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If passed, the legislation would prohibit the private ownership or commerce of big cats and make it illegal for regulated exhibitors to allow public contact with cubs.
Keaton, along with Hollywood star Maggie Q and animal-protection group Social Compassion In Legislation (SCIL) recently held a conference call with the author of the legislation Congressman Mike Quigley regarding his bill which is discussed in the Netflix series.
The call aimed to build support for the legislation and engage in targeted direct advocacy in Washington to effectively push Congress to take action on the bill- which will be after the ‘immediate action’ needed to address coronavirus (COVID 19) pandemic.
‘A public health issue’
In a statement sent to Plant Based News, Keaton said: “Now is the time to end animal cruelty. Exotic Animals that are kept for private use are not only a public health issue but also endanger the lives of first responders.”
Judie Mancuso, Founder and President of Social Compassion in Legislation added: “We are so fortunate to have our board members standing up and shining a light on the problem of personal ownership of these magnificent animals
“It is important for the public to understand that exploiters like Joe Exotic put profit over the welfare of the animals. They will breed and breed to keep the baby tiger photo ops rolling, but do not care what happens to those animals once they are sold to whoever is willing to pay for them or dispose of them before they get too big.”
The organization also criticized the show for not ‘highlighting’ how the sanctuary run by Carole Baskin did ‘not breed and do not allow the animals to interact with humans’.