Dear Rep. XXXX,
As your constituent, I am
asking you to support H.R. 1998 / S.1381, the “Big
Cats and Public Safety Protection Act”.
H.R. 1998 bans the private
ownership of big cats for personal possession or
financial gain. Current owners would be
grandfathered in to keep their exotic cats for the
remainder of the cats’ lives, but would not be able
to acquire more or breed the ones they have. After
twenty years, which is the average lifespan of a big
cat in captivity, big cats would only be found in
accredited zoos and sanctuaries.
By drastically reducing the
number of big cats in private hands in the United
States, H.R.1998 / S.1381 also reduces the number of
inspections required by the USDA. This would greatly
relieve the already overburdened federal agency.
Right now, there are
approximately 115 USDA inspectors responsible for
overseeing about 7,750 facilities, which is just
ridiculous. Due to the sheer volume of assignments,
there is a tremendous opportunity for an
oversight...which, when dealing with lions and
tigers, could result in a deadly catastrophe.
H.R. 1998 also plays a role
in the future safety of USDA inspectors. By only
having to visit accredited zoos and sanctuaries,
where proper safety measures are already in place,
there is less worry that an inspector will be in
harm’s way. This is opposed to a private owner who
is very likely to have substandard security.
This letter addresses just
one of the many reasons H.R.1998 / S.1381, the “Big
Cats and Public Safety Protection Act” is necessary
United States. Please consider all the benefits that
would come from passing this legislation into law.