Big ‘ol WTH to this! Breeding big cats in captivity could become LEGAL in Michigan under new legislation introduced in the House of Representatives this week.

House Bill 5778 was introduced by Representative Thomas Albert to create a licensing process for people who want to breed large carnivores in Michigan. As Michigan Live reports, this type of breeding was outlawed in 2000. To be able to qualify for a license, individuals breeding large carnivores would need to be a part of a business focused on showcasing the animals to the public for “educational purposes.”

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But here’s the thing: breeding tigers and other large animals in the name of “conservation” is a horrible idea. Recent numbers suggest there are more tigers in captivity than in the wild, with many people keeping them in backyards. These big cats often end up abandoned or killed as irresponsible owners often underestimate the financial and time commitments that come with … you know, housing a tiger! Big cats in captivity often exhibit zoochosis, a form of psychosis seen in captive wild animals. Additionally, tigers kept as pets or part of a backyard zoo have been shown to be 500 times more deadly than dogs in the United States. Not to mention the obvious fact that Michigan is NOTHING like the natural environments these animals come from. What’s more, humans have inbred tigers with the genetic defect that causes white pigmentation, to make “rare” white tigers, leading to deformities and crippling disabilities – all for the sake of making money. Is breeding animals to only deprive them of everything that is natural to them really worth their suffering? The answer is NO.

If any of these facilities that want to breed big cats were truly invested in the conservation of these species, they would not be trying to breed them in captivity a few THOUSAND miles away from their natural habitat. Instead, they might try to focus on real conservation efforts and put an end to poaching and habitat destruction where lions, tigers, and other big cats actually belong.

The good news is we CAN stop this ridiculous bill. If you live in Michigan, PLEASE contact your representatives and let them know you OPPOSE this bill! Email Representative Thomas Albert at [email protected] You can find your Michigan representative by clicking here. If you don’t live in Michigan but know of someone who does, SEND them this article! The more voices we have in opposition to this ludicrous bill, the better.

If you’re looking for more ways to help tigers and other large cats, check out the tips below:

Image Source: Gellinger/Pixabay