Michigan’s governor has approved a plan to allow bear cub petting zoos.
Republican Gov. Rick Snyder amended Michigan’s Large Carnivore Act Tuesday. The amended measure now allows the public to interact with bears up to 90 pounds and 36 weeks old. People will be able to pet, hold, feed and take pictures with bear cubs.
The act originally prohibited people to have direct contact with carnivores, including bears.
The issue came to the governor’s attention after U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials tried to shut down Oswald’s Bear Ranch. An anonymous tipster reported people were feeding the cubs fruit loops.
Animals rights activists and veterinarians have been vocal in their opposition to the plan. They say the bill seriously compromises animal welfare and public safety.
Lawmakers limited the bill’s reach earlier this month in response. The measure only applies to businesses already offering bear petting.