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The Captive Wild Animal Protection Coalition

History of The Coalition

The Captive Wild Animal Protection Coalition (CWAPC) officially launches on February 25, 2003. CWAPC is a and innovative consortium of zoo professionals, sanctuary operators, and animal protection groups turning the spotlight on the issue of keeping dangerous wild animals as pets.
In May 2002, twenty individuals were brought together by The Bosack and Kruger Foundation to address the issues surrounding the growing US trade in captive wildlife. In August 2002, these experienced and knowledgeable individuals and organizations agreed to work collaboratively as the Captive Wild Animal Protection Coalition.

The purpose of the Coalition is to research and analyze the issues of supply and demand for captive wild animals and to develop, implement and coordinate multiple strategies to significantly reduce the trade, use and possession of captive wild animals as pets.

The Issue

The Coalition believes that the private ownership of wild animals as pets is spiraling out of control. CWAPC estimates there are more than 5,000 tigers kept as pets in the United States, many in substandard and inhumane conditions; this represents more tigers than roam in native habitats throughout Asia. Wild animals have become popular "pets" and have resulted in a rise in human injuries and fatalities from animal attacks. Also on the rise is the inevitable animal suffering that comes with keeping any wild animal in captivity. Few private "owners" are prepared to provide the intense care and attention these animals require. Many, if not most, of these animals endure terrible physical and psychological suffering before being dumped at a roadside zoo, sold to an exotic hunting ranch, or slaughtered for their meat or body parts.

CWAPC warns that the practice of owning wild animals as pets is dangerous to people and cruel to animals.

The Solution

CWAPC is focused on four strategies: developing and maintaining a centralized information system; a comprehensive educational program and campaign; a national public relations and media campaign; and support of appropriate legislation at the Federal, State and Local level. Using these strategies, the Coalition goal is to significantly reduce the availability, volume and presence of dangerous wild animals as pets by the end of 2006.

CWAPC is in support of the Exotic Pets Bill just introduced in the 108th Congress by Senators Jim Jeffords (I-VT) and John Ensign (R-NV). If passed, this bill will ban the interstate commerce of lions, tigers, leopards, and cougars for the pet trade.

Who We Are

The Coalition is supported in part by a generous donation from the Bosack & Kruger Foundation, and is comprised of a diverse group of professionals from the following organizations:

Animal Protection Institute
African Elephant Conservation Trust
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Born Free Foundation
Detroit Zoological Institute
Folsom Zoo/Sanctuary
Fund for Animals
Houston Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Humane Society of the United States
International Fund for Animal Welfare
Kimya Institute
Marin Humane Society
Oakland Zoo
Performing Animal Welfare Society
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
The Association of Sanctuaries, Inc
Texas Humane Legislative Network
The Science & Conservation Center
The Summerlee Foundation


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