There are an estimated 5,000 – 7,000 tigers living in captivity today1, with only about 400 of those living in Zoos. That number does not include lions, leopards, jaguars, cheetahs, cougars, big cat hybrids, and other dangerous exotic animals. These animals could kill or dismember a person with a swipe of their paw or bite from their powerful jaw. Nature made these animals strong enough to kill large prey and even though they were raised around humans does not negate their powerful biology and natural instincts to survive. Over the years, hundreds of big cats have escaped and/or seriously injured and killed individuals and pets 2,3. Including the worst incident to date where a man released 51 dangerous exotic animals in Zanesville, Ohio in October of 20114.
H.R. 1818 is also known as the Big Cat Public Safety Act, if passed would regulate big cat private ownership at a federal level. The bill will set forth stricter regulations on facilities that own big cats. The Big Cat Public Safety Act would also regulate the breeding of big cats in captivity by requiring any facilities that breed to be part of an approved conservation population management plan.
A lot of individuals and groups who oppose the Big Cat Public Safety Act argue that we are taking away their pets, this is NOT true. The Big Cat Public Safety Act allows people to keep their current exotic pets as long as they are all registered with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service within 180 days, and that they do not breed, acquire, sell, or allow public contact with their exotic animals5. The idea is that by stopping people from acquiring new big cats from this point forward that in 20 years, exotic pet ownership will no longer be an issue.
BCSA supports H.R. 1818 – The Big Cat Public Safety Act and encourages you to reach out to their local, state, and federal representatives to let them know that you support H.R. 1818 – The Big Cat Public Safety Act and believe that they should as well. Click here to do it now!