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January 17, 2014

Animal Protection Groups Ask California Court to Uphold Exotic Pet Law

The Fund for Animals

A roadside zoo big cat breeder in California is seeking to weaken that state’s exotic pet law, which protects public safety and animal welfare. California’s is one of the oldest such laws, requiring permits and inspections for facilities exhibiting dangerous wild animals.

The Humane Society of the United States and The Fund for Animals moved to intervene and defend the California law in a lawsuit filed by a member of the so-called “Zoological Association of America” who argues California’s exotic animal law is unconstitutional. The goal of the lawsuit is to avoid state requirements for caging and humane care of captive wildlife.

Unlike the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, a well-established zoological accreditation organization that promotes high standards for animal welfare, public safety and wildlife conservation, the deceptively named ZAA represents members with involvement in the exotic pet industry, some of whom have histories of animal abuse, wildlife trafficking and violent crime. California, like many other states, recognizes that AZA-accredited zoos can safely and humanely maintain dangerous wild animals in captivity, but does not afford the same legal status to roadside zoos such as ZAA facilities.

The HSUS and The Fund for Animals are represented by Beveridge & Diamond P.C. and lawyers with The HSUS’ Animal Protection Litigation section.

Media Contact: Naseem Amini, 301-548-7793, namini@humanesociety.org

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