Speak Out in Support of a Bill to Ban Big Cats as Pets
Action Alert from All-Creatures.org


October 2017


Big Cat Public Safety Act (H.R. 1818) will prohibit ownership of big cats by private individuals and unqualified exhibitors.

Tell your Congressional Representative to SUPPORT H.R. 1818!

Sign this online petition.

And/Or better yet, make direct contact:

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There are thought to be more than 10,000 captive big cats living across the U.S.—housed in backyards, dreadful roadside zoos, and other facilities ill-equipped to care for these wild animals. Fortunately, Representative Jeff Dunham (D-CA) has reintroduced the Big Cat Public Safety Act (H.R. 1818) to prohibit ownership of big cats by private individuals and unqualified exhibitors. Tell your U.S. representative to cosponsor this commonsense legislation today!


As your constituent and a member of Born Free USA, I urge you to cosponsor the Big Cat Public Safety Act (H.R. 1818) for the sake of animal welfare and public safety.

Sponsored by Representative Jeff Denham (R-CA), this bipartisan bill amends the Captive Wildlife Safety Act to prohibit ownership of big cats by private individuals and unqualified exhibitors. It is narrowly focused and includes exemptions for qualified facilities such as accredited zoos, sanctuaries, and universities. The bill also grandfathers in current big cat owners, as long as they register the animals with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

This commonsense bill is an urgently-needed solution to the problem of big cats kept in unsafe and abusive circumstances around the country. An estimated 10,000-20,000 big cats (tigers, lions, cougars, leopards, jaguars, cheetahs, and lion/tiger hybrids) are currently owned as pets or maintained in ill-equipped roadside zoos. These poorly-regulated conditions—with the animals kept in basements, cement pits, or tethered in backyards—pose a severe risk to the safety of people in surrounding communities, as well as to the welfare of the cats themselves.

Since 1990, there have been more than 200 dangerous incidents involving big cats in the U.S. At least four children and 19 adults have been killed, and scores of people have been mauled. The most dramatic example occurred on October 18, 2011 in Zanesville, Ohio, when a private exotic animal owner released 38 big cats into a populated area, requiring law enforcement to kill the cats for the sake of public safety. H.R. 1818 is an important step toward preventing any more of these senseless deaths.

Congress must act to protect citizens and wildlife from the dangers of breeding and privately owning big cats. I urge you to cosponsor H.R. 1818 today.

Thank you for everything you do for animals!

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