The Big Cat Public Safety Act would end the private possession of big cats as pets, end cub petting, and limit exhibitors to those who do not repeatedly violate the law. It bans private ownership and breeding of big cats with limited exemptions. This federal bill has bi-partisan backing and is endorsed by organizations such as the Humane Society of the United States, International Fund for Animals, and accredited big cat sanctuaries across the country, including Lions Tigers & Bears.
On September 18, 2019 the House Natural Resources Committee passed the Big Cat Public Safety Act H.R. 1380! Now this crucial legislation will go on to a vote by the full House of Representatives, and if passed in the House, it will go on to the Senate floor for a vote. Passing in the House Committee is a major progressive step to ensure the protection of thousands of captive big cats across the U.S.
Call and email your U.S. representative now and urge them to push for the passage of this crucial piece of legislation. If your representative is already a co-sponsor of the bill, please take the time to thank them for supporting it.
On Tuesday, May 21, H.R. 2863 - The Traveling Exotic Animal and Public Safety Protection Act (TEAPSPA) was reintroduced in Congress by Representatives Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) and David Schweikert (R-AZ), and championed by our friends at Animal Defenders International (ADI), the bipartisan bill has been signed by 16 cosponsors so far. With the passage of TEAPSPA, Congress aims to amend the Animal Welfare Act to restrict the use of exotic and wild animals in traveling circuses and other traveling acts.
On July 15, 2019 the companion bill was introduced in the Senate - S.2121 - The Traveling Exotic Animal and Public Safety Protection ACT (TEAPSPA) by Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and referred to the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.
Due to severe confinement, lack of free exercise, and the restriction of natural behaviors, animals used in traveling circuses suffer and are prone to health, behavioral, and psychological problems. Studies show that traveling circuses compromise the welfare of wild animals, who are confined in small spaces, deprived of their physical and social needs, and spend excessive amounts of time shut in trailers and train cars. Circus animals are often seen behaving abnormally under a high state of anxiety - rocking, swaying, and pacing, all indicating that they are in distress and not coping with their environment. Ultimately, these conditions present a public safety risk and deny these animals the right to live without suffering.
The mobile and transitory nature of traveling circuses makes it difficult for authorities to enforce federal animal health, safety, and welfare laws and violations. Congress has a responsibility to protect the welfare of animals and ensure public safety. A prohibition on the use of exotic and wild animals in traveling circuses is proportionate, responsible, and the least expensive solution to this problem.
Supporting the Traveling Exotic Animal and Public Safety Protection Act will ensure:
In the US, over 90 jurisdictions have full/partial bans on wild/exotic animal circus acts, and in December 2018 New Jersey and Hawaii both passed statewide bans. A number of other states are also considering bans. Now we have a chance to stop circus suffering nationwide, but we need you to speak out for the animals.
Newly formed in 2017, the Big Cat Sanctuary Alliance was created to strengthen the big cat sanctuary community by offering an annual workshop for sanctuaries to come together to learn new methods in animal care, discuss veterinary issues and treatment, and cover financial topics such as fundraising strategies and sustainability. In addition, its offers support to member sanctuaries, as well as sanctuaries interested in obtaining BCSA membership, on ways to overall improve their standards of care.
The BCSA will speak as one unified voice on the issues of the exotic pet trade, big cats used in entertainment and other areas of abuse. The BCSA works towards the day when sanctuaries are no longer needed because the ownership and commercial exploitation of wild cats has been eliminated.
Lions Tigers & Bears holds the highest accreditation possible from the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS), a non-profit group which provides certification for animal sanctuaries, rescue centers, and rehabilitation centers across the world.
The sole purpose of GFAS is to ensure that these animals receive the highest standards of care during rescue, rehabilitation, and for the rest of their lives.
GFAS is the only globally recognized organization for certifying that a facility meets specific Standards of Excellence and recognizes those as a true "sanctuary." As such, Lions Tigers & Bears is proud to be certified by GFAS as we exceed their standards of care and excellence.
In addition, Bobbi Brink has been honored with the prestigious Carole Noon Award for Sanctuary Excellence, which is awarded annually to an individual who "embodies and puts into practice the GFAS philosophy of vision, dedication, and excellence in animal care at sanctuaries."
To learn more about the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries Standards of Excellence visit their website.
Lions Tigers & Bears is an active member of the American Sanctuary Association. We are accredited by the Association, which requires member animal sanctuaries to comply with a variety of high quality animal care standards and housing requirements. Besides a detailed application process, in which organizational qualifications such as financial stability, fundraising procedures, board oversight, permits and licenses, organizational bylaws, educational materials and veterinary references are reviewed, the Association also visits all applicant animal sanctuaries to assure that their facilities and animal care merit the American Sanctuary Association endorsement. In addition, ASA member sanctuaries are not allowed to breed, sell or trade animals, or use them for commercial purposes.
Lions Tigers & Bears is a proud member of the Bear Care Group. The Bear Care Group is committed to creating and enhancing communication, cooperation and education among international bear care professionals by organizing bear care programs, publications and resources focused on advancing and sharing information on bear behavior, husbandry, enrichment, training, veterinary care and other topics to further global bear welfare and conservation efforts.
Lions Tigers & Bears has reached out to the USDA and the Garvin County Sheriff's Department in Oklahoma to offer support to help the animals at G.W. Zoo (yes - that G.W. Zoo...from Tiger King). We are urging officials to investigate and take action, after photos and videos by zoo visitors show animals is grave condition, members of the public (including a child) breaching safety barriers and coming into direct contact with a tiger and a cougar, and a young lion scaling a fence and attempting to escape. These incidences raise serious concern for public safety. Multiple violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and animals in dire need of medical attention are also evident.
The Netflix docuseries, Tiger King, has taken the internet by storm, sending shockwaves and loads of memes across the interweb, all while rising to the ranks of the #1 series on the streaming service. However, the docuseries fell short in its depiction of the reality that captive big cats endure when exploited for profit in the U.S.
Bears are being exhibited and used for entertainment at the New York State Fair now through Monday, September 2nd. Will you join us in contacting the organizer of this event to raise your voice for these animals? Instituting a policy against hosting exotic animal performances and exhibitions is a matter of public safety and animal welfare. Reaching out to organizers, can help prevent animal exhibitions from attending the fair in future years. Please take a few minutes to contact Troy Waffner, Director of the New York State Fair and Governor Andrew Cuomo to let them know that allowing wild and exotic animal exhibitors is NOT OK.
(August 18, 2019) A tiger, serval cub, wallaby, and other exotic animals are currently being exhibited and exploited at the Antelope Valley Fair in Lancaster, CA through August 25th. Take action and urge fair management to enact a policy against hosting big cat and exotic animal displays to protect public safety and animal welfare. Exhibition of tigers, an endangered species, and other exotic animals such as servals, lynx and wallabies is irresponsible, inappropriate and an urgent matter of public safety and animal welfare.