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A bill in the Missouri House would outlaw large lions and tigers as pets

April 13, 2004
By: Monica Walter
State Capital Bureau
Links: HB 1627

A Missouri House of Representatives committee was urged to outlaw the breeding and selling of lions and tigers. Monica Walter reports from the Capitol.

RunTime:
OutCue: SOC

Warren County Representative Mike Sutherland is sponsoring a bill to outlaw people from keeping large carnivores, like lions and tigers, on their property.

Sutherland introduced the bill to protect people and their farms from the 75 large cats living on the Warren County farm.

Actuality: Mike Sutherland
RunTime: 16 sec
OutCue:
Contents: " In this case because of public health concerns, public safety concerns, I felt like this issue of having some sort of oversight on the keeping of large carnivores, namely lions and tigers, should be something that the state should do."

The bill mainly targets third class counties because they cannot pass local ordinaces to prevent this and they cannot have animal control departments. From the state Capitol, I'm Monica Walter.

mrw

A farm in Warren County is home to over 75 lions and tigers. A bill before the Missouri House aims to protect rural farmers from these large cats. Monica Walter reports from the Capitol.

RunTime:
OutCue: SOC

The Warren County farm is not licensed to breed these large animals. The owners lost their USDA license because the living circumstances for the animals did not meet federal standards.

But that wasn't the end of it.

Since Warren County is a third class county, there is no animal control department, nor county ordinances to enforce the order.

One neighbor of the farm says she feels threatened by the cats because they are not taken care of or fed properly.

Actuality: Rosella
RunTime: 13 sec
OutCue:
Contents: "If you lived where I did, I live within two miles of them, we have horses, sheep, goats, at night time you can hear these animals roar, when you drive by you know the cages aren't secure.

At a public hearing on the bill, no one from the Warren county cat farm was there to defend their position. From the Capitol, I'm Monica Walter.

mrw

A bill before the Missouri House would keep track of large cats, like lions and tigers, and regulate illegal breeding. Monica Walter reports from the Capitol.

RunTime:
OutCue: SOC

Most counties have ordinances that outlaw keeping large carnivores, like lions and tigers, as pets.

But small class three counties, like Warren County, do not have ordinances like this.

At a public hearing on the bill, Warren County farmers described a farm that houses over 75 lions and tigers. The farmers say they are threatened by the big cats living so close to them.

But they're not just in Warren County.

RunTime:
OutCue: SOC

There were no opponents of the bill present at the hearing. From the state capitol, I'm Monica Walter.