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WV- Exotic, wild animal decisions

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Posted by: EricWI at Sun Mar 11 07:11:06 2012  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by EricWI ]  
   

Exotic, wild animal decisions will be up to the DNR

CHARLESTON — If you own a giraffe, Bengal tiger or bull elephant, the Division of Natural Resources might take an interest in you in the year ahead.

Just what kinds of “wild and exotic” animals West Virginians may own will be up to the DNR, under SB477 approved Saturday by the House of Delegates.

Basically, the measure defers the decision on animals not indigenous to West Virginia up to the DNR in the rule-making process — a move that didn’t sit well with one outspoken opponent.

Delegate Larry Kump, R-Berkeley, noted the bill was inspired by the escape of several foreign animals last year in Ohio, posing a threat to the public.

Kump said a number of his constituents oppose the idea of letting the DNR decide via rule-making the types and numbers of such animals they may possess.

“This has struck a nerve with the people that own some exotic and some not-so-exotic animals,” Kump said.

“Their confidence in the rule-making procedure is not good. Their confidence is slim and none, and slim has left town. They tell me it’s bad enough the government tells them what to do with their lives but now we’re involved with regulating their pets.”

Kump said he has received “a boatload” of correspondence on the bill, and people are unsure which animals are covered.

“That just stirs it up even more,” he said.

“I really don’t think it should take a village to raise a parrot.”

Judiciary Chairman Tim Miley, D-Harrison, said the bill leaves the task of deciding on exotic animals with the DNR, plus it allows ample time for public comment.

Delegate Carol Miller, R-Cabell, told the House she has raised bison for a number of years, noting they were given federal protection in the administration of President Teddy Roosevelt.

Miley told her the federal protection isn’t related to the definitions of the state bill.

Nor, he assured Delegate Erikka Storch, R-Ohio, would it cause any impact on Wheeling’s zoo.

The bill cleared the chamber on a 73-27 tally.

Among those voting against it were Delegates Ray Canterbury, R-Greenbrier, Marty Gearheart, R-Mercer, and John O’Neal, Rick Snuffer and Linda Sumner, all R-Raleigh.

The bill was advocated by the state chapter of the Humane Society of the United States.

Another pet project of the organization — the regulation of commercial dog breeding outfits — wasn’t taken up in the House, although it cleared the Senate.
www.register-herald.com/local/x2029122936/Exotic-wild-animal-decisions-will-be-up-to-the-DNR


   

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