WV Passes Exotic Animal Laws, Requires Permits

The legislature recently passed SB477, which makes owning “exotic animals” a privilege, not a right. What exactly is an exotic animal? Well, that’s up to the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources.

Delegate Larry Kump, R-Berkeley, says that “the phrase that comes to mind is ‘lions, tigers and bears, oh my!'” However, the Department could hypothetically decide whatever they choose. “This has drawn furor of some people who own exotic and not so exotic pets. Quite frankly, their confidence in the rule-making procedure is not good.”

Permits to own exotic animals will cost $25 and the DNR will keep track of owner and animal identification information, permit fees and requirements and establish a system to keep track of permit applicants. Pet owners must get permits for their exotic animals within 180 days.

SB477 passed the Senate Feb. 17 by a vote of 32-1, and an amended version passed the House March 10 by a vote of 73-27. Upon signature from Governor Tomblin, SB477 will go into effect on July 1, 2012.

How did your representatives vote?

Let them know how you feel about SB477

Look up your WV House and Senate representatives’ information on WVP and contact them directly. This is the preferred method of contact.

However, if you would like to email the entire WV Legislature and let them know how you feel about their passage of SB477, requiring permits to own exotic animals, use the form below.

*A copy of this message will be sent to WV Politics and your IP address will be recorded. This is to ensure proper delivery and discourage harassment and/or spam. If you do not feel comfortable with this, please utilize another means for contact.


Posted on March 14, 2012, in Legislation, News and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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