Iggy Pop is urging Florida Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott to co-sponsor the Big Cat Public Safety Act, proposed federal legislation that would prohibit private ownership, direct public contact, and dangerous interactions like cub petting with tigers and other big cats.
Numerous celebrities, including Kate Mara, Rooney Mara, Joaquin Phoenix, Edie Falco, and Hilary Swank, have also signed a petition co-authored by Blackfish director Gabriela Cowperthwaite and the Animal Legal Defense Fund asking Congress to pass the Big Cat Public Safety Act.
“The Big Cat Public Safety Act, which has bipartisan support in both the house and senate, is aimed at protecting big cats from abuse and neglect by prohibiting private possession of these wild animals, and banning risky public encounters with them,” says Iggy Pop. “Co-sponsoring this commonsense bill will show the Senators’ commitment to the safety of Floridians and respect for exotic wildlife.”
“The patchwork of inconsistent state laws regulating big cats across the country is unacceptable, which is why we need this federal legislation signed into law. Ideally all of these animals would either be living in accredited sanctuaries or their natural habitats,” adds Animal Legal Defense Fund Executive Director Stephen Wells. “Having the support of public figures like Iggy Pop who are engaging their own officials will help build the momentum needed to get this law passed in Congress.”
The recent release of Netflix’s Tiger King documentary, which feels like a million years ago already, has bolstered support for the bill. On Monday, a federal court judge in Oklahoma ruled that Carole Baskin’s Big Cat Rescue should be given Joe Exotic’s zoo and 16.4-acre property in Wynnewood.