Update: Mayor Asked to Intervene to Stop Big-Cat Christmas Show

For Immediate Release:
December 11, 2014

Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Phoenix, Ariz.

Because Phoenix police have declined to enforce a city law regulating the exhibition of tigers and lions, PETA (whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”) sent a letter today asking Mayor Greg Stanton to step in and make sure that the law is enforced—especially at a time when progressive cities are banning cruel and dangerous exotic-animal displays altogether.

PETA’s letter to the mayor appears below, and more information about the church’s Christmas display is available in PETA’s news release from yesterday.


December 11, 2014

The Honorable Greg Stanton
Mayor of Phoenix

Re:  Urgent Request to Require the Phoenix Police Department to Enforce City Law Against Apparently Illegal Exhibition of Wild Animals

Dear Mayor Stanton:

I am writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to respectfully request that you immediately require the Phoenix Police Department (Phoenix PD) to enforce the city’s law in the case of the apparently illegal exhibition of a lion and a tiger at Phoenix First church’s “Celebration of Christmas,” which is scheduled to go on until December 14.

Phoenix law mandates the following:

No person shall keep or maintain any poisonous reptiles or dangerous carnivorous wild animals without first having registered such animals or reptiles with the Director of the Police Department, who may prescribe regulations to insure the safe penning or caging of such animals or reptiles.

Phoenix Code § 8-6 (emphasis added). Shortly after PETA was informed of the exhibition of the extremely “dangerous carnivorous wild animals,” the group alerted the Phoenix PD (see Attachment) and was informed by Officer Fernandez that the lion and tiger have not been registered with the department. Phoenix PD then informed PETA that it is refusing to enforce the law.

Please immediately ensure that the Phoenix PD abides by its duty and protects the public. Frustrated captive wild animals, especially big cats, have killed and mauled their caretakers and members of the public. Municipalities and states across the country recognize the danger of owning and exhibiting wild animals and are passing bans and other laws to protect their citizens. The least that the Phoenix PD can do is to follow the letter of a law that was passed to protect its citizens from inherently dangerous animals. Please ensure that the Phoenix PD takes immediate steps to protect the public from the apparently illegally exhibited wild animals by putting a stop to the exhibition of the lion and tiger at Phoenix First.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter. I look forward to your prompt response.

Very truly yours,

Brittany Peet, Esq.
PETA Foundation
Deputy Director | Captive Animal Law Enforcement

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