header image

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

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Mostly clear
Mostly clear
45°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
April 16
1962 - Walt Disney donates bison herd to Hart Park [story]
Bison


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
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Thursday, Apr 15, 2021
LASD Investigating Deadly Saugus Stabbing
A woman died after having been rushed to the hospital following a stabbing in a Saugus neighborhood early Thursday morning.
Thursday, Apr 15, 2021
Thursday COVID-19 Roundup: 16 and Over Now Eligible for Vaccine; SCV Cases Total 27,535
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Thursday 23 new deaths and 613 new cases of COVID-19, with 27,535 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Thursday, Apr 15, 2021
Survey Shows Majority of Staff, Students Favor Keeping Hart Mascot
The results of two surveys regarding the controversy surrounding the Hart High School mascot were reported during the William S. Hart Union High School District governing board meeting on Wednesday.
Keep Up With Our Facebook

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1962 - Walt Disney donates bison herd to Hart Park [story]
Bison
The William S. Hart Union High School District Governing Board has approved the recommendation to name Donna Manfredi as the principal of Golden Oak Adult School.
Donna Manfredi Takes Helm at Golden Oak Adult School
The Executive Office of the Board of Supervisors announced the leadership team of the newly formed Probation Oversight Commission who will be tasked to lead efforts to monitor the Probation Department’s progress on systemic reform.
L.A. County Announces New Probation Oversight Commission Leadership Team
The Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center at College of the Canyons will host a virtual Open House on Wednesday, April 28 to help those interested in advancing their careers by earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree.
COC University Center Hosting Virtual Open House
The Santa Clarita Public Television Authority will hold its regular meeting virtually Monday, April 19, at 2:00 p.m.
April 19: Santa Clarita Public Television Authority Virtual Regular Meeting
SCV Water has received a nearly $250,000 California Special Districts Association Public Safety Power Shutoff program allocation from the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES).
Cal OES Awards SCV Water $250K Grant
The Los Angeles County Arts Education Collective, coordinated by the Department of Arts and Culture, and KCET have joined forces to create a new documentary that explores the value of arts education for the youth, communities, and creative economy of L.A. County.
KCET Documentary to Feature L.A. County’s Arts Education
The Santa Clarita Valley League of Women Voters, partnering with College of the Canyons Center for Civic Engagement and its Engage the Vote Student Action Team, is sponsoring a virtual, “Conversation with Mayor Bill Miranda,” on Monday, April 19, from 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Miranda Joins League of Women Voters, COC for Virtual Conversation on Local Government
A woman died after having been rushed to the hospital following a stabbing in a Saugus neighborhood early Thursday morning.
LASD Investigating Deadly Saugus Stabbing
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Thursday 23 new deaths and 613 new cases of COVID-19, with 27,535 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Thursday COVID-19 Roundup: 16 and Over Now Eligible for Vaccine; SCV Cases Total 27,535
The results of two surveys regarding the controversy surrounding the Hart High School mascot were reported during the William S. Hart Union High School District governing board meeting on Wednesday.
Survey Shows Majority of Staff, Students Favor Keeping Hart Mascot
As students and staff return to schools for in-person instruction, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department reminds everyone to keep the safety of students in mind when traveling around schools.
With Schools Reopening, LASD Reminding Drivers to Keep Student Safety In Mind
1954 - Frank Sinatra, Sterling Hayden on streets of Newhall for filming of "Suddenly" [story]
Frank Sinatra
Los Angeles County Public Health officials on Wednesday confirmed 57 new deaths and 411 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, as the county prepares to expand vaccination eligibility to residents 16 and older on Thursday.
Wednesday COVID-19 Roundup: Vaccination Eligibility to Expand to 16+ Thursday; SCV Cases Total 27,515
Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger has approved $140,000 in funding to the Santa Clarita Valley Boys & Girls Club through the county's Community Services Block Grant.
Barger to Allocate $140K in County Block Grant Funds to Boys & Girls Club of SCV
California public health officials this week lifted capacity limits on in-person services at places of worship from the state's reopening scheme, following a handful of Supreme Court decisions in favor of congregants challenging the state’s COVID-19 capacity limits.
California Lifts COVID Capacity Limits on Places of Worship
The Santa Clarita City Council on Tuesday night approved one-time funding of $100,000 for the relocation of Bridge to Home shelter services for people experiencing homelessness, and an additional loan not to exceed $110,000.
Santa Clarita City Council OK’s Funding for Bridge to Home Shelter Relocation
California Institute of the Arts, or CalArts, is leasing space at Newhall Crossings in Downtown Newhall to put its students’ artwork on display, officials with the Valencia arts college announced recently.
CalArtians’ Works on Display at Newhall Crossings
The Santa Clarita City Council unanimously approved Tuesday a Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital expansion plan, following a public hearing with protest from members of a local carpenters union and calls by community members to include a mental health care unit for children.
Santa Clarita City Council Approves Henry Mayo Expansion Plan
California Senate Bill 546, a measure to extend the state's "iFoster" cell phones and data program for foster youth, has passed out of the Senate Energy, Utilities, and Communications Committee with unanimous support, according to Sen. Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita).
Wilk’s Bill to Extend ‘iFoster’ Cell Phone Program for Foster Youth Moves Forward
2014 - "Become Ocean" by John Luther Adams (CalArts BFA 1973) named winner of 2014 Pulitzer Prize in Music [story]
John Luther Adams
College of the Canyons athletic programs returned to campus this week to begin outdoor team strength and conditioning activities, guided by a stringent return-to-campus procedural plan designed to ensure the health and safety of student-athletes, coaches and support staff.
Cougar Athletics Return to Campus
The organizers of high school athletics in Southern California announced Monday their plans to move forward with section championships for a number of outdoor sports.
CIF Announces Plans to Move Forward with Post-Season Play
If you watched NASA’s exciting Mars Perseverance rover landing on Feb. 18, you definitely won’t want to miss the College of the Canyons Canyon Country campus spring 2021 virtual Star Party on Friday, April 23.
April 23: COC Canyon Country Virtual Star Party
%d bloggers like this: