3-24-14 Tomblin signs bill banning wild animals

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CHARLESTON (AP) — Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has signed legislation prohibiting the sale and ownership of wild and dangerous animals like bears, large cats, constricting snakes and alligators.

The Wild Dangerous Animal Act allows the commission of Agriculture to establish permits and fees to register wild animals currently living in captivity. It also exempts zoos and veterinary hospitals.

The legislation also creates a Dangerous Wild Animal Board, whose members will determine which animals to include under the law.

Tomblin’s office says the bill was signed on Friday.

The Humane Society of the United States, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the International Fund for Animal Welfare praised Tomblin’s move.

The groups say, with Tomblin’s signature, there are only five states with little-to-no restrictions on the private possession of dangerous wild animals.

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