PAWS continues to strongly support the federal Big Cat Public Safety Act (H.R.263/S.1210). The bill would ban the private ownership of big cats such as lions and tigers and restrict public contact with these animals, putting an end to cub petting operations and their endless breeding of big cats for profit.
PAWS cares for tigers who were rescued from the exotic “pet” trade and defunct cub petting facilities – including Kim, Claire, Bigelow, Morris, Nimmo, Rosemary, Sawyer and Wilhelm. We need your help to pass the Big Cat Public Safety Act and ensure that big cats no longer have to suffer for entertainment and profit.
1. Send a message
Please ask your U.S. Senator to co-sponsor the Big Cat Public Safety Act, S. 1210. (Always include the bill number in your communications.) Locate your U.S. Senator here. Click on the link which will take you to their home page. Locate “Contact” on the menu and send your message via the online form provided there.
If you have not yet contacted your U.S. representative, please ask them to co-sponsor the Big Cat Public Safety Act, H.R. 263. If your representative is one of the co-sponsors of the bill (check here), please thank them. Locate your U.S. Representative here. Follow the same steps as above.
Sample message: I am a constituent who very strongly supports the Big Cat Public Safety Act (H.R. 263/S. 1210) to end the exploitation and suffering of captive big cats in our country and protect the public. I urge you to co-sponsor this important bill.
(See points below that you can add to your message.)
2. Make a call
Call your Senator’s and/or Representative’s office in Washington, DC. Simply say that you are a constituent who is very concerned about the welfare of captive big cats and public safety. Urge them to co-sponsor the Big Cat Public Safety Act. Be sure to state the proper bill number for the House or Senate.
Use social media to encourage your friends, family, and colleagues to take action.
Information points on the Big Cat Public Safety Act:
- Prohibits the possession of lions, tigers, leopards, cheetahs, jaguars, cougars, or any hybrid of these species by private individuals.
- Zoos, universities, and bona fide sanctuaries are exempt from the prohibition.
- Current captive big cat owners are grandfathered in, but they must register their animals. They cannot breed or acquire more big cats.
- Restricts direct contact between the public and big cats of any age.
Why this bill is needed:
Thousands of big cats are thought to be in private hands, posing a danger to the public and to first responders when these animals escape or attack.
Since 1990, there have been nearly 380 dangerous incidents involving captive big cats in 46 states and the District of Columbia, with 20 adults and five children killed and many more injured.
Cub petting operations continuously breed big cats so they can sell photo and handling sessions with young cubs to the public. Cubs are often subjected to rough handling, denied sleep, and abused by their handlers.
Cubs are separated from their mothers shortly after birth. When they get too big to handle and are no longer profitable, they may be funneled into the exotic pet trade, sold to other disreputable exhibitors, or may end up in the illegal trade in wildlife parts.
- Cub petting facilities fuel the demand for “pet” big cats.
Thank you for taking action!