Cities and states are updating their animal control laws after a spate of violent and bizarre animal incidents, including Michael Vick's dogfighting ring in 2007 and last week's attack by Travis the chimpanzee in Connecticut.
Born Free USA maintains a database of attacks by captive exotic animals.
Local gov'ts confront dangerous pets
Oren Dorell, Greg Latshaw, and Donna Leinwand
Just a week after a savage attack in Connecticut involving a chimpanzee, the House today overwhelmingly passed legislation aimed at curbing the keeping of primates as pets. The Captive Primate Safety Act (H.R. 80) passed on a vote of 323-95. Sponsored by Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), the bill would amend the Lacey Act Amendments of 1981 to add primates to the list of animals that cannot be transported across state lines by individuals.
"The primate trade involves enormous animal suffering and threats to human safety," says Adam Roberts, senior vice president of Born Free USA. "Wildlife belongs in the wild."
Following Brutal Chimp Attack, House Overwhelmingly Passes Primate Pet Ban
On the Hill (blog)
The CT Department of Environmental Protection allowed a Stamford couple to keep a 200-pound chimpanzee without a permit, despite a 2004 state law that required they apply for and obtain the necessary approvals from the agency. On Monday, Travis, a 14-year-old chimpanzee, savagely attacked a family friend, who remained in critical condition Tuesday in Stamford Hospital. A DEP spokesman said the agency granted the couple a special exemption, noting that the DEP "had no compelling evidence there was a public safety risk," he said. "We had no reports there were issues." Born Free USA, a national nonprofit animal advocacy group, in a statement Tuesday, noted that Travis made headlines in 2003 for briefly escaping from his owners in downtown Stamford. Born Free Senior Vice President Nicole Paquette called on Gov. M. Jodi Rell to ban the keeping of primates as pets in Connecticut.
DEP let couple keep chimp without required permit
The Stamford Advocate
In the wake of a brutal attack by a pet chimpanzee on a Connecticut woman, people are asking what went wrong. But that, a wildlife expert says, is the wrong question. “What we should examine is, ‘Should people be keeping chimpanzees at home?’” wildlife biologist and Animal Planet TV host Jeff Corwin told Today’s Matt Lauer Tuesday.
Experts try to explain pet chimp’s rampage
Kenneth Feld, the sole owner of Feld Entertainment and Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus did not appear in U.S Federal Court today. Buying his way out of trouble is a way of life for Ken Feld, but this time, he just may be trapped. These animal rights people are not clowning around!
Reckoning at Ringling Bros.
The Huffington Post
A federal judge began hearing a lawsuit alleging the abuse of circus elephants, including the use of heavy chains, tethers and sharp tools called bullhooks.
Learn more about the trial at www.bornfreeusa.org/ringling.
Judge hears case alleging circus elephant abuse
Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus and its parent company, Feld Entertainment, Inc., will finally stand trial to face charges that the circus mistreats its Asian elephants in violation of the federal Endangered Species Act. The case is more than eight years in the making.
On Wednesday (Feb. 4), the plaintiffs, including Sacramento-based non-profit Born Free USA united with Animal Protection Institute (Born Free), the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Animal Welfare Institute, the Fund for Animals, and former Ringling Bros. employee Tom Rider are scheduled to present their case in federal district court in Washington, D.C. Katherine Meyer of the public interest law firm Meyer Glitzenstein & Crystal will serve as lead counsel for the plaintiffs.
Ringling Brothers Circus on trial for elephant abuse
"Pets and Wildlife"
Bay Area News Group
One of the most iconic images of American life, that of circus elephants joined trunk-to-tail as they lumber along to delight “children of all ages,” as the old saying goes, is about to be debated in a courtroom. Are the beasts docile because they are highly intelligent and respond well to training, reinforced with the promise of apples, carrots, water and kindness at day’s end? Or do they obey because their spirits have been broken and they fear getting hit by their trainers? These are among the questions that will be asked when a lawsuit by a coalition of animal rights’ groups [including Born Free USA united with API] against the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circus and its parent company opens in federal court on Wednesday.
Suit Challenges Image of Circus Elephants as Willing Performers
The New York Times