We’ve all seen photos on the internet of people hugging, feeding or playing with tiger or lion cubs. Behind these pictures is a cycle of cruel and dangerous animal exploitation. Roadside zoos breed big cats to produce cubs, then use them in interactive experiences for paying visitors. The cubs are taken from their mothers as newborns, depriving them of proper maternal care and harming their development. After just a few months, the cubs are too big to be easily handled, so they are warehoused in substandard menageries, kept as pets in backyards or basements, or killed. Meanwhile, to maintain the cash flow from public contact activities new cubs are produced to replace the ones that age out resulting in a never-ending cycle of big cats being born, used for public encounters and cruelly disposed of.
This is not only an animal welfare issue but also a public safety issue. Even when captive-born and hand-raised, wild animals retain their natural instincts. They can, and do, injure and kill people. Careless handling and unsafe caging are often the norm among unqualified owners, and captive big cats take every opportunity to escape. Attacks and escapes put communities and first responders at risk.
The Big Cat Public Safety Act addresses these problems by prohibiting public contact with big cats of any age, as well as banning the possession of big cat species like tigers and lions as pets.
Please take a moment to call your U.S. Representative and two U.S. Senators now. Find your legislators' phone numbers. You can say, "Please support the Big Cat Public Safety Act, S. 2561 and H.R. 1380. This bill will stop harmful public contact with big cats and prevent them from being kept as pets."
After your call, use the form below to send a follow-up message. Editing your message will help it stand out.