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March 13, 2012

Animal Advocates Gather at Tennessee Capitol to Lobby for Stronger Laws to Protect Primates

Citizens from across Tennessee participating in Humane Lobby Day 2012 assembled at the state house in Nashville to urge legislators to pass a bill to phase out the private possession of all species of primates. The bill seeks to safeguard the welfare of animals and help protect the safety of the citizens of Tennessee. The Humane Society of the United States sponsored Tennessee Humane Lobby Day.

Lobby day attendees urged their legislators to support H.B. 3487/S.B. 3692, sponsored by Rep. Janis Sontany, D-53, and Sen. Beverly Marrero, D-30.  Primates are incredibly strong and can become aggressive and unpredictable as they mature. Primates can also spread deadly viral and bacterial infections that can be transmitted to humans.

“As a result of the state’s weak laws, many unqualified people keep primates as pets in Tennessee,” said Leighann McCollum, Tennessee state director for The HSUS. “Restricting the trade and ownership of non-human primates benefits the welfare of animals and protects the safety of Tennessee citizens.”

Tennessee ranks 24th in The HSUS’ 2011 state animal protection rankings, which grades each state based on a wide range of animal protection laws dealing with pets, animal cruelty and fighting, wildlife, animals in research, horses and farm animals.

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Media Contacts:  Katie Jarl, 301-258-1483, kjarl@humanesociety.org

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