When religion and law are in conflict, what which takes precedent? This question has plagued nations since the dawn of democracy, but not necessarily the dawn of time, as Dan Murphy explained in his recent article on the topic. Murphy noted that unlike ancient monarchies or dictatorships, most modern democracies vow to separate church and state. This separation of religion and democracy has fostered disagreement and tension between people’s beliefs across a wide variety of topicsissues. One such of those topics issue is animal sacrifice.
As long as a USDA-licensed animal exhibitor fills out the correct paperwork on time, he or she can continue to exhibit exotic animals, despite recorded violations of the Animal Welfare Act. Unless an exhibitor is convicted of a violation, the USDA cannot revoke his or her license. The USDA took notice and comment on changing this regulation to make it more difficult to keep a license if an exhibitor is found violating animal welfare laws.