WV Legislature Passes Dangerous Wild Animal Act

- WEST VIRGINIA - The West Virginia legislature has passed a bill that would prohibit the possession of dangerous wild animals in the state. 

The bill, House Bill 4393, was introduced by Del. Randy Swartzmiller (D), passed the House by a 72 to 23 vote, and the Senate by a 22 to 11 vote. The bill now heads to the Governor. 

The Humane Society of the United States, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the International Fund for Animal Welfare said they commend the West Virginia legislature for passing the legislation. 

The bill recommends the following animals be prohibited from future ownership: wild cats, bears, primates, venomous and constrictor snakes, and alligators. 

Officials say in the past dangerous wild animals kept by unqualified people have escaped in West Virginia, posing a risk to citizens and creating a burden for law enforcement. In one local instance, a "rhesus macaque", also called the Nazuri monkey, escaped in Martinsburg and bit two children and a teenager. 

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