Big cats: US senators seek ban on private ownership of lions and tigers

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US Senate lawmakers are proposing to ban private ownership of big cats such as lions and tigers in the wake of the Netflix documentary series Tiger King.

Support for the Big Cat Public Safety Act, which would also ban public contact with big cat cubs, was announced by four bipartisan senators.

The US has more captive tigers than there are wild ones around the world.

The Animal Welfare Institute says the Tiger King series helped to highlight “the exploitation of captive big cats”.

In December, the Big Cat Public Safety Act passed in the US House of Representatives by a strong majority of 272 to 114. But the bill still needs to pass by a majority in a Senate vote to become law.

On Monday, Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal said he supported the bill, along with three other senators; fellow Democrat Tom Carper, and Republican senators Susan Collins and Richard Burr.

“I’m thankful for the groundswell of public support for this bill and look forward to working with my colleagues from both sides of the aisle to ensure it becomes law,” he tweeted, along with a press release published on the US-based Animal Welfare Institute website.

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