Protect Big Cats And People

23,612 signatures toward our 50,000 Goal

47.22% Complete

Sponsor: The Animal Rescue Site

End the exploitation of these animals and protect the public by supporting the Big Cat Public Safety Act.


An estimated 5,000 tigers are being held captive in the US1. Many are caged and alone while unscrupulous facilities profit from cub petting or photo opportunities2.

While these young animals may seem cute and cuddly, behind the scenes they are subject to a vicious cycle of breeding and dumping cubs once they are 12 weeks old. At a year, the cubs have typically outgrown their usefulness to these businesses, and sold on the exotic pet trade. If not purchased by another exhibitor, big cats often end up slaughtered and sold for parts2.

Though they may be captive-born and hand-raised, big cats retain their natural predatory instincts. They can, and do, injure and kill people. They will make many attempts to escape, and when they do they put communities and first responders at risk3.

"Too often, law enforcement and first responders are the ones who end up in danger from these animals and, in a time when our first responders are already facing increased risk from the pandemic, we owe it to them to limit the additional dangers they face on the job," said U.S. Representative Mike Quigley, author of the bill that passed in the House4.

The Big Cat Public Safety Act would break this cycle by outlawing exotic cats as pets and banning the practice of roadside zoos selling photo-ops and cuddle sessions with cubs5. It would amend the Captive Wildlife Safety Act to prohibit the possession of lions, tigers, leopards, cheetahs, jaguars, cougars, or any hybrid of these species by individuals who are not licensed by the US Department of Agriculture2.

This bill focuses specifically on privately owned animals, with exemptions for sanctuaries, universities, and zoos. It also restricts direct contact between the public and big cats2.

Sanctuaries, zoos and universities would still be able to own big cats under the proposed law. Individuals who currently own big cats would be grandfathered in but required to register their pets so local authorities are aware that exotic animals live in their communities, a universal disclosure now lacking amid different regulations6.

The Big Cat Public Safety Act passed the House in December 2020. It was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senator Richard Blumenthal and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works. If the Senate does not take up the bill before its end-of-year recess, the Big Cat Public Safety Act will have to be re-introduced again next year6.

These cats are running out of time. Sign the petition below and tell the members of the Committee on Environment and Public Works to call this bill to a vote now!

  1. World Wildlife Fund (2020), " Protect Tigers. Support the Big Cat Public Safety Act."
  2. Animal Welfare Institute (December 2020), "Big Cat Public Safety Act."
  3. Humane Society Legislative Fund (December 2020), "Protect big cats."
  4. Veronica Stracqualursi and Daniella Diaz, CNN (4 December 2020), "Invoking 'Tiger King,' House passes bill banning big cat ownership."
  5. U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (26 February 2019), "H.R.1380 - Big Cat Public Safety Act."
  6. Tracey McManus, Tampa Bay Times (4 December 2020), Big Cat Public Safety Act passes House, a step to end cub petting."
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The Petition:

Senator John Barrasso, Senator Thomas R. Carper, and other members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works,

An estimated 5,000 tigers are being held captive in the US. Many of them in roadside zoos or kept as pets.

While young, these animals may seem cute and cuddly, but they are dumped on the black market once they are 12 weeks old. If not purchased by another exhibitor, big cats often end up slaughtered and sold for parts.

When they are taken in by underqualified owners, big cats can and do escape, putting first responders and countless other Americans at risk.

The Big Cat Public Safety Act would break this cycle by outlawing exotic cats as pets and banning the practice of roadside zoos selling photo-ops and cuddle sessions with cubs. This bill passed the House in December 2020 and was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senator Richard Blumenthal.

It is now up to you, members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, to bring this bill to a vote. I demand you do so today, protect the public from unnecessary danger and stand up for these beautiful animals.

Sincerely,

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Signatures: