equal rights.
Not only have we ruled over them but we are supposed to ensure their safety and needs, because they are our neighbors on this planet. Each of these different breeds of creature has earned the right to live with us from the beginning. So it’s only fair to say that these animals look up to us, humans for compassion and protection, because we rule over them. It is up to us, human to make the decisions, because the animals cannot make the decisions on their own. We need to make the right and safe decision for the animals for them to be able to live comfortable like how we human made our way on this planet. So let’s just give them what they need, treat them the way they deserve and protect them like they are supposed to be protected.
A.S.P.C.A. (2011). Exotic Pet Trade. A.S.P.C.A. Retrieved from. http://www.aspca.org/Fight-Animal-Cruelty/exotic-pet-faq.aspx
Born Free USA. (2003-2011). Summary of State Laws Relating to Private Possession of Exotic Animals. Retrieved from. http://www.bornfreeusa.org/b4a2_exotic_animals_summary.php
Caron, C. (2011, October 19). Zanesville Animal Massacre. Retrieved from. http://abcnews.go.com/US/zanesville-animal-massacre-included-18-rare-bengal
P.E.T.A. (2011). Inside the Fur Industry: Trapping Maims and Kills Animals. Retrieved from. http://www.peta.org/issues/Animals-Used-for-Clothing/inside-the-fur-industry-trapping-maims-and-kills-animals.aspx
U.S.D.A (2005). Animal Welfare Act. Retrieved from.
U.S.D.A. (2011). Animal Welfare Information Center. Retrieved from. http://awic.nal.usda.gov/nal_display/index.php?tax_level=1&info_center=3&tax_subject=180