Lions, tigers and other big cats are often bred for this sole purpose, and taken from their mothers as cubs. Many of these big cats had their canine and claws removed, to make them "safe" for tourists to handle. This process requires surgery and a painful recovery.
Linda B. Rosenthal of the New York State assembly, prime sponsor of the bill, said, "Wild animals, despite how adorable they may appear when cubs, are still wild animals, and pose a real danger to the public.
"In addition to that risk, the wild cats live in deplorable conditions and are treated cruelly for the duration of their lives. The worldwide and overwhelmingly positive response has made clear that it is an idea whose time has come. This law will go a long way to improving the conditions of the captive big cats statewide, and I would encourage other states to follow New York's lead."
If you would like to join in the fight to end animal cruelty, you can visit the Before They Book campaign site to learn more and find out how you can help.