Captive-Bred Inter-Subspecific Crossed or Generic Tigers

Formal title: Docket Number [FWS-R9-IA-2011-0027] Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; U.S. Captive-Bred Inter-Subspecific Crossed or Generic Tigers 

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) proposed to amend the regulations that implement the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by removing inter-subspecific crossed or generic tiger from the list of species that are exempt from registration under the Captive-Bred Wildlife (CBW) regulations.

Brief Description:

FWS proposed this change to the regulations to strengthen control over captive breeding of tigers in the U.S. to ensure that such breeding supports the conservation of the species in the wild consistent with the purposes of the ESA.

AVMA Response:

The AVMA supports the Proposed Rule by the FWS titled, "Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; U. S. Captive-Bred Inter-Subspecific Crossed or Generic Tigers." The AVMA is an advocate for animals and animal health. As such, it is concerned about the possible extinction of many animal species, including tigers. The AVMA supports the ESA and applauds the FWS for its efforts, along with those of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), relevant to conservation and protection of endangered and threatened species.

The AVMA agrees with the FWS in that captive breeding of inter-subspecific crossed or generic tigers does not provide a conservation benefit for long-term survival of wild populations of tigers. The AVMA also understands that it was because of this lack of a conservation benefit that these particular tigers were added in 1998 to the list of species exempted from the Captive-Bred Wildlife (CBW) regulations.

The AVMA also recognizes that elimination of the CBW exemption for inter-subspecific crossed and generic tigers should simplify and enhance the ESA enforcement efforts. Uniform application of regulations across all tigers improves harmonization of U. S. regulations with CITES recommendations. The U. S. is a member of the CITES, and national and international protection and conservation efforts for wild tiger populations are paramount.

Background Documents:

September 19, 2011 Full AVMA Response (PDF)

August 22, 2011; Federal Register Notice (PDF)

Endangered Species Act (PDF)

Relevant AVMA Policies