A 'TIGER King bill" to ban private ownership of big cats PASSED in the House of Representatives after a volunteer was bitten at Carole Baskin's sanctuary.
Members of Congress passed the Big Cat Public Safety Act in a 272-114 vote in the House on Thursday.
The bill, which was featured in the popular Tiger King Netflix series, will ban private ownership of large cats, including lions and tigers, USA Today reported.
People or private zoos who already own the animals will be allowed to keep them – but most contact between members of the public and the cats won't be allowed.
Only people like trained professionals, licensed vets, and certain conservation workers may come in contact with the animals, according to the bill's text.
Animal activists and organizations – including the World Wildlife Fund and PETA – had pushed for the bill to be passed.
The bill's sponsor, Democratic Rep Mike Quigley of Illinois, applauded the bill's being passed in the House.
"Thank you to everyone who spoke up over recent months in support of my bill," Quigley tweeted.
"I hope @senatemajldr will quickly bring it to the floor so we can get it signed into law before the year ends."
The bill will now head to the Republican-led majority Senate, where members will vote on the legislation.
The vote came the same day as a volunteer at Carole Baskin's Big Cat Rescue sanctuary in Florida "nearly had her arm ripped off" by a tiger during a feeding.
Candy Couser had been feeding tiger Kimba when it "grabbed her arm and nearly tore it off at the shoulder," according to the organization.
Baskin – who had spent years lobbying for the bill with her husband – told USA Today she was "thrilled" that the bill was to be voted on.
Baskin had been featured in the Tiger King Series – which explored the world of big cat breeding – along with Joe Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage.
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Republican Texas Senator Ted Cruz accused Democrats of prioritizing to "prosecute Tiger King" over giving emergency relief for those suffering amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Quigley shot down Cruz's allegation, however, and told USA Today that Democrats can address both the animal bill and Covid relief at the same time.
If made into a law, people who violate the Big Cat Public Safety Act could face up to $20,000 in fines and as up to five years in prison, the New York Daily News reported.