Invoice limiting massive cat possession made well-known by ‘Tiger King’ heads to Biden’s desk

The Massive Cat Public Security Act, a invoice to limit personal possession of huge cats like tigers that was made well-known by the “Tiger King” Netflix collection, handed by unanimous consent within the Senate and can head to President Biden’s desk.

Biden is anticipated to signal the invoice, having launched an announcement of assist for the invoice in July.

Probably the most well-known advocate of the invoice was Carole Baskin, the founder and CEO of Florida rescue facility Massive Cat Rescue who was documented in “Tiger King” and subsequent documentary reveals. She traveled to Capitol Hill a number of instances to advocate for the invoice. 

“For me, this struggle for the massive cats was by no means private,” Baskin mentioned. “This was all the time about growing a nationwide coverage to close down the commerce in these animals as props in industrial cub dealing with operations and as pets in folks’s backyards and basements.”

The Home handed the invoice in July in a 278-134 vote, with all votes towards being Republicans and 63 Republicans becoming a member of with Democrats to vote in favor.

Below the invoice, possession of the massive cats and cross-breeds can be restricted to wildlife sanctuaries, state universities and authorized zoos. It will additionally ban breeding of the cats besides by an authorized zoo or animal exhibitor. These on show would must be stored not less than 15 ft away from the general public or behind a everlasting barrier to stop contact.

Present house owners of huge cats who would in any other case be restricted will be capable of maintain the animals, so long as they don’t breed, purchase or promote any prohibited wildlife species; don’t permit direct contact between cats and the general public; and register the cat with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. That may step by step part out personal possession of the animals.

The invoice takes intention on the “cub-petting” trade assailed by animal welfare activists, during which members of the general public pay to play or take images with tiger cubs or different massive cats.

Republican opponents of the invoice have argued that it will duplicate federal processes, and proposed giving the Division of Agriculture authority to manage the cats reasonably than the Division of the Inside.

Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), and James Lankford (R-Okla.) had positioned holds on the invoice that held up its consideration within the Senate. However the senators lifted their holds, permitting it to go by unanimous consent on Tuesday – simply weeks earlier than the top of the Congressional session. After the brand new 12 months within the new Congress, the invoice would have needed to undergo each chambers once more so as to go.

“We applaud Sens. Blumenthal and Collins for his or her tireless work to safe the passage of the Massive Cat Public Security Act, which can maintain households in suburbia protected from harmful tigers and lions,” mentioned Marty Irby, govt director at Animal Wellness Motion. “After a decade of legislative work on the invoice and large publicity for the difficulty, cub petting will quickly develop into a factor of the previous within the U.S.”

The invoice discovered assist not solely from animal welfare activists, but additionally from these involved about public security and legislation enforcement personnel who aren’t skilled to deal with the massive cats when confronted with them — endangering police, the general public, and the animals themselves. The Nationwide Sheriff’s Affiliation supported the invoice.

In a 2011 incident in Zanesville, Ohio, a person let out round 50 unique animals from his assortment, together with lions, tigers, bears and a baboon, shortly earlier than killing himself. Police, fearing for public security, shot and killed dozens of the animals.