Pass the federal Big Cat Public Safety Act
OAA PROGRAM AREA: Wildlife Protection
ACTION LEVEL: Federal
There are many big cats privately owned and kept illegally as pets in Ohio, and jeopardizing the safety of humans and animals alike. The Dangerous Wild Animal Act, signed into law in 2012 following the Zanesville Exotic Animal Massacre, was a crucial step in addressing the problem of exotic animals held in captivity in Ohio. But there’s still work to be done.
The Big Cat Public Safety Act (H.R. 263 and S. 1210) prohibits the ownership of big cats as pets without the proper USDA license and oversight, and addresses the problem of illegal trafficking via interstate commerce.
The recent incident in Fairfield County, in which a pet serval wild cat escaped in a residential area and was subsequently killed by law enforcement, is an important reminder exotic animals continue to be trafficked into Ohio, and across the country.
Congress recognized that The Big Cat Public Safety Act resolves the discrepancies between differing state regulations around private possession of big cats, providing a consistent approach to protect exotic cats and the public, but passing it through the House this summer, and the Senate just voted 100-0 to pass it out of the Senate and on to the President’s desk for his signature!
What You Can Do
Contact your U.S. Senator and thank them for supporting the Big Cat Act. Share this Action Alert on your social media to raise awareness, educate, and encourage others to take action
Find contact information for your United States Senator here. If mailing via USPS, address the envelope to “The Honorable ______” at the indicated address.
Dear Senator ______________ ,
Thank you for supporting the Big Cat Public Safety Act (H.R. 263), which governs the trade of big cats. The Big Cat Public Safety Act is necessary to resolve the discrepancies between many differing state laws regarding the private possession of big cats, and address the problem of illegal trafficking via interstate commerce.
You may be aware of the October 2019 incident in Fairfield County, where an escaped serval wild cat was shot and killed by law enforcement. Despite the fact there is a statewide ban on owning exotic animals in Ohio, the serval was brought into Ohio from Indiana. The Big Cat Public Safety Act will address the gaps in state regulations and is crucial for the safety of both humans and animals alike.
In summary, I thank you for supporting and helping to pass The Big Cat Public Safety Act.
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