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For Immediate Release: 03/20/13

Born Free USA Applauds Committee Action Yesterday to End Sale of Lion Meat in Illinois

Born Free USA, a leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, today applauded Illinois state Rep. Luis Arroyo’s leadership on behalf of lions and thanked the House Agriculture Committee for approving the Lion Meat Act yesterday. This much-needed legislation, championed by Born Free USA, would ban the sale of lion meat and the slaughter of the animals in Illinois.

According to Adam Roberts, executive vice president of Born Free USA: “We thank Representative Arroyo for his unwavering support for the protection of lions and are grateful to the House Agriculture Conservation Committee for passing HB 2991 yesterday. We hope this bill will be passed expeditiously by the full statehouse.”

In 2011, Born Free USA released the results of a yearlong investigation that revealed shocking information about the raising, slaughter, sale and consumption of lion meat, raising serious animal welfare, conservation and human health concerns. The organization began looking into the lion meat trade in June 2010, after receiving reports of lion meat availability across the country. What was uncovered is a shady business cycle that involves lion cubs bred for the captive display industry, caged lions shot at a slaughterhouse, and a frightening lack of regulatory oversight and accountability.

As a result of Born Free USA’s findings, the organization called on state legislatures across the country to prohibit the commercial exploitation of lions for their meat. Because in most if not all cases, lion meat recently sold was traced back to originating in Illinois, passing legislation in the Prairie State is key. For the complete investigation report, visit www.bornfreeusa.org/lionmeat.

Born Free USA is a nationally recognized leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic “pets,” trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to the United States the message of “compassionate conservation” — the vision of the United Kingdom-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film “Born Free,” along with their son Will Travers, now chief executive officer of both organizations. Born Free’s mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally.

More at www.bornfreeusa.org; on Twitter at http://twitter.com/bornfreeusa; and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/BornFreeUSA.

Media Contact: Rodi Rosensweig, publicrelations@bornfreeusa.org, (203) 270-8929.

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