This is about the United States Fish and Wildlife Service's (USFWS) proposal to rescind (meaning remove in this instance) the exemption from the requirement of registration - the permit and reporting requirements that normally apply to endangered species - of so called generic tigers in the USA.
Generic tigers are, if you like, non-purebred tigers. They are not one of the subspecies of tiger. They are hybrids. However there are large numbers of them in the USA in private hands and that is astonishing to Europeans.
USFWS don't really know how many there are and whether the tigers feed the insatiable demand for tiger body parts that is fed from tiger farms in China. It is possible that tigers are being killed in the USA and exported to China.
To remove the exemption to register would allow the authorities to monitor the situation, to have a handle on it and thereby help tiger conservation.
This is because farming tigers feeds the tiger body part trade. This promotes that trade which is highly detrimental to the tiger's survival in wild.
At the moment the USFWS are going through a consultation process before making a decision to change the regulations.
They invite correspondence from around the world. If you want to help the tiger and inject some control over ad hoc private captive tigers facilities, about which we know very little on the ground, then please go the USFWS website and complete the form. It may help make this important change. It is overdue.
The Feline Conservation Federation (FCF) is fighting to leave things as they are. I find this shocking to be honest because the FCF as their title implies is about conservation and the proposed change can only assist in conservation and in addition it will probably release many captive tigers from miserable lives in cages in the USA.
There are an estimated 5,000 captive tigers in Texas alone. This is far more than all the wild tigers put together! An astonishing fact and very sad for people who care about nature. However it is said that this estimate is highly exaggerated and in fact there are far less. We are not sure.
Here is a link to the page to have your say:
I understand that you have to do this before 21st September 2011. If you like you can write:
Public Comments Processing
Division of Policy and Directives Management
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042-PDM
Arlington, VA 22203
But act fast please.
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