Today Representatives Walter Jones (R-NC) and Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) introduced the Big Cat Public Safety Act (H.R. 3546) in the US House. The bill, if enacted, will prohibit private ownership of big cats in the US and help to end the national big cats in captivity crisis. 

This legislative push is accompanied by renewed calls for USDA to prohibit direct contact between the public and big cats and put a stop to cub handling exhibits and other irresponsible displays.

It is estimated that there are between 10,000 and 20,000 captive big cats in private hands across the country. In addition to being kept in deplorable conditions and exploited, these animals—many of which are not subject to reporting or documentation requirements under current federal and state law—threaten public safety, place first responders in harm’s way, and drain financial resources from local police and emergency departments. The Big Cat Public Safety Act, if enacted, will protect animals and people alike throughout the US.

Diverse stakeholders, including college students, the arts community, first responders, state policymakers and legal experts, have voiced support for the proposed ban. I look forward to working with them—and with you—to pass this critical legislation and protect big cats.

–CB

To help us advance the Big Cat Public Safety Act, contact your Representative today and urge him or her to support this common sense measure to protect community safety and animal welfare.

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Article source: IFAW

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