Actress and animal activist Tippi Hedren is calling for a federal law that would ban the breeding of exotic cats as pets or for personal ownership.
One month ago, the release of almost 60 exotic animals from a private zoo in Zanesville, Ohio owned by Terry Thompson, who then committed suicide, led to the killing of 48 of those animals. The survivors were taken to a zoo. The tragedy sparked outrage from many, including Hedren who is now citing the incident as a reminder that legislation is needed. According to the Lancaster Eagle Gazette, Hedren said, “I was so angry when I first heard what happened at the Thompson farm. There is not one good thing about having a wild animal in captivity. They should be born free and should be able to live free.” She also specified that breeders licensed or certified by the USDA should not be exempt from a new law, saying “This is a huge business where people are making millions and millions of dollars.”
Hedren is also the president of The Roar Foundation, which she founded in 1983 to support the Shambala Preserve. The organization educates about exotic animals as well as rescues and provides a sanctuary to exotic animals who were rescued from abuse and neglect.
The actress said, “I know it sounds like I’m cutting my own throat. But in reality, there is nothing you can give a wild animal in captivity that they need except medical care. It’s vital that we get this bill passed to ensure the insanity like what happened in Zanesville never happens again.” She also stated that circuses should be included in the new bill, and that she will continue to fight to get it passed.