Target: West Virginia Senators
Goal: Applaud the state of West Virginia for protecting public safety and animal welfare by passing the Dangerous Wild Animal Act.
The West Virginia Senate recently passed a bill known as the Dangerous Wild Animal Act to prohibit the private possession of dangerous wild animals. A Dangerous Wild Animal Board has been created under the bill, and will determine which animals will be included in the law. Wild animals should not be kept as pets, as they have not been domesticated and their behavior cannot be predicted. Commend the West Virginia Senate for passing the Dangerous Wild Animal Act.
In the past, lax wildlife ownership laws in West Virginia have put public safety and animal welfare at risk. Many unqualified people in the state have kept dangerous wild animals. Since 2000, there have been multiple cases of wild animals causing harm to others. These instances include the escape of a pet chimpanzee, monkey, and rhesus monkey, all of which bit and injured bystanders. Other reported incidents of uncontrolled wild animals include an escaped lion, bear, and tiger. Up until recently, West Virginia was one of only six states with such flexible laws on the ownership of wild animals.
Wild animals retain their natural instincts, even if they are born in captivity and hand-raised. This makes it extremely difficult to take care of wild animals, especially larger carnivorous species. In many cases, when the wild animals grow too large and difficult to handle, they are abandoned and passed from owner to owner or simply turned loose. Not only is this inhumane and cruel to the animal, it is also a danger to the community and native wildlife. Without proper care and monitoring, dangerous wild animals inflict injury, cause death, and spread deadly diseases.
West Virginia is taking great strides in ensuring the safety of citizens and the protection of wild animals. Sign the petition below to thank the West Virginia Senate for passing the Dangerous Wild Animal Act.
Dear West Virginia Senators,
I recently heard about your decision to pass the Dangerous Wild Animal Act and I would like to commend you for protecting public safety and animal welfare. The Dangerous Wild Animal Act is important for regulating unlawful wild animal possession. Many wild animals have been kept by unqualified West Virginians, thus causing many accidents and injuries. Since 2000, there have been multiple cases of escaped primates biting and injuring bystanders. There have also been instances of a lion, bear, and tiger escaping.
Since wild animals have not been domesticated, they retain their natural instincts. Therefore, it is in the animals’ best interests and the citizens’ best interests for the state of West Virginia to prohibit the ownership of dangerous wild animals. Until this bill was passed, West Virginia was one of only six states with little to no laws on the ownership of wild animals. I would like to applaud you for taking steps toward protecting your citizens and wild animals.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Carlosar via Wikimedia Commons