Majority of American voters support Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act

Watch the CNN story about this incident and the larger issue of big cats in the United States, above.


This past Saturday, yet another frightening example of America's big cats crisis made national headlines when an employee at G.W. Exotics, a notorious roadside zoo in Oklahoma, had to be airlifted to urgent care after she stuck her arm into the enclosure of an adult tiger. 

Life-threatening incidents involving captive lions, tigers, and other big cats continue to rise across the U.S., and the need for a national solution is critical.  Luckily, a vast majority of the public agrees.

According to a new poll released this week by IFAW, 75 percent of voters across the country are in support of the Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act (H.R. 1998/S.1381), the federal bill that would finally end private possession and breeding of big cats in the United States.

The current patchwork of state laws that address keeping big cats as pets reveals some states banning the practice while exempting a host of USDA exhibitors, and others with partial to no restrictions at all. Without a uniform ban on keeping these wild animals as pets and breeding them for exploitative roadside zoo exhibits, public safety will continue to be put in jeopardy.

Eight in ten voters surveyed in the recent poll do not believe people in this country should be allowed to keep big cats in private hands.

In a nation currently suffering from partisan divide on so many issues, the poll also shows that the Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act has widespread bi-partisan support, with approval from 80 percent of Republicans and from 73 percent of Democrats and Independents surveyed.

IFAW urges Congress to respond to the vast majority of its constituents by passing the Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act in short order. We cannot stand on the sideline waiting for the next tragedy to strike.


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Azzedine Downes,IFAW President and CEO
President and Chief Executive Officer
Beth Allgood, US Country Director
US Country Director
Cynthia Milburn, Director, Animal Welfare Outreach & Education
Senior Advisor, Policy Development
Dr. Maria (Masha) N. Vorontsova, Regional Director, Russia & CIS
Regional Director, Russia & CIS
Erica Martin, Vice President of Communications
Vice President of Communications
Faye Cuevas, Esq.
Chief of Staff, International Fund for Animal Welfare
Grace Ge Gabriel, Regional Director, Asia
Regional Director, Asia
Jason Bell, Vice President for International Operations
Vice President for International Operations
Jeffrey Flocken, Regional Director, North America
Regional Director, North America
Patrick Ramage, Program Director, Whales
Program Director, Whales
Rikkert Reijnen, Campaigner, IFAW Netherlands
Campaigner, IFAW Netherlands
Sonja Van Tichelen, Regional Director, European Union
Regional Director, European Union
Tania McCrea-Steele, Global Wildlife Cybercrime Project Lead, IFAW UK
Global Wildlife Cybercrime Project Lead, IFAW UK