Advocacy groups join together to end private ownership of big cats

Sep 19, 2012, 10:46 ET from International Fund for Animal Welfare

WASHINGTON, Sept. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is being released by International Fund for Animal Welfare:

WHAT:                       Congressional Briefing

WHEN:                       Thursday, September 20, 2012, 4:00-4:30pm

WHERE:                     2261 Rayburn House Office Building


Actress Tippi Hedren, President and Founder of the Roar Foundation

Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz

Sheriff of Zanesville, Ohio, led the local law enforcement direct response when a backyard exotic animal owner took his own life just after releasing the 38 big cats and other dangerous exotics he had been keeping on his farm.

Tracy Coppola, Big Cats Campaigns Officer- International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)

Nancy Blaney, Federal Policy Advisor- Animal Welfare Institute

Nicole Paquette, Deputy Director for Programs & Policy- The Humane Society of United States

Adam Roberts, Executive Vice President- Born Free USA

On the eve of the one-year anniversary of the Zanesville, Ohio exotic animal tragedy, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, Humane Society of the United States and Born Free USA gather to urge that lawmakers support H.R. 4122, the Big Cats and Public Safety Act

H.R. 4122, The Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act, would prohibit private possession of big cats except at highly-qualified facilities, like accredited zoos and wildlife sanctuaries, where they can be properly cared for and safely housed.

Currently, only 29 states have laws prohibiting private possession of big cats, and the remaining states have weak or no laws in existence. H.R. 4122, a bi-partisan bill, addresses how private possession of lions, tigers and other dangerous big cats, threatens public safety, diminishes global big cat conservation efforts, and leads to grave maltreatment of these iconic species.

SOURCE International Fund for Animal Welfare