WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Bush has signed into law the Captive Wildlife Safety Act, authored by U.S. Sen. Jim Jeffords, I – Vt., which bars the interstate commerce of dangerous exotic cats including: lions, tigers, leopards, cheetahs, jaguars and cougars for use as pets. An estimated 10,000 to 15,000 exotic cats are kept as pets in the United States. Jeffords said, "This law will take a bite out of the wild cat trade in to United States. Untrained owners are just not equipped to handle the wild cats in their homes and in our neighborhoods.” Jeffords is the ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Recent incidents, including the tragic injury suffered by Roy Horn during the Siegfried and Roy show in Las Vegas and the discovery of a large tiger being kept as a pet in a New York apartment, have brought added public attention to this issue. Nineteen states currently ban private possession of large exotic animals and 16 states have partial bans. However, no federal law restricts sale or ownership of these animals. The Captive Wildlife Safety Act amends the Lacey Act, which addresses shipments of fish and wildlife, by barring the interstate movement of these dangerous exotic animals. Facilities that operate under a U.S. Department of Agriculture permit, such as zoos and circuses, are exempt.