2/24/09: Breaking News – House Passes Primate “Pet” Bill
If you haven’t already, write to your Senators.
Within the last several hours, the U.S. House of Representative approved the
Captive Primate Safety Act (H.R. 80) with a majority vote of 323-95 (wow)!
On 2/23/09, Kinship Circle issued an alert, “Wired To Be Wild” asking House
Reps to cosponsor H.R. 80 and Senators to introduce companion legislation.
We also blogged about Travis, the “pet” chimp shot dead on 2/16/09 after
attacking his guardian’s friend in Stamford, CT. Perhaps Travis’ light in
heaven showed Reps the dire need for a ban on the import/export and
interstate traffic in primates as “pets.” In any case, the House moved fast!
See how your Reps voted: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2009/roll076.xml
TOP: Chimps like this little guy are wild animals who naturally mature with
aggressive tendencies. BOTTOM: Travis: knifed, beaten, shot and killed after
attacking a visitor at the home where he lived as a “pet.” MyFOX NY
FULL CONTACT INFORMATION. Sample letter follows
To identify your federal legislators and find contact info, try:
* Congress.org — http://www.Congress.org
* Project VoteSmart — http://www.vote-smart.org/
* USA House of Representatives — http://www.house.gov
* USA Senate — http://www.senate.gov
* Congressional Switchboard: 202-224-3121
The Honorable Senators [YOUR SENATORS’ NAMES HERE]
The U.S. Senate, U.S. Capitol Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
*Kinship Circle cannot guarantee validity of email addresses. During
campaigns, recipients may change or disable their email addresses. Emails
from government, corporate, or institute websites may be incorrect.
FOR A FORMATTED SAMPLE LETTER (WORD DOC), EMAIL:
email@example.com — Easily modify letter. Copy/paste it into an
email or print letter to fax or mail.
Dear Representative and Senators:
I am very happy the House of Representatives passed the Captive Primate
Safety Act (H.R. 80) with a majority vote of 323-95. Perhaps the widely
publicized chimp attack in Stamford, Connecticut influenced this swift
decision to ban interstate and foreign traffic in primates as “pets.”
I now strongly urge my Senators to cosponsor and support similar legislation
to debilitate the primate “pet” trade.
Headlines nationwide focused on Travis the chimpanzee‘s vicious attack on
Charla Nash, a friend visiting Sandra Herold’s Stamford, CT home on February
16, 2009. As Nash exited her car, Herold’s “pet” chimp Travis, 15, tore the
woman’s face. Nash lost a lot of blood and may be permanently disfigured.
To save her friend’s life, Herold stabbed Travis repeatedly and beat him
with a shovel. Officers at the scene finished the 200-pound chimp off with a
gun. Once shot, Travis retreated to the only place he knew — a human place
with toys and blankets. Bewildered and bleeding, he awaited his next
command. But no voice came and Travis died.
The most predictable thing about Travis was his unpredictability. Like all
nonhuman primates, Travis was a creature of the jungle. Not a TV celebrity.
Not someone’s child. Travis was programmed to vie for leadership in his pack
as he matured. He was wired to act aggressively in the wild.
An estimated 15,000 primates live in private settings in the U.S. State laws
are sketchy — some ban all exotics; others permit primates. The thriving
traffic in monkeys and apes poses a public health risk as well, since
primates can transmit Herpes B virus, yellow fever, and monkeypox,
Baby primates can grow into belligerent, even hostile, “pets.” Some
caretakers cage, drug and/or defang them. Others dump primates at roadside
zoos or sell them to breeders. Since accredited zoos refuse them and most
respectable sanctuaries are full, few options exist for these former “pets.”
I thank the House for its quick action. I now ask my Senators to do
everything possible to pass the Captive Primate Safety Act this year.