Big Cat Law: A Legal Perspective on Pets Law

Wildlife law Aug 18, 2023

Big cats, such as lions, tigers, leopards, and jaguars, are often kept as exotic pets by some people who are fascinated by their beauty and power. However, owning a big cat is not only dangerous for the owner and the public, but also cruel and unethical for the animal.

cat judge

In this legal article, I will explain the legal perspective of big cat law in pets law, and why it is important to ban the private ownership of these wild animals.

Pets law is the branch of law that deals with the rights and responsibilities of pet owners and animal welfare. Pets law covers various issues such as animal cruelty, negligence, liability, licensing, vaccination, spaying/neutering, breeding, adoption, euthanasia, and more. Pets law also regulates what kinds of animals can be kept as pets, and under what conditions.

Big cat law is a specific area of pets law that deals with the regulation of big cats as pets. Big cat law varies from state to state in the US, and from country to country in the world. Some states and countries have strict bans on owning big cats as pets, while others have lax or no regulations at all. According to the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), only 21 states in the US have a complete ban on private possession of big cats, while 14 states allow it with a license or permit, and 15 states have no laws or regulations on the matter.

The lack of uniform and effective big cat law poses a serious threat to public safety and animal welfare. According to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), there have been over 375 incidents involving big cats in 46 states since 1990, resulting in 24 human deaths and over 200 injuries. Moreover, big cats suffer from physical and psychological harm when they are kept as pets. They are often confined in small cages, deprived of their natural habitat and social needs, fed inappropriate diets, subjected to abuse and neglect, and denied veterinary care. Many big cats end up being abandoned, euthanized, or sold to roadside zoos or canned hunting facilities.

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Therefore, it is imperative to enact and enforce a federal ban on the private ownership of big cats as pets in the US, and to support similar efforts in other countries. This would not only protect human lives and property, but also respect the dignity and rights of these magnificent animals. Big cats belong in the wild, not in someone’s backyard or basement.

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