Kathy Milani HSUS 2012

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Protect big cats in the US!

We’ve all seen photos on the internet of people hugging, feeding, or playing with tiger or lion cubs. Behind these pictures is a cycle of cruel and dangerous animal exploitation. Roadside zoos breed big cats to produce cubs, then use them in interactive experiences for paying visitors. The cubs are taken from their mothers as newborns, depriving them of proper maternal care and harming their development. After just a few months, the cubs are too big to be handled safely, so they are warehoused in substandard menageries, kept as pets in backyards or basements, or killed. Meanwhile, to maintain the cash flow from public contact activities, new cubs are produced to replace the ones that age out, resulting in a never-ending cycle of big cats being born, used for public contact, and cruelly disposed of.

This is not only an animal welfare issue but also a public safety issue. Even when captive-born and hand-raised, wild animals retain their natural instincts. They can, and do, injure and kill people. Careless handling and unsafe caging are often the norm among unqualified owners, and captive big cats take every opportunity to escape.

The Big Cat Public Safety Act addresses these problems by prohibiting the possession of big cat species like tigers and lions by individuals as pets and by prohibiting animal exhibitors from allowing public contact with them.

Please urge your representative and senators to support the Big Cat Public Safety Act today!



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