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May 15, 2012

HSUS Applauds New Jersey Assembly Committee for Passing Bill to Regulate Captive Tigers

Bill Would Help Prevent Captive Tigers in New Jersey from Entering the Exotic Animal Trade

The Humane Society of the United States applauds the New Jersey Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee for passing a measure to require certificates of registration for captive tigers. The bill, S945/A2200, sponsored by Sen. Raymond Lesniak, D-Union, and Assemblyman Upendra J. Chivukula, D-Somerset, passed with unanimous support. It now goes to the General Assembly for a vote.

While New Jersey prohibits the private ownership of tigers and other dangerous wild animals as pets, the new legislation will help ensure there is a mechanism in place so that other tigers in captivity do not fall into the exotic animal trade.

“The Humane Society of the United States is delighted that the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee voted unanimously to require owners of tigers held in captivity in New Jersey to register them,” said Kathleen Schatzmann, The HSUS’ New Jersey state director. “We urge the General Assembly to pass this measure right away to begin to protect tigers from the cruel exotic pet trade. We applaud Senator Lesniak’s and Assemblyman Chivukula’s leadership for introducing this needed bill.”

“This legislation will be an important tool to monitor these animals and may help prevent captive tigers from being used in the illegal wildlife trade,” said Sen. Lesniak. “By requiring certificates of registration for captive tigers, we will help put a stop to the illegal market for tiger parts in New Jersey.”

There are likely more tigers living in captivity in the United States today than exist in the wild. Rampant and careless breeding of tigers, mainly due to their explosion in popularity in the exotic pet trade, has caused a surplus of tigers in the Unites States. Since no agency tracks the disposition of surplus captive tigers, conservationists fear that some may end up fueling the illegal market for tiger parts and derivatives used in traditional Asian medicine that contributes to the decimation of wild populations.

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Media Contact: Raul Arce-Contreras, 301.721.6440, rcontreras@humanesociety.org

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