Congress Passes “Tiger King Bill” Which Bans the Exploitation of Big Cats
Netflix's Tiger King didn’t only keep us glued to our television screens in the early days of quarantine, but it also helped to shed light on the issue of big cat captivity. The US House of Representatives just passed a bill banning private ownership of big cats. Tiger King star Carole Baskin and her organization Big Cat Rescue spent years lobbying for the bill, entitled “Big Cat Public Safety Act."
US House of Representatives Passes Bill Banning Exploitation of Big Cats
Democratic Rep. Mike Quigley of Illinois, the main author of the bill, explained the magnitude of Tiger King’s influence, saying, "Tiger King showed the world in stark relief how exploitative, dangerous and inhumane this tiny so-called industry is." The bill passed with bipartisan support in the House, with 272-114 votes in favor of the bill; it’s uncertain if the bill will pass in the Republican-controlled senate.
After years of advocating to end the private ownership of big cats, Carol Baskin said she was “thrilled” about the House’s vote. However, just like her co-star of Tiger King Joe Exotic, Baskin has had her share of controversy. There has been a lot of buzz generated by Baskin, ranging from the police’s decision to re-open the investigation of her first husband’s murder to the casting of Kate Mckinnon to play her in an upcoming movie based on the show. Given Baskin’s controversial reputation, Ariana Grande, the grammy-winning singer, and plant-based animal lover, even banned Baskin from appearing in her music video for ‘Stuck W You.”
No matter where you stand on any of Tiger King’s now-famous feuds, the show certainly had a huge impact, inspiring viewers and state representatives alike to take a long hard look at how we treat animals in the US.