PETA Calls On Feds to Crack Down on Phony Wildlife Operation

Triple D Breeding Big Cats for Lucrative Photo Shoots, Not Enhancement of the Species as Required by Law, Says Group

For Immediate Release:
April 4, 2014

Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382

Kalispell, Mont.

At $350 a pop to rent out a big cat for the day, it’s not hard to guess why Kalispell-based Triple D Game Farm owner Jay Deist has applied to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) for renewal of his captive-bred wildlife permit for endangered Amur and snow leopards. The problem is that permit holders must contribute to the enhancement of the species—something Deist hasn’t even pretended to do. That’s why PETA has sent an urgent request to the FWS asking it to deny Deist’s renewal application and, instead, penalize him for violating the terms of the permit. If the FWS acts on PETA’s complaint, it wouldn’t be the first time that Deist has tangled with the federal government. Just three months ago, he received an official warning from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for painfully—and illegally—declawing a tiger, an act that also violated the terms of the permit that he now seeks to renew.

“Jay Deist and Triple D are using a permit meant to help endangered species recover to rake in cash—lots of it,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “The only way that the FWS won’t be complicit in this ploy is to flat out deny Deist the permit and hold him accountable for violating the conditions of the permit to the fullest extent of the law.”

Triple D’s own website advertises that it offers “wildlife photography, cinematography, and artist reference workshops.” Worse, outfits such as Triple D harm instead of help wildlife recovery efforts by giving the wrong impression to the public. Snow leopards are endangered, and Amur leopards are critically endangered. But when people see image after image of healthy-looking cats on book covers or “wildlife” calendars, their very legitimate concerns are often allayed. The business of breeding big cats and other exotic animals for moneymaking schemes has proliferated, and by issuing permits right and left, the FWS is enabling the distortion of laws passed to protect animals from this very type of exploitation.

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