For years, the Big Cat Public Safety Act (Big Cat Act) waited for action in the US Congress while the number of captive tigers in the US continued to proliferate, their exact numbers and whereabouts unknown. The Big Cat Act is important because it would end the practice of cub petting and begin the process of overseeing captive tiger ownership and breeding. On December 3rd, the Big Cat Act (H.R. 1380 of the 116th Congress) passed the House, and we are now hoping that the Senate will vote on this issue before the end of the year.
Until Wild Tiger’s advocacy work on the Big Cat Act, people from places where tigers are wild were absent from discussions about the need to address the US tiger crisis. However, regulating captive tigers in an international issue. Wild tigers from Tiger Range Countries are threatened with poaching, done to supply parts to the illegal wildlife market. Poaching of wild tigers is stimulated by the demand market for tiger parts, that is sustained by parts from captive born tigers. Wild Tiger obtained almost 2,000 signatures of people from India in a letter to Congress which asked the US to adopt the Big Cat Act as a law. We presented the petition, Indians against illegitimate tiger breeding and ownership in the US, to members of Congress.
If the Big Cat Act becomes a federal law, the US will be a leader in captive tiger regulation. Next, Tiger Range Countries will need to continue to apply pressure to other countries where captive tigers require further regulation.
Bi-monthly updates from the Wild Tiger team with occasional guest blog posts and personal field updates from Sarika Khanwilkar.