The Big Cat Public Safety Act (BCPSA), a federal law in the United States aimed at protecting big cats such as lions, tigers, leopards, cheetahs, jaguars, and cougars, was signed into law by President Biden after being passed by Congress in late December. The act bans the breeding and ownership of big cats for the purpose of the exotic pet trade and public display, except by accredited zoos, sanctuaries, and other facilities that meet certain standards of care.
The BCPSA provides big cats with better protection against abuse, neglect, and inhumane treatment often suffered in the exotic pet trade and makes it illegal for exhibitors, such as circuses and zoos, to allow direct contact with cubs.
Cracking down on the breeding and ownership of big cats as pets helps reduce the number of these animals kept in inhumane conditions in backyards and basements.
Additionally, the BCPSA increases public safety by reducing the number of dangerous big cats kept as pets, which can pose a threat to human life and safety in the event of escapes or attacks. Reducing the demand for big cats as pets also helps curb illegal poaching and trafficking of these animals.
In a news release, Animal Legal Defense Fund Executive Director Stephen Wells said:
“The Big Cat Public Safety Act provides a clear framework for protecting big cats in the U.S. who have been vulnerable to the perils of private ownership due to a patchwork of state laws that have been inadequate in protecting animals and ensuring public safety. The bill received bipartisan support from both chambers of Congress, and we are pleased to see it become law.”
(Stock image via Pixabay free images)
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