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Great News! The Lion Meat Act Has Been Approved! Let’s Ban Lion Meat!

Post time:2013/3/21 9:43:49 Author: wpa Hits:897

lion cub


An appalling proliferation of ads for lion burgers at restaurants across the country led Born Free USA to undertake a year-long investigation into the sale of lion meat for human consumption.


In 2011, Born Free USA released the results of this investigation that revealed shocking information about the raising, slaughter, sale and consumption of lion meat, raising serious animal welfare, conservation, and human health concerns.  The organization began looking into the lion meat trade in June 2010, after receiving reports of lion meat availability across the country. What was uncovered is a shady business cycle that involves lion cubs bred for the captive display industry, caged lions shot at a slaughterhouse, and frightening lack of regulatory oversight and accountability.


Lion meat production and sale are not overseen by the FDA or the USDA and largely falls through the regulatory cracks with neither one nor the other taking full responsibility for the process from start to finish. Lion meat represents a risk for human health as well: the FDA does not regularly or proactively conduct residue testing in exotic meat. There are no regulations that prevent feeding lions “specified risk material” — brains, eyes, spinal cord and other organs — that are prohibited in feed for other animals raised for human consumption due to the risk of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy caused by “prions” — abnormal proteins that eat holes in the brains of infected humans and animals. There is also the issue of tracking the meat origin: at least one lion meat distributor has had a history of problems, including poor sanitation and selling meat from tigers and labeled as “lion meat.” Lions are not covered under the federal Humane Methods of Slaughter Act and many states have no laws governing the care and treatment of captive exotic animals.


Finally the lion meat trade brings up the topic of the lions’s conservation status. The African lion is not listed on the U.S. Endangered Species list, although many conservation organizations have petitioned for its listing. The lion population in Africa has been reduced by half since the 80s. The increased popularity of lion meat in the United States could influence global trends and result in increased threats to the survival of the species in the wild.


Animal lovers today applaud Representative Luis Arroyo’s leadership on behalf of lions and thanked the House Agriculture Committee for approving the Lion Meat Act yesterday. This much-needed legislation, championed by Born Free USA, would ban the sale of lion meat and the slaughter of the animals in Illinois. “We thank Representative Arroyo for his unwavering support for the protection of lions and are grateful to the House Agriculture Conservation Committee for passing HB 2991 yesterday. We hope this bill will be passed expeditiously by the full State House,” says Adam Roberts, Executive Vice President of Born Free USA.


Born Free USA is a nationally recognized leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic “pets,” trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade.  Born Free USA brings to America the message of “compassionate conservation” – the vision of the U.K.-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna. Born Free’s mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally.