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New York’s proposed ban on contact between big cats and the public, widely and wrongly reported as the “tiger selfie ban”, will actually save tigers from a lifetime of abuse that starts when they’re cubs, according to its proponents. A loophole in the U.S. government’s exotic animal regulations allowed cubs to be displayed between the ages of eight and 12 weeks. This has given rise to a nationwide industry of shady operators who breed cubs for petting but dump them when they grow too big to handle, says a report by Howard Baskin, who chairs the advisory board of the nonprofit sanctuary Big Cat Rescue , the world’s largest sanctuary for the world’s largest felines.

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