It’s estimated that currently more than 10,000 big cats — including lions, tigers, and leopards — are being kept as pets or in roadside zoos in the United States. These cats are often exploited as money-making schemes to lure visitors, making their captors rich, while they are locked up in small cages for their entire lives. Handlers rip newborn cubs away from their mothers to groom them to be docile enough for handling by the public, and force an endless cycle of breeding to create a constant stream of cute baby animals. Sadly, once those adorable cubs outgrow their cuteness and become too big and dangerous to handle, they’re often discarded.
Keeping these huge wild predators confined isn’t just harming the animals. It’s also putting communities, staff, and first-responders like EMTs at risk. The only people who benefit from the current system are zoo owners who rake in the profits. Luckily, Congress is considering the Big Cat Public Safety Act, which would close loopholes in existing legislation by prohibiting private ownership of big cats, in addition to making it illegal for exhibitors to allow the public to interact with cubs. Please sign and share this petition urging members of Congress to protect both humans and animals by passing this commonsense legislation.