With the signing of the Large Cat Public Safety Act, In Defense of Animals is celebrating a significant win for lions, tigers, and other big cats kept in captivity in the United States.
Only cheetahs are excluded, and the list of animals includes lions, tigers, leopards, jaguars, and hybrids.
“We are delighted that the Big Cat Public Safety Act has finally become law,” said Brittany Michelson, Captive Animals Campaigner for In Defense of Animals.
“It will be illegal to force lions, tigers, and other big cat species into unnatural situations for entertainment and as a result they will no longer be drugged, transported, and used as props for photo opportunities. Big cat ownership will be significantly restricted and exploitative ‘cub-petting’ phased out.
We applaud the senate and the president for passing this very important animal protection law. Thousands of In Defense of Animals supporters joined our campaign over the decades to see this day finally come, in concert with the efforts of Big Cat Rescue and dozens of other animal charities.”
The Big Cat Public Safety Act seems dead after being held up in the Senate by at least one senator in July 2022, after passing with ease in the House.
Fortunately, the barrier was removed, and it was approved unanimously before being forwarded to President Biden’s desk for signing.
This bill bans large cat ownership by individuals and makes it unlawful for attractions like zoos and circuses to let cubs to be handled directly, putting a stop to cub petting in the United States. The private possession of large cats is likewise prohibited.
The founder of Big Cat Rescue in Florida, Carole Baskin, whose work was profiled in “Tiger King,” had a significant part in the Big Cat Public Safety Act’s passage. Along with groups like In Defense of Animals, whose supporters submitted tens of thousands of emails to lawmakers, Baskin has diligently pushed for this bill.