[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Sunny
Sunny
69°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
December 12
1891 - Actor Buck Jones, a Placerita and Vasquez "regular," born in Indiana [story]


Thriller and Sabu, formerly owned by Michael Jackson. Photo courtesty of Shambala Preserve in Acton.

[Rep. Buck McKeon] – U.S. Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, and Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Garden Grove, introduced the “Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act” in the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

An alarming number of wild cats have been bred and sold as domestic pets in the U.S. This trend threatens public safety and often results in the mistreatment of these animals.  Just recently, the tragic events in Zanesville, Ohio, where 49 wild animals were killed after they were let loose on an unlicensed wild animal preserve, showcases the dangerous implications of this trend.  Currently, only nine states have laws enforcing “no wild animals permitted,” and the remaining states have weak or no laws in existence. This bi-partisan bill will ensure that lions, tigers and other dangerous big cats, do not threaten public safety, diminish global big cat conservation efforts, or end up living in horrible conditions where they can be subject to mistreatment and cruelty.

The Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act would prohibit private possession of big cats except at highly-qualified facilities, like accredited zoos, where they can be properly cared for and restrained.  Also, since nobody, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), state agencies, or local first responders knows exactly how many dangerous big cats are being kept in private hands, under what conditions, and in what locations, the bill would require any persons who currently possess big cats to register those animals with USDA in order to keep the cats they currently own.  The bill would also outlaw the breeding of any big cat except at accredited zoos and research and educational institutions.  Violators of the law could have their animals confiscated along with any vehicles or equipment used to aid in their illegal activity, and could face stiff penalties including fines as much as $20,000, and up to five years in jail.

“No matter how many times people try to do it, wildcats such as lions, tigers, panthers and cheetahs are impossible to domesticate for personal possession and require much higher living standards compared to a domestic house cat,” said Congressman McKeon.  “When accidents happen and these wild cats are released into our neighborhoods, it causes panic, puts a strain on our local public safety responders and is extremely dangerous. This bill is a step forward in protecting the public and ensuring that wildcats reside in proper living conditions.”

“The events in Ohio last year showed the tragedy that can occur when exotic animals are privately owned by individuals, with little to no oversight,” said Congresswoman Sanchez.  “Wild animals are dangerous and we clearly need better laws limiting their ownership.  Exotic species should be regulated to high quality facilities with the ability to properly care for them.”

Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) is working on introducing a companion bill in the Senate.

“It’s a little hard to believe that there’s a crazy patchwork of regulations governing people who try to keep wild cats as pets,” said Senator Kerry.  “I know it sounds like something you just read about when there’s a tragic news story, but it’s all too real for first responders who respond to a 911 call and are surprised to come face to face with a Bengal tiger.  This bill will ensure that these endangered creatures are kept in secure, professional facilities like wildlife sanctuaries rather than in small cages in someone’s backyard or apartment building.”

This legislation is supported by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), Born Free USA, Humane Society of United States, and Big Cat Rescue.

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

8 Comments

  1. Pam Thompson says:

    “An alarming number of wild cats have been bred and sold as domestic pets in
    the U.S. This trend threatens public safety..”

    How many members of the innocent and unsuspecting public have been killed or injured by pet big cats in the past 50 years?
    vs
    How many members of the innocent and unsuspecting public have been killed or injured by pet dogs in the past 50 years?
    vs
    How many members of the innocent and unsuspecting public have been killed or injured by motorcycles in the past 25 years?

    ‘“The events in Ohio last year showed the tragedy that can occur when exotic animals are privately owned by individuals, with little to no oversight,” said Congresswoman Sanchez.’

    What happened in OH could have happened anywhere. All it takes is one crazy person with access to keys. Being “accredited” won’t prevent someone from unlocking cages and fences. Injuries and exotic animal escapes happen every year at “accredited” zoos and sanctuaries in the US. In fact, just this month two adult gorillas escaped their enclosure at a zoo in Kansas city.

    • KathrynK says:

      Pam, there’s a serious issue with keeping tigers and lions locked up in tiny cages in people’s yards. It’s not OK, no matter how you look at it. And please, spare me the cat and dog argument….they are not critically endangered.

  2. Janet Weeks says:

    Absolutely we need this bill! Pass it, right away!!

  3. For Tomorrow says:

    Do you love lions and tigers and other big cats? Take 3 min. to voice your support for this act! Voter opinions count!

    http://4-2morrow.blogspot.com/2012/03/tell-congress-to-support-big-cats-and.html

  4. Bonnie_Morrison says:

    This is a good start, but misses the point. There are multiple species of wild and exotic animals besides lionsand tigers. These animals are also being sold in the state of Ohio and have escaped their owners to cause havock for the public and law enforcement. What about those animals, don’t they deserve the same consideration. Why are they not part of this new proposal!

  5. crom14 says:

    Please address what will be done with all the beautiful wild cats already in private settings. Where will they go? This must be thought about before passing the bill.

  6. What you fail to mention, is that that tragedy in OH is being looked into by the FBI as a murder, Terry was murdered and his animals released, i hope while they are at, that they would investigate carole baskin of big cat rescue, for the disappearance of her husband. We as US citizens need to stand up against AR groups, who are trying to strip us of all our rights

  7. Thomas Kirby says:

    It’s not actually a good idea to “save big cats from cruelty” this way. In fact it’s an extinction level bad idea. Anything that restricts how many endangered or at risk animals can be bred risks their entire species. The extremists who are trying to stop private being are causing extinction.

Leave a Comment


SCV NewsBreak
Loading...
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Monday, Dec 11, 2017
Cat-Napped Kitten Returned Safely to Shelter Hope
Baxter the cat-napped kitten has been returned safely to the Shelter Hope Pet Shop at Valencia Town Center Mall.
Monday, Dec 11, 2017
Thomas Fire Explodes to 230,500 Acres, 15 Percent Contained
The Thomas Fire burning in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties has now consumed 230,500 acres, according to Ventura County Fire Department officials Monday morning, up from 170,000 a day earlier.
Monday, Dec 11, 2017
DMV to Provide Services at 2 Fire Assistance Centers
The California Department of Motor Vehicles will provide limited services for victims of Los Angeles and Ventura wildfires at two assistance centers starting Tuesday.
Keep Up With Our Facebook

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1891 - Actor Buck Jones, a Placerita and Vasquez "regular," born in Indiana [story]
'The Shape of Water' and 'Big Little Lies' top the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's 75th Golden Globes nominations announced Monday morning in Beverly Hills.
‘Shape of Water,’ ‘Big Little Lies’ Top 75th Golden Globes Nominations
Baxter the cat-napped kitten has been returned safely to the Shelter Hope Pet Shop at Valencia Town Center Mall.
Cat-Napped Kitten Returned Safely to Shelter Hope
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, the SCV Sheriff's Station has sent out an all-points bulletin about a male kitten stolen from his cage at the Shelter Hope Pet Shop. Plus, some holiday cheer comes to Carousel Ranch. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Monday, December 11, 2017
The next Castaic Lake Water Agency's Water Resources Committee meeting is Tuesday, December 12 at 5:30 p.m.
Dec. 12: CLWA Water Resources Committee Meeting
The Santa Clarita City Council will hold two special meetings, as well as its regular meeting on Tuesday, December 12, at 4:30 p.m., 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. respectively.
Dec. 12: City Council Special, Regular Meetings
The next regular organizational meeting of the Governing Board of the William S. Hart Union High School District is set for Wednesday, December 13 at 7 p.m.
Dec. 13: Hart School District Governing Board Meeting
Castaic School Board members held their annual organizational meeting on December 7 and elected officers and representatives of the board for 2018.
Castaic Union School District Names 2018 Officers, Reps
The Los Angeles County Arts Commission has released findings from an 18-month survey of arts education in K-12 public schools.
County Arts Commission Unveils Findings from K-12 Arts Ed Profile
The Thomas Fire burning in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties has now consumed 230,500 acres, according to Ventura County Fire Department officials Monday morning, up from 170,000 a day earlier.
Thomas Fire Explodes to 230,500 Acres, 15 Percent Contained
Bank of Hope has given California State University, Northridge $20,000 to help expand the university’s VITA income tax preparation assistance program for low-income families and individuals during the 2018 tax season.
CSUN Receives $2K Grant for VITA Income Tax Prep Clinic
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that 10 live action short films will advance in the voting process for the 90th Academy Awards.
10 Live Action Shorts Advance in 2017 Oscar Race
The city of Santa Clarita is accepting submissions from local photographers for its Winter 2017 Photo Contest through December 31.
Dec. 31: City Winter Photo Contest Entry Deadline
The county and city of Los Angeles have activated the 211 LA County Disaster Hotline for residents to report damage caused by the December 2017 Creek, Rye and Skirball Fires in Los Angeles.
County, City of L.A. Fire Up 2-1-1 Disaster Hotline
The California Department of Motor Vehicles will provide limited services for victims of Los Angeles and Ventura wildfires at two assistance centers starting Tuesday.
DMV to Provide Services at 2 Fire Assistance Centers
The city of Santa Clarita invites residents to join in for a night of dancing at community holiday dances on in Newhall on Friday night and Canyon Country on Saturday night.
Dec. 15, 16: Holiday Dances at Canyon Country, Newhall Community Centers
The county and city of Los Angeles will open a local assistance center for victims of the recent wildfires on Tuesday, December 12 that will operate daily through Saturday, December 16.
Assistance Center for LA Wildfire Victims Opens Tuesday
Hannah Ostrom scored a career-high 25 points and The Master's University women's basketball team overcame some nine-day rust to beat CalTech 87-58 Saturday afternoon in Pasadena.
TMU’s Hannah Ostrom Too Much for CalTech
The Master’s University men's basketball team's 126-70 win over visiting Westcliff University on Friday was the Mustangs' eighth straight win.
Mustangs Roll Past Westcliff 126-70 for 8th Straight Win
College of the Canyons sophomore soccer player Angel Quintero has been named the Western State Conference East Division Player of the Year to lead a class of 12 Cougars earning postseason awards.
Angel Quintero Among a Dozen COC Athletes to Earn All-WSC Status
College of the Canyons sophomore soccer forward Aaron Winsick has been named the Western State Conference South Division co-Player of the Year with a combined eight Cougars named to the all-conference squad.
COC’s Winsick Named Co-Player of the Year, 8 Cougars Win All-WSC Honors
The city of Santa Clarita’s Hometown Heroes Military Banner Program has a special discount available now for streetlight pole banners purchased as holiday gifts to honor actively serving military members from the Santa Clarita Valley. Banners can be purchased by individuals or organizations.
Hometown Heroes Military Banners Available as Holiday Gifts
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station crime prevention deputies have received reports of theft in which wallets are stolen from the purses of women shoppers.
When Shopping, Beware of Pocketbook Thieves
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has been awarded a $1,845,385 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety for a year-long program of special enforcement and public awareness efforts
Sheriff’s Department Wins $1.8M Grant for Traffic Enforcement Program
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputies arrested a 24-year-old man and his 20-year-old companion, both from Saugus, on multiple charges early Friday.
SCV Deputies Book Saugus Couple on Drug, Firearm and Other Charges
The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station has provided the public safety report for Stevenson Ranch (Zone 3) for November 27 to December 3, 2017.
Crime Blotter: Theft by Access Card, Burglary in Stevenson Ranch
1975 - Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society incorporates as a 501c3 nonprofit [Heritage Junction]
The National Weather Service has extended its Red Flag Warning of extreme fire danger for coastal and valley areas of Los Angeles and Ventura counties through Monday at 8 p.m.
Fire Danger Warning Extended to Monday 8 p.m.
The Rye Fire is 93 percent contained and the Creek Fire is 95 percent contained, according to a Sunday evening update from CalFire and the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
Rye Fire 93 Percent Contained, Creek Fire Nearly Out
Derelict since the 1994 earthquake, the Pioneer Oil Refinery in Newhall was the first productive oil refinery in the American West and is believed to be the oldest existing refinery in the world today. Unfunded restoration plans have come and gone. Now that the surrounding property is under development, will the promises be kept?
Gate-King and the Pioneer | Commentary by Leon Worden
The Thomas Fire raged in Ventura County and west into Santa Barbara County Sunday, forcing evacuations as the blaze threatened coastal communities of Carpinteria and Montecito and moved inland into the Los Padres National Forest.
Thomas Fire Threatens Coastal Ventura, Santa Barbara County
Retired Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputy and former Newhall School Board member Mike Shapiro's home in Ojai was destroyed by the Thomas fire, which broke out Monday, December 4 and has scorched 173,000 acres as of Sunday morning.
Thomas Fire Levels Ojai Home of Ex-SCV Deputy, NSD Board Member
1941 - Three days after Pearl Harbor attack, 165th and 185th Infantry Regiments assigned to Saugus; Edison power substation guarded 24/7 [timeline]
1983 - U.S. release of John Carpenter's "Christine;" blew up fake gas station in Valencia [watch scene (R)]
CalFire and the Los Angeles County Fire Department updated residents on the status of the Rye Fire and Creek Fire, as well as evacuation locations and road closures as of Friday at 6 p.m.
Rye Fire 50 Percent Contained, Creek Fire 70 Percent Contained
A death investigation is under way at the Crescent Valley Mobile Home Park at 23500 The Old Road in Newhall, according to Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station Sgt. Chris Maurizi.
Detectives Investigating Woman’s ‘Suspicious’ Death at Mobile Home Park