Sadly, the wild pet trade is the third largest illegal trade internationally. While the United States bans the import of threatened and endangered species and regulates the interstate trade in the U.S., loopholes and lack of enforcement leaves trade and breeding of these animals rampant.
All but 4 states in the U. S. have some kind of regulation of wild cats (Nevada, Alabama, Wisconsin, and North Carolina have no regulation at all). However, regulations vary from an outright ban to simple registration. As a result, there are still a lot of wild cats living in captivity throughout the country.
Advocacy is one of the ways that we are able to help wild cats in captivity. Advocacy includes working with local legislators and NGOs to help pass laws to protect wild cats and the public. As we continue to grow and expand the sanctuary, our advocacy efforts will continue to increase as well. Right now, Carolina Tiger, alongside reputable big cat sanctuaries across the country (in particular members of the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries and the Big Cat Sanctuary Alliance), supports the passage of the Big Cat Public Safety Act. This federal legislation would prohibit the private ownership of big cats, and restrict direct contact between the public and big cats, ending cruel cub petting attractions and was passed in December of 2022. We are thrilled knowing that there is now federal protection for big cats in captivity.