House OKs breeding of lions, tigers and more

The Associated Press
A tiger yawns on a hot, lazy afternoon at the Detroit Zoo (file photo).

Zoos and other licensed breeders raring to breed their own tiger may get their chance under a bill that has narrowly passed the Michigan House.

Lawmakers voted 55-54 Tuesday to allow large carnivore breeding in Michigan. Such animals are defined as lions, tigers, bears and other large cats.

Michigan currently prohibits breeding such species. The bill would grant breeding licenses for those who intend to use the animals in an education or exhibit setting. They would be barred from letting patrons come in contact with the animal or from selling it.

A female lion at the Detroit Zoo (file photo).

The bill will not be taken up by the Senate until after a summer break. It is intended to remove barriers to zoo breeding. But critics such as the State Bar of Michigan Animal Law Section say it goes too far in loosening restrictions on dangerous animals.

Another bill, approved 63-46, would allow the breeding of black bears in certain situations.