House approves bill banning possession of big cats after Netflix’s “Tiger King”

The American House passed a bill prohibiting people from owning big cats like lions and tigers after Netflix released the documentary series “Tiger King.”

The chamber voted 272-114 to pass the measure, which also makes it illegal for exhibitors to allow people to touch little ones Thursday night.

Bill appears in the documentary and was supported by Carole Baskin, the show star’s nemesis Joe Exotic, and her husband Howard.

On the same day the bill was passed, a volunteer was injured at Baskin’s Big Cat Rescue after being attacked by a tiger.

Baskin told The Hill in an email that the volunteer saw that a door leading to the tiger was “clipped,” which is the signal for the rescue “DO NOT open a door without the coordinator coming to help. . ”

She said the volunteer “said she just wasn’t thinking when she reached out to untie it” and the tiger “grabbed her arm and almost tore it in the shoulder.”

“The fact that despite our intense safety protocols and excellent safety record, an injury like this can occur only confirms the danger inherent in treating these animals and why we need the Big Cat Public Safety to eliminate not following them into backyards. the country and ending up in shrines, ”added Baskin.

The news comes after the Justice Department filed a lawsuit in November against the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Wildlife Park and Tiger King LLC, alleging that the companies had violated the Endangered Species Act and the Well-being Act. be animals.

Exotic previously owned the wildlife park, and it was one of the main animal attractions featured in “Tiger King” where tourists could see tigers and lions and play with big kittens.

Jeffrey and Lauren Lowe, the now owners of the wildlife park, assumed ownership of the business after Exotic was sentenced to 22 years in prison after being convicted of trying to hire a man to kill Baskin.

The bill heads next to the Senate. When voting in the House, the move was bipartisan, although it was supported by all Democrats who voted and only 48 Republicans.

He was sponsored by Reps. Mike QuigleyMichael (Mike) Bruce Quigley This Week: Congress Running To Conclude Year’s Business, GSA Offers To Brief Congress Next Week On Presidential Transition Democrats Debate Fate Of Trump Polls If Biden Wins MORE (D-Ill.) And Brian FitzpatrickBrian K. Fitzpatrick Democrats were united on the main issues of this Congress – but will it hold? Citizenship and government divided – a call to action for common ground ENERGY OVERNIGHT: Ballot races have environmental implications | The United States officially quits the Paris climate agreement READ MORE (R-Pa.).

“Big cats are wild animals that just don’t belong in shoddy private homes, backyards or roadside zoos,” Quigley said in a statement. “Too often law enforcement and first responders are the ones who end up endangered by these animals and… we owe it to them to limit the additional dangers they face on the job. “

The legislation also received praise from the US Humane Society, with group chairman Kitty Block saying the legislation would “end this cycle of misery, abuse and danger once and for all.”

Block said the group estimates that there are hundreds of tigers in the United States that are “kept as pets and as money-making props by roadside zoos, pseudo-sanctuaries and Cubs petting operations.

Updated at 10:48 a.m.

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