Complaint 7/17/13

July 17, 2013 in Admin

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Subject: Big Cat Rescue Complaint
Attention Nick Wiley/ Board of Directors,  

Since we are unable to get a helpful response from the FWC Inspector General or FWC Customer Service we are asking Nick Wiley Executive Director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation and the Board of Directors to review the following complaints/issues.

Complaint #1

BCR Tampa publicizes a Standard 18 month Bobcat Rehab Program.
It is a major concern the rehabbing bobcats at BCR are being held in captivity longer than necessary.

a. The National Bobcat Rescue & Research Foundation states all wild cats are kept in their care for the shortest time possible since the length of time it takes a wild bobcat to become imprinted to humans or domestic pets is extraordinarily short. They also state that wild bobcats are notorious for carrying viral diseases that are contagious to domestic pets yet BCR continues to house bobcats with domestic cats.

b.  It is our belief that this extended time in captivity creates more than double the amount of animals that will be forced to endure unnecessary suffering, torture and death (i.e. Live Domestic Rabbits and Rats) since BCR states the bobcats are being provided live food at an early age. Domestic animals that are not found in the wild or a natural part of a wild cat diet.

“Big Cat Rescue’s main goal is release the bobcats back into the wild once they have gone through an 18-month rehabilitation”

Big Cat Rescue plans to release the bobcats into the wild after 18 months,

According to FWC 68A-9.006 Wildlife Rehabilitation Permit.
(5) Standards for Wildlife Rehabilitation.
1. Wildlife possessed for rehabilitation purposes may be held no longer than 180 days before it must be released, transferred or euthanized.

2. Wildlife may be retained for rehabilitation purposes longer than the 180-day period in instances where a licensed veterinarian has certified that a longer holding period is necessary in the interest of the health and welfare of the wildlife. Medical records concerning all wildlife for which an extension of the 180-day period is obtained shall be maintained at the facility and made available for inspection, upon request, by Commission personnel.

Published on Jul 16, 2013
Meet Khaleesi the bobcat kitten, she arrived at Big Cat Rescue on June 24th from another rehab facility. She will remain at Big Cat Rescue until spring 2014–Frw

Can FWC please reference a copy of the medical reasons the following bobcats took over 6 months to rehab, as well as why BCR is continually permitted to run a standard18 month bobcat rehab program when previous complaints have been filed on this regulation violation?

According to this BCR article Hope the bobcat kitten was healthy yet it took BCR one year to successfully rehabilitate.

Faith first arrived at Big Cat Rescue, she was estimated to be about 4-6 weeks old having no major illnesses. Faith was released on April 21, 2005 when she was nearly a year and a half old.

Bellona finally had her freedom once again after 16 months of rehab on March 21st 2011.

In the 2010 fall issue of the Big Cat Times Newsletter (page 4),
BCR referenced the 3 Alabama Bobcats in their Bobcat Rehab Program stating how much the feeding would cost for One Year of rehabilitation ($2,000) while suggesting donations could be made on page 10, even though the baby bobcats were all healthy upon arrival, however according to BCR all later died under their expert care due to not being properly vaccinated for panleukopenia the Parvo virus in cats.

BCR purports to have a tremendous success rate in bobcat rehab in a 20 year period however shows very poor success rates of releasing only 6 bobcats since 2003, the most recent being in 2011.

Complaint #2
FWC response dated 6/26/2013,

Jamie Veronica Murdock” was issued a warning on March 17, 2011,
for a violation of Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.) 68A-9.006.
Posting videos of wild animals in rehabilitation status.

The same video Jamie Veronica Murdock was issued a warning for on March 17, 2011 was also referenced in several other website links provided in previous complaints, yet all still remain on the internet today.
Can FWC please advise how these same videos are not also in violation of Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.) 68A-9.006 or how BCR is not under the control of or responsible for their own internet Accounts? These questions and complaints remain unanswered and unaddressed.

FWC was sent an email copy from Howard Baskin that clearly states BCR’S videos are copyrighted and does not permit use of them on the internet; can FWC please advise why this email was ignored?

BCR Quote: FWC Adapts to Changing Technology :
“FWC established a separate permit that rehabbers can apply for that grants permission to display images and video of rehab animals. To protect the animals, the permit is conditional on taking photographs and video in a manner that does not create harm or stress to the animal or in any way impedes the rehabilitation of the animal” Big Cat Rescue is pleased to be the first recipient…

Can FWC please reference where the Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.) 68A-9.006 has been amended to allow exhibition of wildlife in rehab, where the proposals to change this regulation are listed and please reference where the new Special Permit can be reviewed?

It is our Opinion that permitting photographs and videos in a manor that does not create harm or stress the rehab animal while it is unnecessarily torturing and killing helpless domestic animals, would be unethical and disrespectful to animal life.

It is also a great concern that the BCR website is full of misinformation about Bobcat Facts.

BCR continues to teach the public that in the wild bobcats will only eat what they have killed themselves, that they are not scavengers like coyotes so they must provide live food or they will starve to death.

When “Factually” bobcats are opportunistic feeders much like coyotes, excellent predators and scavengers that also eat grubs, insects, birds and feed on carrion (dead animals), therefore a bobcat would not be in danger of starving if not given live food.

Bobcats Scavenge on Human Remains


 For The Rabbits,  Linda Sue

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