The Wild Animal Park in Chittenango is in danger of closing.

Park owner Jeff Taylor says a proposed bill, "The Big Cat Safety Act" would prohibit any person from breeding or possessing any live animal of any prohibited species, which would put the park's future in jeopardy.

"We specialize in big cats and it won't cause us to close immediately but I built this park from the ground up and I want my kids to be able to take it over," says Taylor. "With the way this legislation is set up I won't have to get rid of the cats I have but I can't breed more."

"I would put my big cats up against theirs any day. If you want to see happy and healthy cats, you'll see mine are more active. That's just the environment we provide them. I'm not saying they don't take good care of them. It's the way we raise them."

The bill would exempt anyone accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. "All of the recent zoo escapes in this country have one thing in common. They are all AZA accredited," says Taylor. "You haven't seen the private zoos in the news. They need to get their house in order before they come attack us."

Taylor has reached out to John Katko and Claudia Tenney to get their stance on this bill and is asking everyone to reach out too to voice your opposition. "Spread the word to contact your state representatives and oppose this bill."

"I have alerted everyone to recheck this legislation. Thanks for the notification! I know how hard Jeff has worked on this business," wrote Tenney on Facebook.

Bill Exemptions Include:
-Institutions accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums;
-Certain facilities that have an active written contract with an Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan or Taxon Advisory Group for breeding prohibited wildlife species;
-Persons who do not allow the transportation and display of prohibited wildlife species off-site;
-Current owners of animals that were born before this bill's enactment if the animals are registered with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service within 180 days; and
-Certain traveling circuses that hold Class C licenses under the Animal Welfare Act.

John Katko
(202) 225-3701 Washington Office
(315) 423-5657 Syracuse office

Claudia Tenney
(202) 225-3665 Washington office
(315) 732-0713 New Hartford office
(607) 376-6002

If you have any questions for Jeff, reach out on the Wild Park Facebook page or at TheWildPark.com.

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