At Issue: Bill would prohibit personal possession of dangerous exotic animals
From the comments:
1. Radical Animal Rights groups such as PETA and HSUS are steamrolling their “model legislation” through our “legislature”. The HSUS lobbying documents for our state were recently made public, and it shows that HSUS bribed the key legislators pushing this bill with $1000+ “campaign contributions”, for a total of $28,000, so far, and this bill hasn’t even moved out of the committee yet, so we expect them to throw even more money at this. Our government is nothing but an Organized Crime Syndicate that sells out the taxpayers to any special interest group that throws cash their way. The legislature must be completely devoid of any sense of shame to sell out the taxpayers so cheaply. The state capitol has been turned into a house of prostitution. Our so-called legislators are nothing more than corrupt whores to the lobbyists that own state government.
2. Deer, Dogs, Horses, and Cattle cause more harm/death per year in our state than all captive ‘wild and exotic animals’ do nationally. I contacted our state dept. of vital records that keeps statistics on all causes of death and injury and they told me there has not been any cases of any captive exotic/wild animal incidents in over 15 years in this state, and that it would be difficult to retrieve older records, but they think there was also little to nothing prior to that. They did say that the primary animal causes of death and injury in this state is car/deer collisions (~15 deaths, numerous nonfatal injuries-we need more wolves to thin the herd), dogs (in 2013, there were over a dozen serious high-profile dog attacks that resulted in around 3 deaths and at least a dozen serious disfiguring and life-changing injuries in WI, in addition to the usual “run of the mill” biting the mail carrier (~30 bites just in the metro milwaukee area, according to a USPS report), and routine less-serious bites (~1000/year statewide)
3. This legislation would cause an increase in workload for city and county employees, which would most likely call for hiring more employees at a time we’re supposed to be trimming our budget.
4. Dangerous large animals like lions, tigers, etc. are already federally regulated, and are also prohibited on the local level in all WI municipalities.
5. Just because other states have these laws does not make it necessary for WI to create them as well. I have lived in WI for over sixty years, and at no time in my residency have I come across anyone who has seen any animals on this list.
6. You may have heard that the reason we need it is due to the ‘incident in OH’ – that happened in 2011. There is nothing in the proposed legislation that would prevent such an incident from occurring.
Wisconsin does not have a ‘dangerous animal’ problem. There are plenty of other things the legislature could/should address to make things better for the state. This bill is not one of them
In a nutshell
Under current law, a person generally can’t possess a wild animal that is native to Wisconsin without a license from the state Department of Natural Resources. There are certain exceptions to that for some animals, including chipmunks, pigeons and mice, and for some organizations and groups, such as zoos, circuses and veterinarians.
But the law, in general, doesn’t apply to wild animals that aren’t native to Wisconsin, unless they are endangered or threatened and native to the United States or Canada — or considered harmful.
A bill that the Legislature is considering would essentially prohibit the possession, propagation and sale of dangerous exotic animals, including big cats such as lions and tigers, non-native bears, apes like gorillas and chimpanzees, alligators and crocodiles. Organizations like zoos, wildlife sanctuaries, and research facilities would be exempt.
The bill, AB 703, which was introduced by state Rep. Warren Petryk, R-Eleva, would also prohibit people from allowing a member of the public to come in direct contact with a dangerous exotic animal, and would require the owner of the animal to notify local law enforcement if the animal escapes.
Anyone who already possesses these types of animals at the time the bill passes would be able to keep them if the person registers the animal in the municipality where they are kept.
The case for it
The Humane Society of the United States says that the law is needed because Wisconsin is one of only six states with few or no laws about keeping dangerous wild animals as pets. The group says that private individuals lack the expertise needed to safely and humanely house these animals and provide for their specific needs.
Melissa Tedrowe, the group’s Wisconsin state director, said: “There are certain animals that belong in the care of trained professionals, both for public safety and the welfare of the animals.”
Tedrowe noted that the bill has bipartisan support and the backing of a broad base of public safety and animal welfare organizations. Other groups that are registered in favor of the bill include the Wisconsin Counties Association and the Wisconsin Professional Police Association.
The case against it
No one is registered in opposition to the bill.
To get involved
To contact your lawmaker about this or any other bill, call the legislative hotline, which is staffed from 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. weekdays at 608-266-9960 or 800-362-9472. To send an email, go to the Legislature’s website at legis.wisconsin.gov, select “Assembly” or “Senate” and then “Email directory.”
Disclaimer connected to this blog…Things said are of my opinion and the opinions of others…Stay tuned and follow this blog -B