Canada Needs Programs that “take seriously the well-being of humans, animals and the environment” – Brock U. Expert

“It’s legal to own tigers in most of Canada. … and lions. and monkeys. Trade, consumption and possession of wild animals is not simply ‘over there’ or the domain of Joe Exotic.”

“Research suggests the trade and consumption of wild animals are the origin of this pandemic, and this has been true of most recent outbreaks.”

This magnificant wild animals does not belong in a hallway of a building somewhere in Canada. WE HAVE GOT TO STOP THIS!

A News Release from Brock University in St. Catharines, Niagara

Posted April 7th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – Think there are no Tiger Kings in Canada? Think again, says Brock expert

As the world reels from the physical, psychological, social and economic effects of COVID-19, millions of people are being temporarily distracted by the Netflix docuseries Tiger King.

Brock University’s Kendra Coulter has remained a strong voice for protecting wildlife and our environment. Join her in championing these issues.

For many, the show has a Jerry Springer effect, allowing viewers to watch — with their jaws dropped — people and places that seem so different and shocking. But Brock University Associate Professor and Labour Studies Chair Kendra Coulter says Tiger King is more of a reflection of Canadian society than many think it is.

“It’s legal to own tigers in most of Canada,” she says. “And lions. And monkeys. Trade, consumption and possession of wild animals is not simply ‘over there’ or the domain of Joe Exotic.”

Coulter, an expert in animal welfare issues, says that while precise numbers are difficult to obtain, the best data suggests there are more than 1.5 million privately owned exotic animals in Canada, including more than 3,000 big cats.

“Each province determines how or if it will regulate the importation and possession of exotic animals, so the specifics vary greatly around the country,” she says. “There is a 50-page list of banned species in B.C., but in Ontario, it’s only illegal to own two kinds of animals: orcas and pit bulls.

“The province’s 444 municipalities are empowered to make bylaws that prohibit or restrict exotic animal ownership and some have done so, but many have not.”

Along with our federal and provincial governments, every municipalities across Ontario and Canada should pass bylaws prohibiting this.

But Tiger King is connected to the COVID-19 pandemic in more ways than just being a distraction, Coulter says.

“Research suggests the trade and consumption of wild animals are the origin of this pandemic, and this has been true of most recent outbreaks,” she says. “But this zoonotic (human to animal) transmission did not occur in a vacuum. As the United Nations Environmental Program and many researchers have been pointing out for decades, rampant deforestation, industrial animal agriculture and the global trade in exotic species have combined to create a ‘ticking time bomb.’”

Coulter believes Tiger King is also a reflection of society.

“Both have misogyny and domestic violence, people marginalized because of their sexual and gender identities, disabilities and criminal records and people desperate for income and a job, a sense of belonging, love, status and respect,” she says. “Most glaringly, the selfish use and abuse of animals, to their detriment, and to our own, is all too real.”

Confined in a cage somewhere in Ontario. How was this allowed to happen in Canada?

Coulter says Canada needs integrated health and economic programs that take seriously the well-being of humans, animals and the environment.

She would also like to see more laws and regulations, and along with that, enforcement around exotic animal ownership and treatment.

“Many kinds of animal cruelty and quiet, ubiquitous harm are perfectly legal and deemed normal or necessary,” she says.

Some recent information that you should review from the Canadian government on the international wildlife trade – https://www.canada.ca/en/services/environment/wildlife-plants-species/international-trade-protected-animals-plants.html

NIAGARA AT LARGE encourages you to join the conversation by sharing your views on this post in the space following the Bernie Sanders quote below.

“A Politician Thinks Of The Next Election. A Leader Thinks Of The Next Generation.” – Bernie Sanders

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.