PETA Calls On Feds to Deny Magic Act Endangered Species Export Permits

Fercos Brothers Flout the Law, Deny Big Cats Vet Care

For Immediate Release:
May 6, 2014

David Perle 202-483-7382

Las Vegas – Endangered Species Act (ESA) permits to import or export big cats and other listed species are issued only upon “strict observance” of all local, state, and federal laws. Magic act entertainers Anton and Ferdinand Fercos Hantig, who have applied for ESA permits to export and re-import two white tigers, have chalked up numerous violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA). They have also failed to demonstrate how the export and re-import would enhance the species’ propagation or survival, a requirement for securing the permit. That’s why PETA has sent an urgent letter to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) urging the agency to deny the request.

“The Fercos Brothers can’t comply with federal laws, and now they want a permit to export and re-import tigers—despite their record of animal care violations,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service should take their application and throw it in the paper shredder.”

The Fercos Brothers’ recent citations for federal violations include the following:

  • April 16, 2013: failing to provide a tiger named Picasso, who had an untreated lesion on his left front leg, with veterinary care
  • June 27, 2013: failing to correct Picasso’s leg condition
  • June 27, 2013: failing to provide two tigers with adequate shelter from the sun

White tigers have no conservation value because they are inbred for a genetic mutation and are not a separate subspecies. The ESA permits require permittees to provide animals with humane care, and based on the Fercos Brothers’ recent AWA violations, they should be disqualified from exporting any cats out of the country and beyond the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which administers the AWA.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind