I was shocked to hear that lion burgers are being served at a restaurant in Arizona. I was even more upset to hear that this isn’t something new or out of the ordinary.
That this meat is considered game meat and so easily obtainable is hard to believe since lions in Africa are a threatened species with only about 20,000 left. If we do nothing, they may be extinct by 2020.
I am ashamed to say I live in Arizona, near the infamous restaurant that decided to serve lion meat in celebration of the World Cup. Although I understand people have choices to eat what they like, I am particularly concerned about this incident and the precedent it sets.
FDA inspectors have their hands full and cannot inspect even a fraction of the meat in this country. They can’t control whether or not lion meat is really from a lion. It may be tiger meat instead, which is illegally traded since tigers are an endangered species.
The indiscriminate breeding of big cats is directly correlated to the selling and availability of unregulated lion meat. After all, when these big cats become what they naturally are — wild animals — they are discarded like yesterday’s newspaper, just to be bought up by unscrupulous companies.
By banning the breeding of big cats in the private sector, it would make it impossible for U.S. dealers to acquire and sell this meat. Neither the USDA nor the FDA has the manpower to inspect, regulate and ensure the quality or origin of this food source. Please sponsor or co-sponsor a bill that would ban the breeding, buying and selling of big cats in the U.S., with exception for zoos.
— Michelle Andria, Phoenix