Wildcat Sanctuary Founder Praises Congress Passing Bill That Protects Big Cats From Private Ownership And Exploitation

SANDSTONE, Minn. — The Wildcat Sanctuary in Sandstone is celebrating after a bill protecting big cats has now passed Congress and will head to President Joe Biden’s desk to be signed into law.

On Tuesday, the Senate voted in favor of the Big Cat Public Safety Act, and the House did earlier this year.

It will restrict Americans from privately owning big cats like tigers, lions, leopards, hybrid breeds and more to be pets or part of a business.

Some exemptions include certified zoos and wildlife sanctuaries.

People who already privately own big cats will be allowed to keep them as long as they are registered with the federal government and do not breed, buy, or sell, them, so they will never be able to own more in the future.

The Wildcat Sanctuary founder shed light on how else this is a big victory in shutting down the industry profiting off of big cats.

“The biggest thing here is that this will put an end to public contact with pets which means it will put an end to cub petting, photo opportunities, all those selfies you see, and that is really what has been fueling the captive wildlife crisis for big cats is that these exhibitors and exploiters are breeding cubs and cubs and cubs for these photo ops, cub petting opportunities, things like that,” Tammy Thies, the founder of the Wildcat Sanctuary, said. “And it’s leaving a surplus of big cats often dumped to the pet market, often they disappear, living in substandard, horrible, horrible conditions.”

President Biden said earlier this year that he supported this bill, meaning that he will likely sign it into law when it’s sent to his desk soon.

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