Protect big cats from inhumane treatment and living conditions

There is currently no federal law that bans the private possession of big cats in the United States. There have been hundreds of dangerous incidents in the U.S. involving tigers, lions, and other big cats who have posed a risk to public safety and resulted in hundreds of injuries and nearly two dozen deaths. The most dramatic example was the October 2011 incident in Zanesville, Ohio, in which a man released his private collection of exotic animals -- including 38 big cats -- near a populated area, requiring law enforcement officials to kill the cats -- and risk their own lives -- for the sake of public safety.

Tigers, lions, leopards, and other big cats are predators, not pets. The Big Cat Public Safety Act (H.R.1818/S.2990) strengthens existing law to prohibit individual possession and breeding of dangerous big cats. Untracked and carelessly bred animals threaten public safety, burden local law enforcement, waste public agencies’ time and resources, undermine valid conservation efforts, and are too often subjected to deplorable living conditions and inadequate care.

Please make a brief, polite phone call to your U.S. Representative and two U.S. Senators. Look up your legislator's phone number. You can simply say, "Please support the Big Cat Public Safety Act (H.R.1818/S.2990), to protect big cats from inhumane treatment and living conditions."

After making your call, submit the form below to send a follow-up message. Be sure to edit your message so it stands out.

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Your Message

Dear Legislator,

As your constituent, I am urging you to cosponsor and push for the passage of the Big Cat Public Safety Act (H.R.1818/S.2990).

This bill would advance animal welfare and protect public safety by prohibiting possession and breeding of tigers, lions, leopards, and other big cat species by private individuals and unqualified exhibitors. The bill provides for reasonable exemptions for wildlife sanctuaries and exhibitors licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that meet basic standards intended to protect the public and animals.

It is estimated that there are now more tigers in private hands in the U.S. than remain in the wild. These animals are often denied proper veterinary care, nutrition, and enrichment. Moreover, law enforcement officers and other first responders have joined animal rescue and conservation advocates in supporting the Big Cat Public Safety Act. Emergency officials and the communities that they protect should not be placed in harm's way by a private owner's irresponsible decision to keep big cats.

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This action alert is for U.S. residents only. International advocates, please visit Humane Society International for ways you can take action for animals.

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