Ticking time-bombs: the big cats epidemic isn’t going away on its own

Click here to watch ABC's hour-long 20/20 special "When Animals Strike Back".Now more than ever, Congress needs to pass the Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act (HR 4122) to protect big cats and humans from the exotic pet trade.

The growing epidemic of U.S. big cat possession and breeding—and the severe danger and cruelty involved—continues to resonate with the American public and begs the question: what else will it take for this inconceivable madness to end?

Just last Friday, 20/20 aired a one-hour special revealing the dangers of exotic pet ownership, with big cats as a main highlight. The piece echoed the rallying cries of the International Fund for Animal Welfare’s U.S. Big Cats Campaign.

As much as we may know about the dangers of keeping these animals in private possession, especially in light of Zanesville Ohio, it is always shocking to see the tragic realities exposed.

Check out this revealing clip wherein the owner of the Animal Haven Zoo in WeyauwegaWisconsin (a state with absolutely no restrictions on big cat ownership) offers an adult female tiger to an under-cover reporter posing as a first-time buyer.

The roadside zoo owner later admits it is very easy to get a USDA license and that he has no way of knowing whether the buyer will be responsible. His one-word answer upon being asked whether it is too easy to own a tiger in the U.S.?


To watch the full show and see what else it highlights about the dangerous and prolific U.S. big cat trade, you can go to: http://g.ifaw.org/Otb1E1

Now more than ever, we need members of Congress to join our rally cry: big cats kept as pets and traded for profit are ticking time-bombs.  Please ask your U.S. Representative to co-sponsor  the Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act (HR 4122) today.


PS: On September 20, 2012, IFAW is joining the sponsors of the Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act, U.S. Reps. Howard ‘Buck’ McKeon (R-CA) and Loretta Sanchez (D-CA), in issuing a press conference on Capitol Hill. Stay tuned!

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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
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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
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