Exotic Decision
Exotic Decision
Do you love your cat or dog? The state of West Virginia considering legislation that could allow the State Department of Natural Resources to seize and euthanize your pet. While the state is doing the banner of public safety, further encroaching on our civil liberties; they may wish to seize your family pet next. This bill will ultimately permit the state of West Virginia to declare what you as a citizen can keep and care for in your home.

“Senate Bill 371 prohibits possession of wild and exotic animals” (Bill 371). This will limit ownership and control over exotic animals. A permit will allow ownership along with taxes paid on the animal. Lengthy paperwork will be required to obtain maximum information on the animal. “An insurance of 250,000 dollars must be on the animal along with a 200 dollar tax fee. The intent of this bill it to limit and prevent the spread of disease, ensure human safety, stop release of animals, and stop mistreatment” (Bill 371). This bill has been proposed in response to media exposes that sensationalize the rare occurrence of exotic animals attacking their owners.

The bill has many further regulations concerning diseases in animals.”Animals are open to the immediate testing by the Division of Natural Resources to determine if diseases are present. Any animal not defined as domestic may be seized along with any wildlife animal. This includes animals present or once present in the state. Animals that are obtained will be tested and euthanized” (Bill 371). The bill provides no specifics on which diseases will be tested for, the manner in which the testing will be done, or when a test may be conducted.

The key problem is that the bill is trying to make major changes involving exotic animals to fast. Owners may be concerned for the welfare of their pet after being removed from the home. Individuals may be very aggressive and turn to violence to protect their pet. The fee of 200 dollars tax to pay every year and maintain 250,000 dollars in insurance may be too costly for an individual to pay. If the state wanted to keep track of all exotic animals paperwork and a smaller fee would be acceptable. Also the animal could be checked by a specialized vet to approve the health of the animal.

I feel that Senate Bill 371 is morally unfair to pet owners and to the animals. This bill is ludicrous due to the pettiness of the contents. The state of West Virginia possesses many other serious issues that need to be addressed. These include but are not limited to the minimum wage increase, infrastructure, and poverty increase. The ownership and marketing of exotic and wildlife animals should not be a concern in that state. The state of West Virginia does not have adequate resources to properly and fairly enact the regulations provided by this legislation.

During the first two sessions the bill contained a list of the animals being considered as exotic. These of some of the animals stated in the bill, all snakes, geckos, lizards, tropical fish, monitors, spiders, guinea pigs, hedgehogs, chinchillas, and some breeds of hamsters, mice, and rabbits. I feel this list does not honestly portray the true meaning of an exotic animal. This bill states, “Any animal not defined as domestic may be seized along with any wildlife animal.” The current definition of a domesticated animal is to live in close association to humans and to created dependency on humans to survive. The bill has yet to explain how it will alter definition of a domestic animal. If the bill intends to seize all animals not defined as domesticated any animal that depends on a human caretaker should not be included in any seize.

In order to realize the actual economic impact of this bill, small business owner John Stosick has expressed discerning contempt at he fears it may shutter his business. “This bill is a bureaucratic attack on my individual liberties to successfully achieve the American dream” (Stosick). John expresses his worries that the animals and his successful genetic breeding will be compromised or completely lost with passage of this legislation. “I started an amateur enthusiast in various reptile and exotic animals, over the course of the past 15 years I have grown my hobby into a successful business. I have evidence for many customers who have come to rely on me for their pet care and none of these animals have endangered said costumers “(Stosick).

In the past 15 years there has been no health issues brought to Johns attention concerning the animals that he has sold or the owners of the purchased animals. “I care greatly about the health and general welfare of all animals. When an animal is purchased from my store I assure all costumers that if a problem would occur with the pet that I would gladly take on the care and ownership of the animal. I do this to ensure that animals sold from my store are never mistreated or released into the local ecosystem” (Stosick). John informed me, the authors of this legislation didnt not have any contact with him or any other pet store owners he knows concerning the new regulations.

To oppose Johns views and opinions on this issue, organizations with national and international footing have created a media campaign in support of legislation limiting the ownership of exotic pets. Their contention is not only concerning animal welfare but, also public safety and the endangerment of local ecosystems. The Humane Society of the United States has concluded that, “Since 1990, there have been nearly 1,300 dangerous incidents involving captive big cats, bears, primates and large constrictor snakes nationwide, resulting in 41 human deaths and nearly 700 injuries. The Enviromental Criminal Investigation Unit in Western Cape, South Africa has concluded that up to 90% of reptiles imported for the exotic pet trade die or are seriously injured during capture or transport (PETA). PETA makes further arguments that the illegal trade in exotic pets is the third largest source of income for illegal international gangs behind the sale of weapons and drugs.

The Humane Society of the United States that the bill creates a, ” Dangerous Wild Animal Board whose members will determine which animals to include under the law. The bill recommends the following animals be prohibited from

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Exotic Animals And State Of West Virginia. (May 31, 2021). Retrieved from https://www.freeessays.education/exotic-animals-and-state-of-west-virginia-essay/