Forget the stimulus — this one moved really fast.
U.S. House of Representatives Passes Captive Primate Safety Act
WASHINGTON (Feb. 24, 2009) — Eight days after a chimpanzee kept as a pet attacked and critically injured a Connecticut woman, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Captive Primate Safety Act, H.R. 80, introduced by U.S. Reps. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., and Mark Kirk, R-Ill., to stop interstate commerce in primates as pets. The bill passed by a vote of 323 to 95. The bill now moves for consideration to the U.S. Senate, where the effort to pass the legislation is being led by U.S. Sens. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and David Vitter, R-La.
The Humane Society of the United States and the Humane Society Legislative Fund expressed thanks and appreciation to Reps. Blumenauer and Kirk for introducing the bill, and to Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife Subcommittee Chairwoman Madeleine Bordallo, D-Guam, and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Nick Rahall, D-W.V., for their leadership in bringing the measure to the House floor so expeditiously.
“There is no reason for any private citizen to keep a primate as a pet, and this trade is driven by unscrupulous dealers who sell primates across state lines for thousands of dollars,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS. “Congressional action on this animal welfare and public safety issue will complement our efforts at the state level to dry up the trade and the practice of private ownership of chimps and other primates.”
“As the tragic attack in Connecticut shows us, The Captive Primate Safety Act is necessary, common-sense legislation for the welfare of humans and animals,” said Rep. Blumenauer. “Make no mistake, this bill will protect communities and ensure the humane treatment of these animals. The passage of this bill is long overdue; I salute The Humane Society of the United States and animal welfare advocates for their consistent dedication and I am pleased that together we were able to pass this bill.”
Rep. Kirk said, “It is inhumane to cage primates in private homes. Besides the animal cruelty concerns, the interstate movement of pet primates creates serious public health and safety risks. The Captive Primate Safety Act takes important steps to address these concerns.”