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US friends, please speak up for big cats and public safety

July 6, 2013
by
Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

BACKGROUND

In October 2011, sheriff’s deputies armed with assault rifles opened fire on dozens of “mature, very big, aggressive” lions, tigers, cheetahs, and other animals in Zanesville, Ohio, after the owner—who opened cage doors and left fences unsecured before killing himself—allowed the animals to escape. The tragedy in Zanesville is far from an isolated incident. Incidents involving big cats in the United States have resulted in more than 235 human injuries and the deaths of more than 85 cats and more than 20 people. According to news reports, in June 2013, an Indiana woman shot and killed a leopard who was roaming in her backyard. Fortunately, U.S. Rep. Buck McKeon, R-Calif., has reintroduced the Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act (H.R. 1998), a bill that would mean unparalleled improvements for big cats who are kept as “pets” in the United States.

Today, there are no federal regulations mandating minimum standards of care for the thousands of big cats in private hands who—having grown from cute cubs into unruly, inherently dangerous predators—are confined to tiny, barren backyard cages and left to languish or for those who are sold on the black market for their skins, bones, and other body parts. The Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act would put an end to this by banning private individuals from owning and breeding large cats. Violators would be subject to steep fines, jail time, and confiscation of animals.


WHOM TO CONTACT

For the animals’ sake, take a moment now to contact your U.S. representative and urge him or her to co-sponsor H.R. 1998! You can find your representative’s phone number here. Please follow up your call with a brief e-mail (you can find your representative’s e-mail address here). Feel free to use the form letter below, but personalized comments are always preferred. Don’t forget to share this urgent alert with your friends and family!


SAMPLE LETTER

Subject: Please Co-Sponsor H.R. 1998, the Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act

As a constituent, I am writing to ask you to co-sponsor H.R. 1998—the Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act. This important legislation would prohibit private individuals from owning and breeding dangerous big cats, such as lions and tigers. Not only would this help ensure the physical and psychological health and well-being of thousands of captive big cats currently languishing in cramped, barren backyard cages in the U.S., it would also subject violators—including irresponsible big-cat owners who currently threaten public safety by allowing public contact or by failing to supply secure enclosures for these dangerous wild animals—to steep fines, jail time, and confiscation of animals.

Incidents involving big cats in the United States have injured more than 235 humans and have resulted in the deaths of more than 85 cats and more than 20 people. As you probably know, in 2011, sheriff’s deputies armed with assault rifles opened fire on dozens of “mature, very big, aggressive” lions, tigers, cheetahs, and other animals in Zanesville, Ohio, after the owner—who opened the animals’ cage doors and left fences unsecured before killing himself—allowed the animals to escape. According to news reports, in June 2013, an Indiana woman shot and killed a leopard who was roaming in her backyard. Many other big cats are sold on the black market—the global illicit wildlife trade is worth an estimated $20 billion per year—for their bones and other body parts.

Thank you for considering this urgent appeal.



HR 1998
save some lives
before it is too late.
we big cats are not
giant stuffed toys,
not meant to entertain
“grown up” girls and boys.
if we get loose, yes
we could kill and bite,
then you humans shoot us.
this is not right.
we need protection
from the likes of you,
and you need protection
from us too.
signed.
the big cats

Karen Lyons Kalmenson


8 Comments leave one →
  1. July 6, 2013 7:19 pm

    Reblogged this on Sherlockian's Blog.

    Like

  2. karenlyonskalmenson permalink
    July 7, 2013 3:41 am

    HR 1998
    save some lives
    before it is too late.
    we big cats are not
    giant stuffed toys,
    not meant to entertain
    “grown up” girls and boys.
    if we get loose, yes
    we could kill and bite,
    then you humans shoot us.
    this is not right.
    we need protection
    from the likes of you,
    and you need protection
    from us too.
    signed.
    the big cats

    Like

  3. July 7, 2013 5:26 am

    Reblogged this on Carinas space.

    Like

  4. July 8, 2013 4:24 pm

    Fantastic poem Karen!! Emails sent thanks so much Stacey

    Like

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  1. Lions and Tigers Oh My! | Sunset Daily

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