Contact Your Representative: Big Cat Public Safety Act

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Contact Your Representative: Big Cat Public Safety Act

The Big Cat Public Safety Act is a federal law that would end the private possession of big cats as pets, props and for their parts.  You can make sure this law gets passed by contacting your member of congress and asking them to champion the bill.  It’s as easy as this:

Send an email to your member of congress.  To find your Representative for the House bill go to: http://www.house.gov/representatives/ and type your zip code into the top right box.

 

Who is my Representative?

On your Representative’s page, next to their picture will be an icon that looks like an envelope that will link to their contact form.

Email Call My Rep

Click it to go to their site where they will ask you to fill out your contact info (to make sure you are in their district) and you can cut and paste some version of this into the letter section:

 

Dear Congressman/woman:

As a constituent, I wanted to ask you to cosponsor HR-1818, the Big Cat Public Safety Act.

HR-1818 will insure that lions, tigers and other dangerous big cats – which are kept as pets and exploited in roadside zoos and traveling exhibits – do not threaten public safety.

This bill would make it illegal to possess any big cat except at zoos and wildlife sanctuaries where they can be properly cared for and sheltered, and would only allow breeding at zoos that are involved in genetically sound species survival plans, along with some research or educational institutions.

Current owners would be allowed to keep the cats they currently have provided they register their cats to keep them from being slaughtered to sell their parts (see below), but they would not be allowed to acquire or breed more.

It is estimated that there are 10,000 to 20,000 big cats currently held in private ownership in the U.S., although the exact number remains a mystery.

In the past 21 years, U.S. incidents involving captive big cats—including tigers, lions, cougars, leopards, jaguars, cheetahs and lion/tiger hybrids—have resulted in the deaths of 24 humans, 261 maulings, 276 escapes, 147 big cats deaths and 133 confiscations.

Law enforcement officials face enough dangers every day protecting the citizens from harm, the least we can do is reduce the risk of being attacked by one of these animals.

In 2003 the Captive Wildlife Safety Act passed UNANIMOUSLY, making it illegal to sell big cats, across state lines as pets, but there was a huge loophole that allowed anyone with a USDA license to continue buying, breeding and trading in big cats.  A USDA license can be had for $40 and a one page application asking for name, address and phone.  It’s no deterrent.

Please close this loophole by cosponsoring this important legislation know at the Big Cat Public Safety Act HR-1818.

Call Your Rep!

Emails are great, but you know how easy it is to just hit delete without reading one.  Please go one step further, after you send the email and CALL your representative.

You are on their website so there will be a local number and a DC number.  If you can afford a 1 minute call to DC, choose that option.  When you call, you can be much more brief and just say, “Hello, my name is __________ and my zip code is _______. Please ask your boss to cosponsor The Big Cat Public Safety Act HR 1818.”

It’s that easy!

Want to Stay in the Know?

Here is the link to the Congress.gov site for the bill information:  https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/1818 where you can see the text of the bill, the co-sponsors, any amendments, the committee it is currently before, and all actions on the bill. When the Senate version is introduced, it will be listed on the tab called Related Bills.

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