'Tiger King' bill banning big cat ownership passes in House

Carole Baskin, Joe Exotic's nemesis featured in Netflix's docuseries, has been trying to garner support for the bill for years.

Credit: Netflix

Tiger King

  • TV Show
  • Netflix
  • True Crime

It looks like aspiring Joe Exotics might have to let their cats out of the bag cage.

By a 272-114 vote on Thursday, the House of Representatives passed a bill that would ban private ownership of big cats. The legislation, formally called the Big Cat Safety Act, was discussed in Netflix's hit docuseries Tiger King.

The hit series follows controversial and eccentric former zookeeper Joe Exotic, who's currently serving a 22-year sentence for a murder-for-hire plot to kill his nemesis, Carole Baskin. Animal activists like Baskin have been trying to push the bill through for years, and the successful House effort is no doubt thanks in part to Netflix's spotlight on the topic and public backlash against Exotic.

The legislation would also make it illegal for someone to breed or own big cats without an animal exhibition license from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Current owners would be able to keep their animals if they register with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and follow federal regulations, but the law would restrict most contact between the public and the animals.

As shown in the doc, Exotic was forced to sell his zoo to Jeff Lowe. This summer, a judge handed control of the property to Baskin and her husband's Big Cat Rescue Corp, and later Lowe announced the old zoo would be closing to become a Tiger King-related film set.

The bill still has to head to the Senate, and with two weeks left in session and other big issues on the docket, its future is still uncertain.

Baskin said she was "thrilled" about the bill's passage, saying it was part of a "decades-long effort," USA Today reported. EW has reached out to Baskin for further comment.

Related content:

  • Tiger King zoo is closing, will become film set dedicated to 'TV content'
  • The Tiger King craze continues: Surviving Joe Exotic documentary set at Animal Planet
  • Carole Baskin wins control of Tiger King star Joe Exotic's former zoo

This story originally appeared on: EW - Author:Rachel Yang

Follow us on Google News