Senate Bill 48: Protect Bear Cubs
Large Carnivore Act
This bill would allow for the public handling of bear cubs in places like roadside zoos
Sponsors: Sen. Tom Casperson (R-Escanaba), Sen. Howard Walker (R-Traverse City)
Status: Assigned to Senate Agriculture Committee
This bill is being reintroduced from last session, which was passed by the Legislature at the end of 2012, but later vetoed by Gov. Snyder as it included provisions that would have allowed for the breeding of large carnivores by USDA Class A dealers. The new bill removes these provisions, as well as provisions allowing for the accreditation of zoological parks by the Zoological Association of America. While MHS welcomes these changes and applauds the Governor for vetoing the bill, we still cannot support this newly updated version, as it significantly weakens the state’s Large Carnivore Act.
As written, SB 48 would promote direct human contact with baby bears up to more than 8 months of age and weighing up to 90 pounds. We believe strongly that raising baby bears in captivity and using them for profit is wrong, and sends the wrong message about safety around bears. This also has the potential to expose children and families to serious disease like rabies, E. coli and others. Qualified wildlife rehabilitators do not put baby bears on display or allow for the petting of the animals. We should not weaken our laws just to allow these roadside zoos to profit by exploiting these animals.
Read the bill yourself, and then please contact your state Senator today and let them know that exploiting these animals and endangering the public is wrong - wrong for the animals, wrong for the people and wrong for the state.
TAKE ACTION TODAY – The Michigan Senate may soon take up action on legislation that would weaken our state’s Large Carnivore Act and allow for the exploitation of baby bear cubs. Lawmakers are looking to change the laws in order to benefit a single roadside petting zoo in the U.P., which wants to display bear cubs and allow visitors to pet them – for a fee, of course. These bear cubs are forced to live out their entire lives in captivity. Meanwhile, this bill would endanger the public by potentially exposing children and families to serious diseases like E. coli, not to mention the danger that bear cubs can present to humans.
We need your help! Contact your state Senator today and tell them not to change the laws just so one roadside zoo can make a quick buck off these bear cubs.
Don’t know who your Senator is? No problem. Find out whom to contact, and then make your voice heard! Be polite, but be sure to let them know where you stand on this legislation.
Read the Governor’s veto message for SB 1236.