All over America, localities are outlawing and killing exotic animals. Brown shirted bureaucrats claim they are doing it for public safety but the public is in no danger. By removing animals from our lives, that creates an unreasonable fear of the unknown. When you get to know these animals, it’s easy to see that there is no danger to the public. Every animal is different. Some only eat if they are hungry, others such as wolves, kill for the thrill of killing. But a captive raised animal has never hunted for their food. They don’t know how. Should one of them escape from their home, you are in no danger. They don’t want to leave their enclosures. They are used to the routines they live in and have bonded to their caregivers. In other words, a captive raised wild animal is more afraid of you than you are of them.
When localities outlaw and ban previously legal animals, there is no other end for the animals but death. There is nowhere else for these animals to go. Activists demand that they be returned to the wild, but these animals have never known life in the wild. Most privately owned animals in America today were born in captivity. They don’t know any other life. They are no more “wild” animals, than we are still cave men.
The new flash point today is Skagit County, Washington. Local bureaucrats passed a new ordinance last year outlawing the ownership of exotic animals such as wolves, cougars, foxes and some snakes. Also located in Skagit County is a thirty year old business called Predators of the Heart owned by Dave Coburn. Predators of the Heart (POTH) is the largest traveling exotic animal business in America with an impeccable safety record and licensed with the USDA. For 30 years, Dave Coburn has visited schools, churches, libraries, and other events to educate people on his animals. Overnight, dozens of his animals became illegal to own. Illegal to keep alive. No grandfather clause for Dave Coburn. His choice is, pay a fine of $50,000 a day or kill two dozen animals. These kinds of bureaucrat actions are happening all across America. These animals have nowhere else to go. Zoos and sanctuaries are already full of animals that have been outlawed in other states. There is no more room at the inn.
Coburn has already jumped through endless hoops that the Skagit County enforcers have made him perform. He has filed applications, paid fees. He has made modifications to his property that un-elected bureaucrats have demanded that he make. Bureaucrats who have never cared for an exotic animal in their lives are writing regulations and enforcing them at the point of a gun. The government just pockets the fees, no refunds, and denies his permits. What is happening to Coburn is no different than what Ohio is doing to Kenny Hetrick and Tiger Ridge. They arbitrarily make new standards of care to keep the owner jumping through hoops to meet a bar that can never be met. Today an eight foot fence is legal. Tomorrow the ordinance is changed to ten feet. Next month it’s twelve feet. Bureaucrats love to keep their targets broke and constantly under stress. When challenged they will simply turn on the owner and proclaim to the media that “Joe American is out of compliance with our laws and has a long history of this.” Or like just like propagandist Skagit County Commissioner Lisa Janicki said, “[P]ulling at heart strings isn’t fair play. She calls the issue a matter of public safety.” This is nothing more than a systemic and methodical destruction of the private property owner under the false flag of safety.
Predators of the Heart is a private business with a long and successful history. Legislators and bureaucrats do not have the right to outlaw a business just because they disagree with it. Agendas do not belong in the government of “We the People.” Supporters of POTH have set up a GoFundMe account to help raise money to fight back. You can support them here.
Katharine Dokken is a Public Affairs Specialist at The Cavalry Group and the author of a new book, The Art of Terror: Inside the Animal Rights Movement, available on Amazon.
Follow Katharine and The Cavalry Group on Twitter: @KatharineDokken @TheCavalryGroup
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