As you may know by now, Tiger King, a Netflix docuseries has swept the country, and is the number one viewed program right now. While the series was disturbing for much of us to watch, some may think that the show failed to drive home the reasons why roadside zoos and photo ops perpetuate animal abuse and certainly sensationalized and idolized animal abusers. We are optimistic that this spotlight on the plight of captive big cats and other wildlife will ultimately bring positive legislative change.
As you all remember, last year we co-sponsored SB 313 (Hueso) Circus Cruelty Prevention Act, which was signed into law and bans all wild animals in any kind of circus performance.
California Section 2118
of the Fish and Game Code, already makes it illegal to own these exotic animals as pets in our state. Exotic animal ownership is dictated by state government, and thus the need for federal law.
The federal government, through the USDA, regulates big cat exhibitors. Sadly, their enforcement is weak to non-existent, as everyone can see in Tiger King.
The Big Cat Public Safety Act,
& S2561, which is discussed in the Netflix series, has currently made it out of its first hurdle, the House Natural Resources Committee in the United States House of Representatives back in September 2019.
SCIL will engage our federal lobbyist team to support this bill once the normal legislative bills are back up and moving. We have added it to our list of bills to support on our website, so if you selected "all" we will automatically include you. And if you did not, please visit our "
How to help
" page and select the "Big Cat Public Safety Act" bill.