Protect Exotic Animals in Las Vegas!Posted by Carney Anne Nasser, ALDF Legislative Counsel on February 27, 2015
Clark County Commissioners are meeting on Wednesday, March 4 to consider revoking the zoning permits for Keith Evans to house exotic animals. ALDF needs your help to make sure the interests of these and other animals are protected!
The Lion Habitat Ranch, aka “Lion Photo Studios,” is a roadside zoo in Clark County that breeds and exhibits over 40 lions who are kept in substandard cages and used for photos and other dangerous opportunities for unsafe public interactions. Because lions and other big cats may only lawfully be used for direct public contact until they are about 12 weeks old, exhibitors like Keith Evans of the Lion Habitat Ranch have to keep breeding lions in order to maintain a steady supply of cubs. Exotic cats who become too big for public handling frequently end up warehoused in cages, sent to other roadside zoos and other exploitative operators with histories of Animal Welfare Act violations, shuffled around through the lucrative exotics market, or even dumped at facilities that slaughter lions for their meat and parts. Evans has exceeded the number of lions he may lawfully house, but apparently keeps breeding them.
Keith Evans was recently cited by the USDA for unsafe handling practices involving interactions between lions and the public. Because the USDA only inspects about once a year, and Clark County has no ordinance regulating exotic animal ownership, Evans operates with virtually no oversight 364 days of the year. Unless Clark County stops the madness by revoking Evans’ zoning permit to keep dangerous wild animals, Evans will continue to breed lions, expand his operation, and contribute to the exploitation of other exotic animals. This situation also underscores the need for Clark County to finally pass an ordinance that provides meaningful oversight over exotic animal ownership.
Please speak up for lions and other exotic animals condemned to lives of abuse and deprivation by urging Clark County Commissioners to: 1) revoke Keith Evans’ conditional use permits, and 2) pass an ordinance that empowers the county to exercise greater oversight over owners of dangerous wild animals!
Action for Nevada Residents
If you are a Nevada resident, please call Clark County Commissioner Chair Steve Sisolak today at (702) 455-3500. All you have to do is politely say, “As a Nevada resident who cares about animal welfare and public safety, I wanted to voice support for your effort to revoke the conditional use permits for Lion Habitat Ranch, and ask you to pass an exotic animal ordinance that will prevent situations like this from happening in the future.”
After you call, please be sure to send a follow-up email to the Clark County Commissioners. If you are a resident of Clark County, be sure to note that in your email.