'Tiger King' bill heads to Senate
The Big Cat Public Safety Act (H.R. 263) was approved on July 29 in the House and is likely to be voted on in the Senate after its August recess.
The House bill restricts the breeding or possession of “big cats,” including tigers, lions, jaguars and cougars, and limits ownership of the animals to zoos, wildlife sanctuaries, veterinarians and universities. According to the bill, individuals who are currently in possession of big cats can retain them if they register each animal with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, do not breed or sell the animals, and maintain distances or permanent barriers to prevent direct contact between the animals and the public. Violators could face criminal penalties of up to $20,000 in fines or up to five years imprisonment.
An interest in investigating and regulating the breeding and possession of “big cats” increased as a result of the Netflix series “Tiger King,” which told the story of the former Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in Oklahoma and its owner Joseph Maldonado-Passage, also known as Joe Exotic. Maldonado-Passage is currently serving a 21-year prison sentence for wildlife crimes and a murder-for-hire scheme.
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A breakdown of the July 29 House vote can be found at: clerk.house.gov/Votes/2022415.