Action Alert: The Big Cat Public Safety Act

Pass the federal Big Cat Public Safety Act

OAA PROGRAM AREA: Wildlife Protection


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.

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 we still need to get this bill over the finish line. It passed the House on International Tiger Day by a vote of 278-134. Help get this critical legislation through the Senate.

What You Can Do

Congress will be returning soon and conducting hearings and House and Senate sessions. Contact your U.S. Senator and urge them to support 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. 

Take Action 

Dear Senator ______________ ,

I respectfully urge you to support the Big Cat Public Safety Act (S. 1210), 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. This legislation would 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 is required to address gaps in state regulations and is crucial for the safety of both humans and animals alike.

In summary, I ask you to support and help to pass The Big Cat Public Safety Act. Thank you for your consideration of this issue.


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