April 1, 2014
New Law Will Protect Animal Welfare and Public Safety
December of 2013, I spoke with Senator Bob Beach’s office in West Virginia and
he asked whether he should reintroduce his Dangerous Wild Animals Act. I
encouraged him to do so, and the bill arrived in the legislature in January,
followed shortly by its companion in the House (sponsored by Del. Randy
Swartzmiller). Just two months later, last Tuesday, Governor Earl Tomblin signed the Dangerous
Wild Animals Act (H.B. 4393)
into law, ending West Virginia’s status as one of only six states with no
restrictions on exotic pets.
This law prohibits acquiring new “wild and exotic animals” as pets. It also
addresses the problem of “roadside
zoos” by requiring exhibitors with exotic animals to be accredited by the Association
of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).
This victory couldn’t have happened without your
support and advocacy. Each one of you who made a phone call to the governor’s
office, emailed your legislator, or spent time educating others about the
plight of privately owned exotic animals owns this success.
For the animals,
P.S. If you’re interested in the issue of exotic
animals as pets, check out this month’s National Geographic feature, which quotes our CEO
Adam Roberts and relies on Born Free USA’s wealth of information on the
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