Rep. Amodei signs onto the the Big Cat Public Safety Act
In December, 2017, Rep. Mark Amodei added his name in support of The Big Cat Public Safety Act (HR1818). This is a federal bill that would end the private possession of big cats as pets, end cub petting, and limit exhibitors to those who do not repeatedly violate the law. It bans private ownership and breeding of big cats with limited exemptions.
In essence here is what the bill does:
- ends owning the cats as pets going forward (grandfathering in the existing owners)
- stops the cub petting and photos that drive a huge percentage of the abuse
- screens out the really bad actors (while creating meaningful incentives to comply with the rules, which does not exist now)
None of the exotic cats in private possession serve any conservation purpose. In fact, the legal trade in these animals in the U.S. provides a smokescreen for illegal poaching and trade. We have to stop it if we are going to save wild cats in the wild, where they belong.