Big Cat Public Safety Act


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Cats are the best pets ever but not when they are tigers or leopards. Want to see a Bengal tiger – you’re more likely to find one in Texas compared to India.

All six tiger subspecies are endangered or critically endangered. According to the World Wildlife Fund, there are about 3,900 tigers in the wild.  According to Chron.com, there are as many as 5,000 tigers in Texas alone, that not to mention another thousand or so kept in other states

By a resounding 278 to 134 vote, the Big Cat Public Safety Act – a law which would put an end to keeping wild cats in homes or as pets and in roadside menageries passed the U.S. House of Representatives, led by Illinois representative Mike Quigley and others. However, the 134 nay votes were all Republicans, which leads to this question:

How can the dangerous and inhumane maintaining of wild and truly dangerous animals be defended and be a partisan issue? There are tigers actually kept as “pets” in New York City. Here’s more data:

An estimated 10,000 to 20,000 big cats languish in deplorable conditions in backyards, roadside zoos, and traveling exhibits throughout the United States. – BigCatAct.com (Big Cat Rescue, 2018b)

The Big Cat Public Safety Act is very definitely about supporting the welfare of wild cats in captivity. An accredited zoo participating in carefully planned breeding programs is one thing, kept in lackluster conditions at an unaccredited facility with no standards or in a backyard or even a home is all-together another matter. In addition to very much being about the welfare of animals, the Act is also about public safety. People won’t be threatened or mauled by a neighborhood tiger if there aren’t any.

Because this has somehow become somewhat of a partisan issue – it could have difficulty passing the senate without public support for what appears to be common sense.