Saturday, 23 May 2015

Approved bill says big cats need to be micro-chipped

(WBIR - ROANE COUNTY) - A bill awaiting Gov. Bill Haslam's signature will require all big cats in the state, like lions and tigers, to be micro-chipped.

Senate Bill 1273 passed the state house Monday and if signed, will add regulations to a couple of East Tennessee groups.

The chips are responsible for identification. That way, keepers can know who is who.One East Tennessee group has been adapting to this plan, even before it hit the Capitol.

Tiger Haven, an animal sanctuary for big cats, works closely with University of Tennessee Veterinary Hospital, and when they take the big cats in for veterinary care, vets implant a microchip as a matter of routine.

"We have been putting these chips in for quite some time. We don't knock an animal down just to put the chip in. Probably 75 percent of our animals are probably already chipped," said Tiger Haven director Mary Lynn Haven.

She said the group works to make surrounding neighbors feel safe.

"We have really tried to help the community feel safer. I don't know if they do or not, but we have done everything we can," said Haven.

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