Carole Baskin sums up the advantages of the Big Cat Public Safety Act, now US law
I am one of those people who admire Carole Baskin tremendously. She has spent 30 years of her life ensuring that this new law, the Big Cat Public Safety Act, comes into force. In the video she tells us that it passed Congress but since then it's been signed off by President Joe Biden and therefore it is now law in the USA.
It tackles two major aspects of big cat ownership. Firstly, it prevents big cat ownership falling into the hands of private individuals where the cats are often mistreated and abused. Carole Baskin in another video says that countries like the UK banned this form of big cat ownership in 1970. She is upset that America has taken until now, 50 years later, to do the same thing.
And secondly, it stops the abuse of big cat cubs in photo sessions and other uses. There are two aspects to be cub abuse. They are torn from their mothers and we don't know the back story to this and how many cubs die in the process et cetera. And secondly when they grow up and become adults they are shipped off to private individuals where they become pets and where they can be mistreated.
"This became the last chance. If it hadn't passed this year I don't think it would have passed with the kind of Congress we have set up for next year. I really think this is the first step to saving the tiger in the wild. And when I say the tiger, I mean the lions, the leopards and everybody because they're all critically endangered." - Baskin
She says that in 20 years' time there will be no big cats in private ownership in the US. It will take that long because the law does not force existing big cat owners to give up their cats. The cats will have to die out. And there will be a while during which the country will have to adjust to enforcing the Big Cat Public Safety Act.
That's going to be a big issue as to how it is enforced and Carole Baskin states that there will need to be a registration process. I presume this applies to existing owners so that they can be tracked and monitored to prevent them adopting and buying further big cats against the law.
There are so many big cats in private ownership in the US that it is going to be difficult to enforce the law. These are backyard private zoos where the animals are often effectively mistreated and treated as "pets".
On so many occasions the police, the first responders, have had to deal with escaped big cats where they've terrorised the public and on occasions they've been shot. This need not happen and going forward it won't happen in the US. The new law protects the public and the cats.
It's been a long time coming. Carole Baskin has many enemies and they are all in the business of abusing big cats for profit. Such is the hatred of her enemies of her that one of them, Joe Exotic, planned to kill her. For that crime he is now serving a life term prison sentence.
Single-handedly it seems she totally unpicked and demolished this objectionable and extensive big cat abuse business in the US. Big cats are vulnerable to abuse because they are very popular. Because they are popular abusers want to breed them to exploit them.
That, over time, will entirely come to an end thanks to the 30 year effort of Carole Baskin. She is the founder and owner of Big Cat Rescue. There are still people who hate her. She is not easily intimidated.
She speaks very eloquently about protecting the wild cats. This new law will also help protect the wild cats living in the wild. She makes the point that today, in the USA, if a person has a piece of jewellery containing a tiger tooth, they can't be stopped and arrested because that tooth may have come from a pet tiger in a private zoo.
But in the future a person carrying such an ornament will be arrested hopefully because it will have come from the wild and to trade in wild tiger body parts has been illegal for many years. That, by the way, is another story because the enforcement of laws preventing the trading of wild species body parts is appalling.
It's critical that the Big Cat Public Safety Act is enforced effectively. A good law without proper enforcement is a bad law.