Okay, I know I haven’t posted in forever but I haven’t been sure what to post. As you can probably tell, I prefer to post about topics and my opinions on those topics rather than what’s going on in my everyday life. Well, I suppose this post is a combination so I don’t feel like I’m just prattling on about something nobody cares about.
Last week, a man in southern Ontario was killed by his pet tiger. Coincidentally, this man was the leader of the Canadian organisation for exotic animal owners. Of course, AR activists jumped on this immediately, as well as various neighbours who have been pushing to get rid of the exotic cats, with no success. The AR activists have even gone so far as to push premier Dalton Mguinty to ‘regulate’ (read, ban) ownership of exotic animals. Luckily, he seems reluctant to do so and would rather leave it to individual municipalities. Hopefully, he will maintain this mindset.
In an attempt to exert some damage control, I have written this article.
‘No reason to ban exotic cats
Throughout North America, there have been many local governments coerced into passing exotic animal bans by both extreme animal rights activists and private citizens who allow fear to consume them and block out logic. The pressure is usually doubled right after an incident because people believe that what has just been portrayed in the news, can happen anywhere. In fact, this is the idea that AR groups are constantly pushing.
Recently, a man in southern Ontario was killed by his pet tiger. Nobody can say how or why because nobody saw it happen but they all assume that the reason it happened was simply because tigers should not be kept as pets. First of all, there’s a logical error in assuming what happened. There are a variety of scenarios that could have led to the man’s death and I’m sure if you asked a seasoned exotic cat owner, they could tell you. Second of all, if you think about the handful of incidents that have taken place in the last two decades in the situation of private ownership of big cats, you’ll realise that almost all the injured parties are the owners themselves. There is very little danger to the public and in the case of responsible exotic ownership, there is no danger to the public. The possible dangers of big cat ownership are something that the majority of people know going into it, therefore making it just like any hobby-related danger. There have been many deaths due to hobbies such as freefalling and bungee jumping yet you don’t see people calling for those activities to be banned. Therefore, there is no logical reason for exotic ownership to be banned while people are still able to take part in the above-mentioned activities.
To see details on incidents involving exotic cats, go to the statistics page on the website for REXANO, which stands for Responsible Exotic Animal Owners. Under United States statistics, there is a list of those deaths related to captive big cats versus other causes of death, as well as a list of the big cat related deaths and some information on who was involved. Of the twenty big cat related deaths between 1994 and 2008, only two were due to pets and those were due to bad choices made by the owner. It is important to note that those people do not reflect the entirety of the exotic ownership community. In fact, while the number of deaths related to big cats over eighteen years equalled twenty, thousands of other big cats were being kept with no problem. It is estimated by officials that there are more tigers being kept in captivity in North America than there are left in the wild. This would suggest that for every incident involving a captive tiger, there are possibly tens of thousands of captive tigers that have never hurt anybody. Really, when you think about that, exotic cat ownership doesn’t seem so scary anymore.’
I sent this off to a newspaper in Ottawa and when they din’t reply to me (it’s the second time they haven’t even bothered to reply, grrr) I sent it off to a Toronto newspaper. It is late but hopefully, they will see the importance of running it. I could probably rant and rave about this issue a little more but I think I’m just going to sit back and see what happens with the toronto newspaper.