Even as their numbers decrease in the wild, unscrupulous cub-petting operations, claiming to be sanctuaries and zoos, are reaping profits by contributing to big cats' decline. And so do big cat "pet" owners who keep these wild animals in their homes.
Ask your Member of Congress to support the Big Cat Public Safety Act (H.R. 1380/S. 2561), to help ensure the United States does not contribute to the wildlife trade — and the extinction of Africa's vulnerable big cats.
- Infant cubs are ripped from their mothers and caged for human entertainment. Up to 70% of cheetah cubs — which are increasingly trafficked for the pet trade — die enroute before reaching their buyers.
- Lions and other cats are increasingly poached for their bones and other body parts, and unregulated big cat ownership makes it nearly impossible to ensure they aren't filtering into the trade in body parts.
- Cubs are ripped from their mothers within days of birth to maximize cub-petting operators' profits. In the wild, on average, cubs will typically stay with their mothers for between one and two years.
Subject: Protect Africa's lions, leopards, and cheetahs from the big cat trade
Dear Member of Congress,
The United States has a strong history of bipartisan support and international leadership in the fight against the wildlife trade. However, the dangerous trade in big cats is largely unregulated in the United States.
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Today there are thousands of captive big cats in the United States, including African lions, leopards, and cheetahs which are all already vulnerable in the wild and their populations decreasing.
This largely unregulated trade means that big cat owners do not need to be registered or approved — and there is no telling whether these captive big cats are being trafficked for their body parts or bones.
I am writing to ask you to support the Big Cat Public Safety Act (H.R. 1380/S. 2561), a bipartisan bill introduced by Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL) and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) which would ban private ownership of these animals and prohibit exhibitors from allowing public contact with cubs.
This legislation aims to help correct the mistreatment of wild animals and limit the danger posed to members of the public, including law enforcement officers who respond to escapes and attacks.
Please support this bill, and show the world that the United States will continue to lead the fight against wildlife trafficking.