Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Missouri Legislation on Exotic Animals Passed

Finally some good news in Missouri regarding exotic animal ownership. Known as the Large Carnivore bill, this successful proposal has been a Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation priority for many years. This legislation creates a comprehensive set of standards for owning certain dangerous exotic animals by requiring liability insurance, micro-chipping, caging restrictions, and other protections to ensure that these animals are well treated and the public safety is protected.

Missouri has had one the weakest laws governing the ownership and care of dangerous exotic animals. It was significantly weaker than the laws of all eight bordering states regarding the private ownership of such animals. As a result, Missouri has become a haven for disreputable owners and a hub for illegal sales of these animals. Large carnivores are often found neglected in unsanitary, unsafe situations, such as a tiger named Sheena, found in a raid on a Seneca puppy mill in 2009. Sheriffs cited the lack of adequate state protections as a contributing factor in two tragic tiger attacks that left Missourians severely injured in 2008 (Wesa-A-Geh-Ya in Warrenton; Predator World in Branson).

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