America's neighborhoods already have enough dangerous predators. But few are more lethal than the tigers, lions and other big cats kept as backyard pets and for profit.
Big cat possession and breeding is at epidemic proportions in the U.S. It is estimated that there are at least 10,000 big cats in private ownership. The animals are often kept in squalid conditions and dangerously close to residential areas.
Spearheaded by IFAW and introduced by U.S. Representatives Howard "Buck" McKeon (R-CA) and Loretta Sanchez (D-CA), the Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act will prohibit people from keeping big cats as pets and breeding them for commercial exploitation, while requiring current "owners" to register their big cats.
Please sign this petition to urge your U.S. Representative to co-sponsor the Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act today.
Dear [decision maker],
As your constituent and a member advocate of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), I am writing today to urge your co-sponsorship of the Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act, introduced by Reps. Buck McKeon (R-CA) and Loretta Sanchez (D-CA).
[Your comments will be inserted here.]
Spearheaded by IFAW, the Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act will finally prohibit people from keeping big cats as pets and breeding them for commercial exploitation, while requiring current owners to register their big cats. The bill exempts zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, wildlife sanctuaries, wildlife rehabilitators, and traveling circuses in compliance with the Animal Welfare Act.
As someone who values public safety and opposes animal exploitation, I am concerned that there could be up to 20,000 big cats kept in the United States as pets in backyards or in roadside zoos, and that no one, not even the USDA, knows exactly where they are and under what conditions they are living. Meanwhile, since 1997, captive big cats in the U.S. have killed 22 people (including five children) and nearly 200 additional people have been mauled or injured.
Please co-sponsor the Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act today.
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