Senate passes big-cat bill

With a spate of incidents involving not-quite-domesticated wild animals fresh in the news, including the mauling of tiger trainer and illusionist Roy Horn, the U.S. Senate has passed a bill cracking down on the burgeoning trade in exotic big cats.

The bill would ban interstate and foreign commerce in dangerous exotic animals, including lions, tigers, leopards, cheetahs, jaguars and cougars. The bill would not ban ownership of these animals, though some states already have prohibitions on certain species.

"These cats are ... capable of injuring or killing innocent people," said U.S. Sen. James Jeffords (I-Vt.), who helped introduce the bill.

-- J. Michael Kennedy

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