Reps. Loretta Sanchez and Buck McKeon Announce the Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act

Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (CA-47), along with Congressman Buck McKeon (CA-25) announced at Shambala Animal Preserve today new legislation that they recently introduced in the House to better regulate the ownership of big cats.  Rep. Sanchez and Rep. McKeon were joined by the film star Tippi Hedren, who is President of Shambala Preserve.

The “Big Cats and Public Safety Protection” Act would prohibit private possession of big cats except at highly-qualified facilities, like accredited zoos, where they can be properly cared for and restrained.  The bill would require any persons who currently possess big cats to register those animals with USDA in order to keep the cats they currently own.  Additionally, the bill would also outlaw the breeding of any big cat except at accredited zoos and research and educational institutions.

An alarming number of wild cats have been bred and sold as domestic pets in the U.S. This trend threatens public safety and often results in the mistreatment of these animals.  Just recently, the tragic events in Zanesville, Ohio, where 49 wild animals were killed after they were let loose on an unlicensed wild animal preserve, showcases the dangerous implications of this trend.  Currently, only nine states have laws enforcing “no wild animals permitted,” and the remaining states have weak or no laws in existence.

This bi-partisan bill will ensure that lions, tigers and other dangerous big cats, do not threaten public safety, diminish global big cat conservation efforts, or end up living in horrible conditions where they can be subject to mistreatment and cruelty. This legislation is supported by Shambala Preserve, the ROAR Foundation, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), Born Free USA, Humane Society of United States, the American Sanctuary Association (ASA), and Big Cat Rescue.

  9 comments for “Reps. Loretta Sanchez and Buck McKeon Announce the Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act

  1. April 2, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Great legislation that is long overdue. But, why stop with big cats? There are few wild animals that private parties (elephant enterprises come to mind) should own unless they justify it. These other non-domesticated animals deserve the same protection. But, I guess a three-toed sloth doesn’t give Sanchez the same bang for her buck as big kitties do.

  2. cook
    April 2, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    The first step to eradicating all wild animals.

  3. henry lipton
    April 2, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    I would like to see it go further and ban the keeping of Mountain Lions or other large rare animals for the puropse of hunting. Recently the CA head of Fish and Game hunted and killed a mountain lion on a private ranch for sheer sport. This animal should have been trapped and relocated to a hbaitat suitable for him and lacking of large predators that are necessary to keep rodent populations down. Thus keeping dopwn instances oflime disease, ahnta virus etc etc.

    • April 2, 2012 at 2:46 pm

      Did you not read the newspaper articles on this, Henry? Or, did you just go by what your PETA friends told you?

      Dan Richards, the head of the F&G Commission, shot a mountain lion in Idaho. It is legal to kill mountain lions in Idaho, as it is in much of the country West of California. He caught lots of flack but, the truth is, he did nothing wrong. You may think it is wrong to kill poor, helpless cougars. I disagree. Cougars are responsible for killing off livestock and invading urban areas where they attack people. While I don’t want to see them exterminated, I do want to see them controlled. Hunting is a good way to do that.

      Besides, this proposed law would do nothing to curb hunting, which is already over-regulated to death. It would prohibit private parties from owning big cats. What the bill should target, however, is the establishment of private, unaccredited zoos.

  4. April 2, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    Legalize ferrets while you are at it. Weasels too, so that Art Pedroza’s wife isn’t arrested.

    • April 8, 2012 at 8:08 pm

      Hey, I’m with you on ferrets. Not weasels, though. There is more to be concerned about with them than Art’a wife. Just take a look at the legislature.

  5. Phil
    April 2, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    How about chimps? Seriously. Remember that woman who had her face ripped off by a chimp. Adult males are about eight times as strong as a human.

  6. henry lipton
    April 2, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    “as it is in much of the country West of California”
    LOL Jeff Galhager, so I can shoot as many mountain lions in the Pacific Ocean eh? But serioulsy the American Mountain Lion is an endangered species. They should be transplanted to areas of the American frontier where they are not present to restore ecological balance.

    • April 8, 2012 at 8:19 pm

      What can I say, Henry, I’m dyslexic. Just where is it that mountain lions are so scarce? If that were the case, why is it legal to hunt them in so many states? While there appear to be two subspecies that are endangered, they are not on the U. S. endangered list.

      And, of course, the point is, this guy did nothing wrong as it was legal to hunt them in Idaho. Anti-Hunter sentiment abounds in this state. As do gun control zealots who use any excuse to diminish the rights of law abiding citizens.

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