U.S. Senate lawmakers are proposing to ban private ownership of big cats such as lions and tigers in the wake of the Netflix documentary series Tiger King.
Support for the Big Cat Public Safety Act, which would also ban public contact with big cats, was announced by four bipartisan senators.
The United States has more captive tigers than wild tigers in the world.
According to the Animal Welfare Institute, the Tiger King series has helped highlight âthe exploitation of big cats in captivityâ.
In December, the Big Cat Public Safety Act was passed in the US House of Representatives by a strong majority of 272 to 114. But the bill has yet to pass by majority vote in a Senate vote. to become law.
On Monday, Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal said he supported the bill, along with three other senators; his fellow Democrat Tom Carper and Republican Senators Susan Collins and Richard Burr.
“I am grateful for the wave of public support for this bill and look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure it becomes law,” he tweeted. , accompanied by a press release published on the American website Animal. Welfare Institute website.
“This bipartisan move would help stop the exploitation of big cats like tigers and lions, and reduce security risks,” Blumenthal said.
âMy Big Cat Public Safety Act would ban the private property of these beautiful but powerful predators, who deserve to live in the wild. They should never be pets, even as small ones, kept dangerously in captivity for entertainment. “
If the bill passes the Senate, the property ban would apply to lions, tigers, leopards, cheetahs, jaguars, cougars or any hybrid of these species kept as pets. Sanctuaries and zoos, for example, would be exempt.
The date of the Senate vote has not yet been decided.
According to estimates by conservationists, as many as 7,000 tigers in the United States live in zoos or private owners – nearly double the estimated 3,890 tigers that still roam the wilderness around the world.
The Tiger King documentary series, which became a huge hit on Netflix last year, chronicles Joe Exotic’s colorful life as a zoo owner in the US state of Oklahoma.
Exotic, real name Joseph Maldonado-Passage, is currently serving a 22-year sentence for his involvement in a conspiracy of contract murder and animal abuse.
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