Today, a bill by Congressman Earl Blumenauer passed the U.S. House. From the O:
Last June, when Rep. Earl Blumenauer helped bring a bill to the House floor to ban the shipment of chimpanzees and other primates across state lines, it was mocked as a waste of time. Republicans insisted that the odds of getting bit by a chimp were ``one in 38 million'' and that lawmakers' time would be better spent on real problems like the soaring price of gas.
The bill passed the House but died in the Senate.
Blumenauer's bill returned to the House floor Tuesday in the wake of a brutal - and highly publicized - attack last week in which a Connecticut woman was critically injured by a rampaging chimp. As last year, it passed easily by a 323-95 vote. ...
To Blumenauer, the logic is clear. ``When we treat animals properly, and respect the fact that they are not like us--that their needs are not met by being dressed up in tutus or taught to drink wine from wine glasses--when we do this, we make our communities and our families safer. This extension of [the Lacey] Act is the least we can do to stop the trade in animals that have no business being household pets,'' he said.
Yesterday, Blumenauer blogged about the issue at the Huffington Post:
The importation of primates into the United States for the pet trade has been banned by Federal regulation since 1975. Although twenty states prohibit keeping primates as pets and many others require permits, these animals are bred in the United States and are readily available for purchase from exotic animal dealers and even over the internet. Because of the importation laws, there remains an active domestic trade in these animals.
Primates pose serious risks; they can transmit diseases, and inflict serious physical harm. These risks are increased by interstate transport of the animals. Even in states where it is legal to keep primates, most people cannot provide the special care, housing, and social structure these animals require.