The U.S. Senate passed the Big Cat Public Safety Act (H.R. 263, Senate companion bill S. 1210) by unanimous consent. The bill passed the House in July.
The legislation prohibits keeping tigers, lions and other big cat species as pets, and bans public contact with these species, including paid interactive experiences like cub petting. The legislation was sponsored by, among others, Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick.
Sara Amundson, president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund, said, “Passage of the Big Cat Public Safety Act addresses a reckless cruelty that has festered for years. For too long tiger cubs have been exploited by ‘pay to play’ operators like Joe Exotic and Doc Antle who profited from charging people for photo ops of their children holding these potentially dangerous wild animals. Since 1990, more than 400 incidents involving captive big cats have occurred in 46 states and the District of Columbia. Five children and 19 adults have been killed and hundreds of others injured, some losing limbs or suffering other traumatic injuries. The bill’s enactment stops what was an endless cycle of exploiting and mistreating big cat cubs, who were dumped after they grew too large for photo ops. The legislation’s lead sponsors Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Sen. Susan Collins, Rep. Mike Quigley and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick rightly saw this as a public safety threat and a gross cruelty. We urge President Biden to sign the bill without delay.”