Virginia Bans Public Contact with Captive Big Cats, Monkeys and Other Exotic Animals
Posted by Jane Wolfe | April 22, 2020
Image Credit: PublicDomainPictures/Pixabay
In a victory for animal welfare, the General Assembly of Virginia has passed a new law banning public contact with captive wild animals, including lions, tigers, bears and monkeys.
Signed into law on April 2 by Gov. Ralph Northam, Senate Bill 1030 makes it illegal for any animal “keeper” to provide or offer direct contact with a “dangerous captive animal” to any member of the public, whether in exchange for payment or not.
In effect, the new legislation will prevent people in Virginia from “petting” these captive animals or posing for photos at cruel roadside zoos and tourist attractions, helping to bring an end to the suffering of innocent animals carelessly used for human amusement.
The bill was passed before the airing of Netflix documentary Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, which offers a glimpse into the big cat industry’s greed and exploitation. It will come into effect on July 1, 2021. Anyone violating the law will be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor and subject to a fine of up to $500.
The Commonwealth already has a ban on the private ownership of big cats, but shockingly, there are thousands still being kept as “pets” in the United States. To help save these lions, tigers and other wild felines from unnecessary suffering, please sign LFT’s petition urging House and Senate leaders to pass The Big Cat Public Safety Act (BCPSA).
SIGN: Save Tigers and Lions from Miserable Captivity As ‘Pets’
Posted by Carly Day
Petition Link –
PETITION TARGET: United States House and Senate Leaders
Thousands of big cats are wasting away as “pets” in the United States. These majestic animals are torn from their mothers while only babies and may spend their lives pacing miserably in tiny, cramped cages with no hope of a natural life.
Not only do these animals suffer mentally and physically, but they are also a threat to people, with hundreds of dangerous incidents involving big cats and humans occurring over the last 30 years.
The Big Cat Public Safety Act (BCPSA) seeks to ban private individuals from owning any big cat species and restrict direct contact between these animals and the general public.
“Big cats are powerful predators, not pets, and pose a particular threat to public safety,” said the bill’s sponsor, Senator Richard Blumenthal.
Only licensed facilities would be allowed to house big cats, effectively removing these animals from roadside zoos.
The BCPSA is currently moving through the Senate (S. 2561) and House of Representatives (H.R. 1380) and needs your support!
Sign this petition urging House and Senate leaders to pass this bill, saving thousands of big cats from suffering.