Target: Senator Michael Roberson
Goal: Extend support for his proposed law to make the ownership of certain dangerous exotic pets illegal in Nevada
Recently, Nevada has made efforts to join 43 other states to enforce a ban on the possession, importation or sale of exotic pets. The main purpose behind the bill is to increase public safety, an issue brought to light when two chimps escaped their compound in Las Vegas last summer and went on a rampage, resulting in the death of one chimp and the removal of the other to a sanctuary in Oregon. Michael Roberson, the Senator behind the bill, asserts that exotic pets endanger neighbors and the community as a whole, rather than just those who own the animals. He also stated his concern for the welfare of exotic pets, saying that in most cases “private owners… do not have the expertise needed to properly care for these animals,” and that keeping exotic animals locked up is “cruel.”
The bill aims to classify certain wild animals as “dangerous,” including wolves, lions, tigers and other large cats, hyenas, raccoons, certain species of bears, all primates, alligators and poisonous snakes. Furthermore, it would make the ownership, sale of importation of these dangerous animals illegal, and punishable by probation and a fine. Breeding dangerous animals would also qualify as a misdemeanor under the new law.
The proposed bill would allow certain exceptions for exotic animal ownership in the case of zoos, aquariums, wildlife sanctuaries, shelters and circuses. Furthermore, a “grandfather” provision would allow current owners of dangerous animals to keep their pets, so long as the animals were owned before a certain date. However, the new restrictions would greatly reduce the number of dangerous animals in the state altogether, and therefore cut down the risks posed by these exotic animals. Support the ban on dangerous, exotic pets in Nevada and help protect both the animals themselves, and the safety of those who could be exposed to them.
Dear Senator Michael Roberson,
The ownership of exotic animals, many potentially dangerous, in Nevada has long gone unchecked. The efforts of your proposed bill SB 245 to curb the possession, sale or importation of dangerous exotic pets is important not only in terms of human safety, but in regards to the well-being of these animals as well. The recent escape of two chimps in Las Vegas has brought to light how both the animals in question and innocent human bystanders can be placed in harm’s way when people attempt to keep exotic animals as pets.
Thank you for your efforts to pass this important piece of legislation and join 43 other states to impose bans on exotic animals. By doing so, you have taken steps towards ensuring the safety of Nevada’s residents, as well as the protection of many wild animals.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Frans de Waal via Wikimedia Commons