Victory! President Biden Signs the Big Cat Public Safety Act Into Law
We are thrilled to report a historic victory for captive lions, tigers, and other big cats in the U.S. with President Biden signing the Big Cat Public Safety Act into law on December 20, 2022. Thanks to thousands of In Defense of Animals supporters who spoke up, this critical piece of legislation will finally ban the private possession of big cats, and end the cruel era of cub petting.
After years of advocacy, the bill easily passed in the House in July 2022, but was then held up in the Senate by at least one senator. Miraculously, the block was lifted, and it passed by unanimous consent before heading to President Biden’s desk where it was signed.
This law prohibits the private possession of big cats and makes it illegal for exhibitors, such as circuses and zoos, to allow direct contact with cubs, which will shut down exploitive cub-petting operations. The law, which includes lions, tigers, leopards, jaguars, and hybrids, protects them from being forced into unnatural situations for entertainment. As a result, they can no longer be drugged, transported, and used as props for photo opportunities.
The success of the Big Cat Public Safety Act is due in large part to the efforts of Carole Baskin, the founder of Big Cat Rescue in Florida, who was documented in Tiger King. Baskin tirelessly advocated for this bill along with many animal protection organizations which have worked to see this legislation passed for more than a decade, including In Defense of Animals — collectively, you’ve recently helped us deliver more than 147,000 signatures in support of this bill to decision-makers. We applaud the House, the Senate, and the President for passing this vitally important bipartisan animal protection law.
To find out more about how to get involved and secure even more victories like this, visit our Wild Animals campaign.