What are H.R. 1818 and S. 2990

Contact your representative now and let them know that they need to support The Big Cat Public Safety Act

The Big Cat Public Safety Act – H.R. 1818 and S. 2990

Currently, regulation of private ownership and handling of big cats are made by each state.

  • 23 states have a complete ban on private ownership.
  • 13 states have a partial ban on private ownership.
  • 10 states only require licenses to own dangerous exotic animals.
  • 4 states have NO regulations on private ownership.

The proposed federal bill, H.R.1818/S.2990 (Big Cat Public Safety Act), will make it illegal to buy, sell, trade, transport across state lines without permits, privately own, breed, or allow the public to have hands-on interaction with prohibited types of big cats.

Contact your representative now and let them know that they need to support The Big Cat Public Safety Act

Prohibited Wildlife Species Listed In H.R. 1818 and S. 2990:

  • Lion (Panthera leo)
  • Tiger (Panthera tigris)
  • Leopard (Panthera pardus)
  • Snow Leopard (Uncia uncia)
  • Jaguar (Panthera onca)
  • Cougar (Puma concolor)
  • All subspecies of the above-listed species (including mixed subspecies)
  • Or any hybrid of prohibited species

Find and contact your federal representative now and let them know that they need to support H.R. 1818 and S. 2990 – The Big Cat Public Safety Act.

  

<— Back  Next —>

Other Resources:

The Animal Welfare Institute – Big Cat Public Safety Act

Big Cat Public Safety Act Text 

Expanded Information

Exemptions

There will be exceptions to the Big Cat Public Safety Act. Qualified exemptions will be required to have a Class C license from the Department of Agriculture and be a qualifying zoo, sanctuary, state college, university, agency, or State-licensed veterinarian.

H.R. 1818 and S. 2990 will define what a sanctuary truly is –

  • A facility that is exempt from taxation under 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and described in sections 501(c)(3) and 170(b)(1)(A)(vi) of such Code.
  • Does not breed the prohibited wildlife species.
  • Does not allow direct contact between the public and prohibited wildlife species.
  • Does not allow the transport and display of prohibited wildlife species off-site.

Exempt facilities will have strict guidelines to follow –

  • Is not run by or does not employ any person who engages in animal care who has been convicted of or fined for abuse or neglect of any animal by Federal, State, or Local laws.
  • Is not run by or does not employ any person who has had a license or permit regarding the care, possession, exhibition, breeding, or sale of animals revoked or suspended by Federal, State, or Local agencies, including the Department of Agriculture, within the last 3-years.
  • Has not been cited by the Department of Agriculture for violations of the Animal Welfare Act within the past 12-months for repeated violation of
    1. Inadequate veterinary care
    2. Handling that causes stress or trauma to the animal or a threat to public safety
    3. Insufficient food or water
    4. Failure to allow a facility inspection
  • Does not allow anyone other than trained professional employee, contractor of the licensee, or licensed veterinarian to come into direct physical contact with a prohibited wildlife species.
  • Has at least 15 feet between the public and the animal OR a permanent barrier that prevents public contact or risk of contact with animals.
  • Has liability insurance for at least $250,000
  • Has a written plan for the quick and safe recapture or destruction of prohibited wildlife species.

The Big Cat Public Safety Act does allow for grandfathered exemptions as well, as long as the individual or entity does the following:

  • Register the animals no later than 180 days after the enactment of the Big Cat Public Safety Act with the United States Fish and Wildlife Services
  • Does not breed, acquire, or sell any prohibited wildlife species after the enactment of the Act
  • Does not allow direct contact between the public and prohibited wildlife species.

Penalties

Violations of the Big Cat Public Safety Act are clearly defined in the bill. Individuals or entities that knowingly violate the act will:

  • Be fined $20,000 and/or get a maximum of 5 years in jail.
  • Each animal qualifies as a single violation. If multiple animals are involved, each animal will count as a separate offense.

Find and contact your federal representative now and let them know that they need to support H.R. 1818 – The Big Cat Public Safety Act.

   

<— Back  Next —>