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New York Governor Signs Bill to Protect Big Cats in Captivity

Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed a bill prohibiting direct physical contact between members of the public and captive tigers, lions and other big cats in the state. New York state director for The Humane Society of the United States, Brian Shapiro, issued the following statement:

“Allowing the public to pet, feed, pose with and play with big cats at roadside zoos is not only inhumane to the animals, but presents a public safety hazard and is detrimental to true conservation efforts.

“The cruelty begins when newborns are pulled from their mothers and quickly grow too large for such activities. They are then often discarded at shoddy roadside zoos, sold into the pet trade, or used to produce more cubs. Some are even killed for their meat.

“We applaud Governor Cuomo and bill sponsors Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal and Sen. Tony Avella for making this a priority for animals held in captivity.”

The HSUS and other animal protection and conservation organizations have filed a legal petition calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to prohibit public contact and close encounters with big cats, bears and primates nationwide.

Media Contact: Cheylin Parker; 301-258-1505, cparker@humanesociety.org

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