A bill that would have subjected animal dealers to annual inspection - if they owned and exhibited, say, a tiger or bear - was unable to get traction in Indiana, the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting noted Wednesday.
The legislation was sponsored by Indiana state Sen. Michael Crider, R-Marion, in response to an investigation into the dark side of owning exotic predators. In 2013, for example, a roaming leopard was shot in Charlestown, Ind., after several neighborhood dogs disappeared.
From the Kentucky Center:
Crider said he was disappointed that people from organizations such as city-owned zoos and animal rescue groups did not show up and testify at the hearing. It came down to legislators not wanting more regulations, he said.
"Unless I have a huge outcry from folks, you know, I'm in a real uphill battle," he said.
Under the federal Animal Welfare Act, minimum standards of care must be met, but the "USDA does not regulate the ownership and care of large wild and exotic cats as pets."
Many states have afforded big cats additional protections, though some, such as Indiana, do not require more than the appropriate permits. And in Alabama, individuals can straight up own a big cat, bear or "dangerous" reptile without any regulation beyond the federal minimums - no license necessary.