The recent tragedy in Ohio has prompted the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to call for a ban on private ownership of tigers. There are more tigers in captivity in the United States (an estimated 5,000) than there are in the wild (as few as 3,200).
26 states have laws banning the possession of tigers in private collections and other states need to match that commitment to protect people and animals. 8 states don’t have any laws at all on tigers and 16 states allow for the keeping of tigers by individuals, but require a state permit or registration.
Lack of regulation of tiger ownership in the U.S. results in inability to track how many tigers are being bred or born each year, how many die (naturally or otherwise), or what happens to tigers or their parts when the animals or their owners die.
WWF is calling for a ban on private ownership of tigers in the U.S. and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to require all people and facilities with existing USDA licenses for exhibition or breeding/dealing in tigers to report annually on the number of tigers held, births, mortality, transfer, or sale.
Image Source: Dave Stokes/Flickr