AZA News Releases

After Another Big Cat Seizure, AZA Calls on Congress to Act Now

It is time to pass H.R. 263 and S. 1210, the “Big Cat Public Safety Act.”

Silver Spring, Maryland (May 21, 2021) – Following another high-profile seizure of nearly 70 tigers, lions, big cat hybrids, and a jaguar from a facility in Oklahoma providing documented sub-standard care, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) is again calling on Congress to act now and pass the Big Cat Public Safety Act. Dan Ashe, President and CEO of AZA, issued the following statement:

“Through a coordinated, inter-governmental effort, the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture took action to save nearly 70 big cats from a less than reputable facility. AZA and its members commend their ongoing investigation and justified removal of the animals.

“It is now time, on Endangered Species Day, for Congress to stop the cruelty and absurdity of unqualified, unprofessional organizations and people owning and breeding these animals. The Big Cat Public Safety Act will strengthen existing law to prohibit the possession of tigers, lions, and other big cat species except by qualified entities, like AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums.

“Unlike these roadside attractions, AZA and its members, through our signature conservation program, SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction®, are helping save and protect African lions, jaguars, and cheetahs – all species covered by the Big Cat Public Safety Act.

“I hope all senators and representatives will join 195 of their colleagues as cosponsors of the Big Cat Public Safety Act and quickly pass this needed legislation.”

To send a message to Congress today regarding support for the Big Cat Public Safety Act, please visit

About AZA

Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, animal welfare, education, science, and recreation. AZA is the accrediting body for the top zoos and aquariums in the United States and 12 other countries. Look for the AZA accreditation logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. The AZA is a leader in saving species and your link to helping animals all over the world. To learn more, visit

About SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction

SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction combines the power of zoo and aquarium visitors with the resources and collective expertise of AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums and partners to save animals from extinction. Together we are working on saving the most vulnerable wildlife species from extinction and protecting them for future generations. To learn more, visit


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