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August 01, 2022

Rep. Aguilar Votes to Protect Big Cats

WASHINGTON, DC — Last week, Rep. Pete Aguilar voted for the bipartisan Big Cat Public Safety Act (H.R. 263), which will end ownership of big cats as pets and prohibit keeping big cat cubs for photo operations and petting zoos. This bill federally bans the sale of and private ownership of all big cats, including leopards, lions, tigers, cheetahs, panthers and pumas.

“Over the years, communities across the country have seen the dangers of owning big cats,” said Rep. Aguilar. “Big cats and other wild animals do not belong in backyards or garages. They deserve to be treated humanely and kept in safe environments. Our vote today will protect these animals and promote animal welfare.”

Private ownership of big cats causes irreparable harm to cubs and poses significant danger to humans. Since 1990, there have been more than 700 dangerous incidents involving big cats in the United States that resulted in human mauling and death and the animals being shot and killed.

The Big Cat Public Safety Act is endorsed by several animal welfare and law enforcement agencies including the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, National Sheriffs’ Association, Animal Welfare Institute, International Fund for Animal Welfare, The Humane Society Legislative Fund, Humane Society of the United States, Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, Born Free USA, World Wildlife Fund, Four Paws, Zoocheck, Endangered Species Coalition, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Environment Investigation Agency, Tigers in America, Safe Haven Wildlife Rescue and The Wildcat Sanctuary.

Rep. Aguilar serves as Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus and as a member of the House Committee on Appropriations, the Committee on House Administration and the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the US Capitol.