header image

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

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Sunny
Sunny
54°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
February 25
1936 - U.S. release of Silent Era's last feature, "Modern Times" with Charles Chaplin, partially shot in SCV [story]
Modern Times scene


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, Feb 25, 2021
L.A. County Allows for Return of Outdoor Youth, Adult Sports
Youth and adult sports leagues can resume outdoors in Los Angeles County, after the county’s Department of Public Health announced Wednesday the agency is aligning its protocols with the state’s.
Thursday, Feb 25, 2021
Newhall Crash Leaves One Dead
One person was pronounced dead after a fiery traffic collision in Newhall on Wednesday.
Wednesday, Feb 24, 2021
Keep Up With Our Facebook

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
Flair Cleaners, Southern California’s leading eco-friendly dry cleaner, is hosting its 6th Annual Flair Cares Food Drive, Hang Up Hunger, through March 31
Annual Flair Cares Food Drive Underway
Youth and adult sports leagues can resume outdoors in Los Angeles County, after the county’s Department of Public Health announced Wednesday the agency is aligning its protocols with the state’s.
L.A. County Allows for Return of Outdoor Youth, Adult Sports
One person was pronounced dead after a fiery traffic collision in Newhall on Wednesday.
Newhall Crash Leaves One Dead
1936 - U.S. release of Silent Era's last feature, "Modern Times" with Charles Chaplin, partially shot in SCV [story]
Modern Times scene
California State University, Northridge head tennis coach Gary Victor has announced the 2021 Matadors’ women's tennis schedule.
Matadors Set 2021 Women’s Tennis Schedule for March-May
Acclaimed guitarist, songwriter, record producer, and Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Famer Mike Campbell, formerly a member of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, will be the first to host radio station 88.5-FM's new "Artist in Residence" series Saturday, February 27, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Feb. 27: Ex-Heartbreaker Mike Campbell to Host 88.5 FM’s First ‘Artist in Residence’ Show
In the wake of the Canadian Transport Ministry’s Interim Order extending the closure of Canadian ports and waters to passenger vessels, Santa Clarita-based Princess Cruises has found it necessary to cancel three voyages:
Princess Cancels 3 Cruises as Canadian Ports Remain Closed
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to extend its eviction moratorium through June 30, 2021.
L.A. County Extends Eviction Moratorium through June 30
Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger’s motion to explore ways to protect and support the rights of crime victims was unanimously approved by the Board of Supervisors Tuesday.
Supes Unanimously OK Barger Motion to Protect, Support Crime Victims
Programs at the Castaic Lake Recreation Area and pool are set to return after the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a motion to restore the budget for the county's Department of Parks and Recreation.
Castaic Lake, Pool Programs to Return as Supes Restore Parks & Rec Funding
The city of Santa Clarita has awarded a contract to the Los Angeles Kings and American Sports Entertainment Company (ASEC) for the operation of the city-owned ice rink, located at 27745 Smyth Drive in Valencia.
L.A. Kings, ASEC to Operate Former Ice Station Valencia Rink
The California Air Resources Board or CARB is not doing enough to measure and analyze whether its transportation programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are effective, the state auditor said in a report issued Tuesday.
California Auditor Demands CARB Prove Climate Programs Are Working
California Governor Gavin Newsom Tuesday signed into law a comprehensive six-bill relief package of immediate actions to speed needed relief to individuals, families, and businesses suffering the most significant economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Newsom Signs 6-Bill COVID-19 Relief Package to Aid Hard-Hit Californians
1993 - Jury awards Newhall Land $2.3 million for "Valencia" trademark infringement by Palmer apartments at Valle del Oro, Newhall [story]
Palmer Guilty
Grocery and drug store workers are set to get “hero pay” after the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved the urgency ordinance during Tuesday’s regular meeting.
Supes Vote 4-1 in Favor of ‘Hero Pay’
Typically, sustainable landscapes preserve natural resources and are environmentally friendly.
SCV Water’s Virtual Gardening Class to Feature Sustainable Landscaping
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Tuesday 157 new deaths and 2,091 new cases of confirmed COVID-19, with 25,793 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Tuesday COVID-19 Roundup: L.A. County Tops 20,000 Deaths; SCV Cases Total 25,793
Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley is offering Young Women in Public Affairs (YWPA) Awards to outstanding young women.
Zonta SCV Accepting Award Applications for Young Women in Public Affairs
The Santa Clarita City Council Public Safety Committee will hold a virtual meeting Wednesday, Feb 24, at 10:30 a.m.
Feb. 24: City Council Public Safety Committee Virtual Meeting
Maria’s Italian Deli in Newhall has plans to reopen in April, following the announcement it would be closing its doors after 47 years in business last year.
Maria’s Italian Deli Announces Plans to Reopen
ARTree Community Arts Center is returning to some in-person instruction, beginning Monday, March 22.
ARTree to Begin In-Person Instruction March 22
Supervisor Kathryn Barger, whose 5th District represents the Santa Clarita Valley, will introduce a motion Tuesday asking the Board of Supervisors to send a five-signature letter in support of Assembly Bill 420, a bipartisan bill by Assembly members Sharon Quirk-Silva and Suzette Martinez Valladares.
Barger Introduces Motion Supporting Reopening of Theme Parks
Love is in the air and so is the smell of delicious food for this romance-themed episode of The MAIN’s virtual series, “Food Sessions,” as it returns with another mouthwatering episode this Thursday, Feb. 25, at 7:00 p.m.
‘Food Sessions’ Returns with Romance-Themed Virtual Episode
%d bloggers like this: