H.R. 1998/S.1381: Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act
Action Alert from All-Creatures.org


Born Free USA
March 2014


Tell your Congressional Representative and Senators to support H.R. 1998/S.1381.

This bill would amend the Captive Wildlife Safety Act to prohibit the private possession and breeding of big cats.

There are exemptions for larger, well-regulated facilities such as AZA-accredited zoos, wildlife sanctuaries that do not breed or allow public handling of the animals, wildlife rehabilitators, state colleges and universities, and select traveling circuses that are in compliance with the Animal Welfare Act. Anyone who currently owns a big cat would be allowed to keep the animal, but would need to register him or her with the USDA.

[Ed. Note: We at All-Creatures.org are aware that many of the "accredited zoos, wildlife sanctuaries" etc., etc. that are exempted from this law do not meet OUR standards, but, this legislation is a start...]

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As your constituent and a member of Born Free USA, I urge you to promote a hearing for the Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act (H.R. 1998/S. 1381) without delay.

This important bill prohibits future possession and breeding of lions, tigers, and other big cats in the exotic "pet" trade. It grandfathers in current possessors as long as they register their big cats with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

This bill is long overdue. In the past 22 years, U.S. incidents involving captive big cats (tigers, lions, cougars, leopards, jaguars, cheetahs, and lion/tiger hybrids) have resulted in the deaths of at least 22 humans, as well as 165 maulings, 144 escapes, and 131 confiscations. We must also not forget the October 2011 incident in Zanesville, OH, in which a private exotic animal owner released 38 big cats, requiring law enforcement to kill the cats for the sake of public safety. H.R. 1998/S. 1381 is a big step toward preventing any more of these senseless tragedies.

This bill currently resides in the House Natural Resources Committee and the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, and with nearly 100 total cosponsors and broad support, it deserves an opportunity to progress. The nation is waiting for Congress to protect citizens and wildlife from the dangers of private possession and breeding of big cats, so please do your utmost to ensure that H.R. 1998/S. 1381 receives a hearing this spring.

Thank you for everything you do for animals!

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