Born Free USA
Exotic animals can include mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fresh water fish that are not native wildlife, including hybrids.
West Virginia Governor Earl Tomblin has just signed the Dangerous Wild Animals Act (H.B. 4393) into law, which will prohibit citizens from acquiring new “wild and exotic animals” as pets.
Spearheaded by Born Free USA, it also addresses the problem of “roadside zoos."
This victory couldn’t have happened without the support and advocacy of Born Free's West Virginia members. Your involvement really does make a difference!
This bill would prohibit the private possession of all “wild and exotic
animals." Exotic animals can include mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians,
and fresh water fish that are not native wildlife, including hybrids. The
bill delegates the responsibility of coming up with a comprehensive list to
the Division of Natural Resources.
Exotic animals owned prior to the enactment of this bill can be kept, as long as the owner obtains a permit. The bill is also carefully crafted to ensure that only private owners of exotic animals are affected. This bill does not apply to accredited exhibitors, nonprofits, animal control agencies, wildlife rehabilitators, veterinary clinics, sanctuaries, researchers, or educational institutions.
West Virginia is one of only six states that lack significant restrictions for wild and exotic animals kept by private individuals.
A similar version of this bill, S.B. 477, was introduced in 2012 but did not pass.
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