Wednesday 3 August 2022

Big Public Safety Act passes U.S. House (278-134) thanks to Carole Baskin and supporters

NEWS AND COMMENT - USA: The Big Public Safety Act is legislation which Carole Baskin of Big Cat Rescue (BCR) has pushed with great commitment for a very long time. It is her legislation. Her baby and it is vitally needed in the US. She has seen first-hand the abuses to which captive big cats and smaller wild cat species are subjected to by people who like to possess them as pets but are unable to truly care for them. This is an abuse of these cats and I sense that Carole Baskin's focus is on the welfare of the cats whereas this legislation also protects owners and the public.

Carole Baskin has campaigned tirelessly for the Big Cat Safety Act her legislation
Carole Baskin has campaigned tirelessly for the Big Cat Safety Act her legislation. She is a great woman although she has her detractors. Strong women annoy weak men. Image: Instagram.

In amending the Captive Wildlife Safety Act, it prohibits future possession and breeding of lions, tigers and other big cats in the exotic pet trade. It targets privately-owned animals with exemptions for zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, sanctuaries, universities and travelling circuses.

Current owners i.e. private owners, of these animals have been 'grandfathered' which means they can go on as they were until the animals die as I understand it. These owners are required to register the animals with the USDA.

The bill is urgently required in order to keep big cats safe and away from abusive circumstances. And often they pose a serious risk to the safety of the public and the owner. I believe that Carole particularly detests the abuse of big cat cubs as photo props at roadside businesses.

Around 10,000-20,000 big cats are currently owned as pets in the US, it is said. Extraordinary. Or they are caged in roadside zoos and perhaps the worst of it is that the country's administrators simply don't know how many there are. And they don't know the conditions under which they suffer.

There have been 740 dangerous incidents involving big cats since 1990 in America.

This new legislation ensures that big cats can only live in secure facilities which can provide proper caregiving. They will be well looked after and will not be a threat to public safety.

My reading of this legislation and the campaign that came before it that it is almost exclusively down to Carole Baskin and her energy and commitment to get this job done. She's been mopping up the mess of self-indulgent people who like to have big cats as pets by rescuing them at her Big Cat Rescue facility for years. She now wants to take proactive steps rather than reactive which is the underlying purpose of this legislation.

Her recent elevation to celebrity stardom by the Netflix series Tiger King has helped to publicise her efforts. There was a silver lining to Joe Exotic's attempt to kill her. By the way his appeal to shorten his sentence has failed and he has been sentenced to a further 21 years in prison as I understand it.

Below is the impressive Carole Baskin requesting further support to push on with the legislation and see it home to enactment.

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