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Reply #53: The laws in CT allowed a Chimp 50 pound or less to be kept as a pet, owner had permit [View All]

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Jennicut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-05-09 03:00 PM
Response to Reply #51
53. The laws in CT allowed a Chimp 50 pound or less to be kept as a pet, owner had permit
From Hartford Courant:

Twenty states forbid keeping great apes as pets. But not Connecticut. Here, residents need only a permit to keep a primate of more than 50 pounds.

There's no reason for any hedge in state policy. Primates are not pets, and allowing permits for this private ownership of primates is irresponsible. We join with Attorney General Richard Blumenthal in calling for immediate action by the General Assembly and the state Department of Environmental Protection to correct the loopholes in the law.

The federal government also bears a good deal of culpability here. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service could have spared everyone had it listed all chimps as endangered 20 years ago, as it should have. It instead carved a loophole in the law, allowing chimps to be kept as pets, as well as be used in roadside zoos and circuses and in biomedical research. The government came up with a convoluted "split listing" of the species designating the wild populations as endangered, but the captive populations as merely threatened.

This less stringent designation, coupled with lax regulations, was an important factor behind Monday's tragedy. If the federal government had not caved in to lobbying pressure from special interests wanting to use chimps, no private citizen in America could have legally possessed a chimp as a pet.

Congress had a chance to address this problem last year and blew it. By a vote of 302 to 96, the House passed the Captive Primate Safety Act to ban the interstate transport of primates for the pet trade.

In the Senate, however, the much-needed law was blocked by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla. Had it not been for him, the pet trade in these dangerous animals would be drying up.

Thank Coburn and my lovely state.

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