Name: Big Cat Public Safety Act
Bill Number: HR 1380
The Big Cat Public Safety Act would prohibit the private possession, breeding and sale of any species of lion, tiger, leopard, cheetah, jaguar, cougar or any hybrid of such species in interstate commerce. In particular, this bill addresses the problems with private ownership of big cats, as well as the breeding of these animals to perpetuate the exotic pet trade, their use in public exhibition, and even the sale of these animals to wildlife hunting preserves.
While this legislation would prohibit breeding by most entities, it would exempt Class C licensed exhibitors in good standing under the Animal Welfare Act. It would also exempt from the ownership prohibition individuals who possessed big cats before the passage of this Act and who register their animals with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, though no breeding would be permitted. No direct contact between the public and prohibited wildlife species would be permitted by any entity possessing big cats under this Act.
This legislation is long overdue, as private ownership of big cats is poorly regulated and escaped “pets” have been responsible for serious injuries to members of the public. It is impossible for private owners to provide appropriate habitat for lions, tigers and other large cats, while wild animals should not be exposed to contact with the public, causing the animals stress and setting the stage for possible harm to humans.
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Please prohibit the private ownership and exploitation of dangerous big cats
Dear [Decision Maker],
I am writing to you in support of the Big Cat Public Safety Act, HR 1380, which would prohibit private ownership and the breeding of big cats. This legislation would bring an end to the sale, trade and, importantly, the continued breeding of lions, tigers, panthers, cheetahs, lion/tiger hybrids and other captive big cats by private individuals. While Class C exhibitors in good standing would be exempt from the restriction on breeding, neither exhibitors nor any private owners grandfathered in by registering their animals with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service would be exempt from a prohibition on allowing direct contact between the public and these prohibited wildlife species.Commercial trafficking in big cats as pets is extremely dangerous. While lions and tigers may be cute when young, a full-grown animal has enormous strength and agility and poses a danger to the whole community. This measure would offer protection to the public, as well as to the captive animals currently exploited for profit.Thank you for your consideration. I hope that you will give your support to this measure and ensure that big cats receive the protection they deserve.
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]