Following events in Zanesville, OH, in 2011, state legislatures are reviewing their laws against private ownership of wild and exotic animals. The West Virginia legislature is taking up SB 477, Limiting Possession of Wild and Exotic Animals, this legislative session.
Wild and exotic pets pose a threat to their owners, neighbors, other pets, and livestock. These animals remain wild despite living with people and need the type of environment and care that can rarely be provided by individual hobbyists. These animals are also likely to pass zoonotic diseases when kept in close quarters with humans.
As one of only two states that have no bans or regulations regarding the private ownership of exotic animals, West Virginia may become the focal point for individuals who wish to keep these dangerous creatures in their homes. By enacting strong, meaningful laws banning the private ownership of exotic animals, West Virginia legislators will be protecting the citizens of their state.
West Virginia residents, please contact your senators expressing your support of SB 477.