- The Washington Times - Monday, December 8, 2003


The House yesterday sent President Bush legislation that outlaws selling and shipping lions, tigers and other big cats across state lines without a state or federal license.

The bill targets pet owners like Antoine Yates, who was attacked in October by the tiger he raised in his New York City apartment.

It exempts licensed zoos, sanctuaries, circuses and animal trainers, such as entertainer Roy Horn, who was mauled by one of his tigers in October.

Mr. Bush is expected to sign the bill, according to its supporters in Congress. However, it is opposed by the Interior Department’s Fish and Wildlife Service, the agency that will have to enforce it.

The bill cleared the Senate in November and was passed by the House yesterday without dissent.

Regulations covering exotic animals vary from state to state and even county to county. The Humane Society of the United States says there are 10,000 to 15,000 pet tigers, lions and other big cats across the country.

The number of privately owned tigers — 5,000 to 7,000 — probably exceeds the total number left in the wild.

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