An Arizona restaurant has scrapped plans to serve lion-meat tacos after receiving threats from animal lovers and activists.
Since launching their “Exotic Taco Wednesday” menu, Boca Tacos y Tequila in Tuscon has served up python, elk, alligator and kangaroo tacos, along with other foods including frog legs, turtle, duck and Rocky Mountain oysters.
As of last week, Boca’s owner Bryan Mazon was accepting prepaid orders for African lion meat tacos that were slated to be served on February 16. Under FDA guidelines, lion meat, or any meat, can be sold as long as it’s not from an endangered species. While they’re not endangered, lions are classified as “threatened” by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species..The lion meat in question would have come from a California farm that raises lions for food.
“Lions are not endangered,” said Crawford Allan, regional director for TRAFFIC, the international wildlife trade monitoring program administered by the World Wildlife Foundation. “When bred in captivity, their meat is allowed to be traded. There are particular operations in the U.S. that are breeding lions, butchering them and selling them for meat.”
Mazon reportedly got the idea from another restaurant in Arizona that wanted to serve lion meat burgers during the World Cup being hosted in South Africa.
On Monday, Mazon stated that “his Tucson eatery has received “many threats” against the restaurant, family members, customers and vendors since he announced last week that he was taking prepaid orders for the exotic tacos.”
According to the Arizona Daily Star, Mazon received both direct threats at his home and indirect threats from people posting on Facebook.
“Due to concern for safety of our families, customers, vendors, and friends we will not be selling African Lion Tacos on Feb. 16th, 2011. We will continue to bring unique and creative menu items, but not at the expense of safety,” Mazon said.
Please send an email or call the FDA to ask them to create regulations prohibiting “threatened” species from being served as food products.
FDA email: email@example.com
FDA phone: (949) 608-3530 Arizona Consumer Complaint Coordinator