WV lawmakers again consider a ban on exotic animals - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

WV lawmakers again consider a ban on exotic animals

Posted: Updated:
  • GovernmentGovernmentMore>>

  • National Preparedness Month encourages residents to plan response to weather, other emergencies

    National Preparedness Month encourages residents to plan response to weather, other emergencies

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 10:26 AM EDT2014-09-02 14:26:18 GMT
    National Preparedness Month, celebrated each September, is a nationwide program hosted by the Ready Campaign to encourage households, businesses and communities to prepare and plan for emergencies. 
    The West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management is participating in National Preparedness Month, now in its 11th year. National Preparedness Month, celebrated each September, is a nationwide program hosted by the Ready Campaign to encourage households, businesses and communities to prepare and plan for emergencies. 
  • UPDATE: Two appointments made to commission tasked with studying chemical spill bill

    UPDATE: Two appointments made to commission tasked with studying chemical spill bill

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 9:43 AM EDT2014-09-02 13:43:38 GMT
    Senate Bill 373, a bill drafted in response to the Jan. 9 chemical leak, establishes a commission to do studies and report back to the Legislature. Senate President Jeff Kessler, D-Marshall, made the first appointment to that board on Aug. 29. Kessler appointed Dr. Rahul Gupta, Executive Director of the Kanawha Charleston Health Department.
    Senate Bill 373, a bill drafted in response to the Jan. 9 chemical leak, establishes a commission to do studies and report back to the Legislature. Senate President Jeff Kessler, D-Marshall, made the first appointment to that board on Aug. 29. Kessler appointed Dr. Rahul Gupta, Executive Director of the Kanawha Charleston Health Department.
  • Treating toxic water may cost New Castle, Delaware $1M

    Treating toxic water may cost New Castle, Delaware $1M

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 7:09 AM EDT2014-09-02 11:09:22 GMT
    Officials have focused on the longtime use of fire-fighting foams at the nearby Delaware Air National Guard Base at New Castle Airport. Those foams contain perfluorinated chemicals, or PFCs, which are an emerging health concern for drinking water supplies nationwide.
    Officials have focused on the longtime use of fire-fighting foams at the nearby Delaware Air National Guard Base at New Castle Airport. Those foams contain perfluorinated chemicals, or PFCs, which are an emerging health concern for drinking water supplies nationwide.
CHARLESTON, WV (AP) -

West Virginia lawmakers are considering whether to ban the ownership of such exotic animals as tigers and alligators within the state.

State lawmakers were told during a legislative committee meeting on Tuesday that West Virginia is one of five states with no exotic animal regulations. State wildlife officials say that means they have no idea what type, or how many, exotic animals are in the state. In the past, alligators, a water buffalo and a lion have escaped from their owners in the state.

Last year, lawmakers approved a bill that would require permits for private owners to continue housing animals like tigers or lions in West Virginia. But that bill was vetoed by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, who cited expenses associated with regulating it as the primary reason for his opposition.

The bill had defined an exotic animal as those that posed a physical or biological threat to humans, livestock or native wildlife.

Officials from the Department of Natural Resources said Tuesday they want a law passed in the upcoming legislative session that would create a commission that would define which animals are banned. They say exotic animals need to be regulated for human and animal safety. Zoos regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture would be exempt from the potential state regulations.

The department's efforts are supported by the West Virginia Humane Society, which says as more states ban exotic animals, more people are moving to West Virginia to escape regulation.

"We've had tigers, lions, bears, escape to never be caught again or to be shot," said Summer Wyatt, state director for the West Virginia Humane Society. "So there are indeed some issues with not having any regulations in caging, insurance, veterinary care and those types of things for these animals that we do consider to be mandatory for other pets that we consider traditional - dogs and cats and the like."

Under the proposal lawmakers are expected to review, those who own a dangerous exotic animal would be allowed to keep them. Wyatt said legislating regulating the animals would help ensure the animals are receiving proper caging and veterinary care to reduce the risk of spreading disease. She also said it would help ensure animal owners have an evacuation plan for what they'd do with their exotic animals in the case of a natural disaster, among other things.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.