After passing in the United States House of Representatives with bipartisan support late last year, the Big Cat Public Safety Act is once again up for a vote in Congress. If enacted into law, this bill, H.R. 263, would be the country’s strongest measure to date against the cruel industry that rips months-old Big Cat cubs from their mothers and abducts, sells, and breeds Big Cats as pets, roadside zoo attractions, and photo ops.
Though the Senate did not act on the bill before the 116th Congress ended in early January, the Big Cat Public Safety Act has been reintroduced in the House and already has more than 130 cosponsors.
If you live in the United States, take a few minutes to raise your voice in support of this important legislation to protect Big Cats and their cubs from exploitation. We need more representatives and senators to agree to sponsor and vote for the Big Cat Public Safety Act so it can finally become the law of the land.
The Big Cat Public Safety Act makes it “unlawful for any person to import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire, or purchase…or to breed or possess, any prohibited wildlife species,” which would encompass all Big Cats, including lions and tigers, and Big Cat hybrids. In existing facilities where Big Cats are exhibited, such as sanctuaries or zoos, the public would be prohibited from making direct contact with the animals.
To illustrate the importance of the act, thousands of Big Cats are estimated to be living in captivity in the United States due to the Big Cat industry—and thought to significantly outnumber Big Cats still living in the wild. The nebulous nature of current U.S. federal, state, and local laws governing Big Cat ownership makes it difficult to collect solid data.
By outlawing private ownership of Big Cats and putting an end to cub-petting schemes, the Big Cat Public Safety Act will stem the widespread mistreatment of these animals and their abduction from their natural habitats.
Big Cats are not pets or props. They deserve to live in environments where they thrive, not in dingy cages or cramped backyards. It’s time to stop the disreputable business that trades in Big Cats’ lives from operating in the shadows to abuse and, often, kill these animals.
Please join Alley Cat Allies in asking your representative and senators to sponsor, support, and vote for the Big Cat Public Safety Act.