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March 21, 2014

West Virginia Joins Majority of States in Restricting Private Ownership of Dangerous Wild Animals

Gov. Tomblin has signed a bill into law to prohibit the private possession of dangerous wild animals. Introduced by Del. Randy Swartzmiller (D-1), HB 4393 passed the House by a vote of 72 to 23, and the Senate by a 22 to 11 vote. The bill creates a Dangerous Wild Animal Board, whose members will determine which animals to include under the law. The Humane Society of the United States, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the International Fund for Animal Welfare praise Gov. Tomblin’s decision.

Summer Wyatt, West Virginia state director for The HSUS, issued the following statement: “There’s no good reason for private citizens to keep dangerous wild animals as pets on their property and thankfully that day has come to an end. We are grateful to Governor Tomblin and the legislature for standing firm on this issue, and working to protect animal welfare and public safety. West Virginia now joins the majority of states across the country in taking decisive action on this issue.”

With Gov. Tomblin’s signature, there remain only five states with little to no restrictions on the private possession of dangerous wild animals—Alabama, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina and Wisconsin.

Media Contact: Naseem Amini, 240-778-5545, namini@humanesociety.org

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