This week, america Home of Representatives handed The Big Cat Public Safety Act (BCPSA) with a vote of 272 to 114 (with 45 members not voting). The laws was first launched by Representatives Michael Quigley (D-Sick) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) in 2012 with the purpose of prohibiting personal people from protecting “large cats” resembling tigers, lions, leopards, and others in captivity and banning public contact with these animals for leisure. “After months of the general public loudly and clearly calling for Congress to finish personal large cat possession, I’m extraordinarily happy that the Home has now handed the Large Cat Public Security Act,” Quigley stated. “Large cats are wild animals that merely don’t belong in personal houses, backyards, or shoddy roadside zoos.”
Tiger King momentum
The BCPSA gained traction after the March launch of Tiger King, a Netflix collection that launched viewers to the feud between Joe Unique (a roadside zookeeper and animal breeder) and Carole Baskin (a sanctuary proprietor who labored to close down Unique’s zoo), together with different eccentric characters labeled loosely as “large cat individuals,” together with Kevin “Doc” Antle and Jeffrey Lowe, who all interact in exploiting wild animals for revenue.
In an effort to show the reality behind Tiger King and acquire help for BCPSA, in April, animal-rights group The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) launched never-before-seen footage of the abuse large cats suffered by the hands of Unique and different individuals within the US wildlife commerce. In 2011, an HSUS investigator uncovered varied staff at Joe Unique’s GW Zoo, together with Unique himself, routinely beating and punching tiger cubs within the face, dragging them by their necks and tails, and fascinating in different abuse. In 2014, HSUS uncovered additional abuse at Doc Antle’s Myrtle Seashore Safari.
Thus far, most of Tiger King’s characters have been disciplined for his or her position in perpetuating the merciless wildlife commerce, together with Unique (who’s in jail for wildlife violations and his murder-for-hire scheme in opposition to Baskin); Antle (who was slapped with multiple felony charges in October, together with wildlife trafficking); Wildlife in Want roadside zoo proprietor Tim Stark (who was arrested by New York authorities in October); and Lowe (whose wildlife exhibitor license was suspended by america Division of Agriculture, resulting in the closure of the GW Exotic Animal Park to the general public in August). All through the ordeal, animal-rights teams and Baskin, together with a slew of celebrities resembling Joaquin Phoenix, Diane Keaton, and Iggy Pop, urged Congress to go BCPSA to stop the abuse documented by Tiger King.
The necessity for federal safety of huge cats
At present, 5 states (Alabama, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin) have nearly no legal guidelines pertaining to the possession of untamed animals resembling large cats, and even in locations the place some authorized protections do exist, these legal guidelines are not often enforced. Additional, protecting large cats in captivity poses a severe public well being risk that has resulted in 400 harmful incidents in 46 states and the District of Columbia since 1990, together with 24 deaths (5 of which had been youngsters). “Thirty-five states now prohibit protecting large cats as pets,” HSUS CEO Kitty Block and Sara Admunsen, President of the Humane Society Legislative Fund, said in a joint assertion. “However to wipe this drawback out for good, we’d like robust federal legal guidelines that can stop unscrupulous individuals from forcing wild animals to spend their total lives in abject distress whereas making a public security nightmare.”
THE BCPSA is now shifting on to the Senate for voting.
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