Nick Garbutt/Alamy Stock Photo

Nick Garbutt/Alamy Stock Photo

Protect big cats

This action alert is for U.S. residents. International advocates, please visit Humane Society International.

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Dear Representative,

As your constituent, I urge you to cosponsor and push for the passage of the Big Cat Public Safety Act.

Introduced by Representatives Mike Quigley and Brian Fitzpatrick, this legislation would advance animal welfare and protect public safety by prohibiting interstate sale, possession, and breeding of tigers, lions, leopards and other big cat species by unqualified private individuals and facilities engaged in public contact activities. The bill provides 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.

Big cats kept in private hands often do not receive proper veterinary care, nutrition, physical housing or behavioral enrichment, making this an animal welfare issue.

This is also a public safety issue. Improperly maintained captive big cats injure, or even kill, people. Law enforcement officers and other first responders are at particular risk from such animals, which is why the National Sheriffs' Association has endorsed the legislation. Emergency officials and the communities they protect should not be put in harm's way by a private owner's irresponsible decision to keep big cats.

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