Animal rights groups urge feds to halt lion-tiger cross-breeding

Animal rights groups want the the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to ban the breeding of so-called frankencats.

Frankencats are typically rare cross-breeds of lions and tigers, but they are more likely to suffer from diseases and injuries, according to the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

PETA and other animals rights activists launched a petition Friday calling for the USDA to ban the practice of breeding frankencat species, such as “ligers,” “tigons” and “white tigers.”

Some of the other animal rights activists joining the petition include the Animal Legal Defense Fund, Wildcat Sanctuary, Big Cat Rescue and Lions, Tigers & Bears.

“Tigons, the result of breeding a female lion and a male tiger, usually do not survive infancy and suffer from a number of neurological conditions and depression,” PETA said.

“Ligers, the offspring of a female tiger and a male lion, are predisposed to problematic gigantism and behavioral problems.”

“White tigers, who have been inbred for an extremely rare recessive white coloration gene, are at significant risk of developing scoliosis, cleft palates, spinal problems, and other serious health conditions,” it added.

PETA contends ligers and tigons are “exploited for their novelty value.”

“While accredited zoological institutions have long prohibited the practice of inbreeding and cross-breeding ‘frankencats,’ roadside zoos across the U.S. continue to offer ‘selfies’ with these animals and even sell these special-needs animals as pets to private collectors,” the petition reads.

PETA argues these practices should be banned under the Animal Welfare Act.

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