February 23rd, 2009
01:48 PM ET
6 years ago

No more monkey business

A week after a woman was brutally attacked by a friend’s chimpanzee, a House committee moved to prohibit humans from keeping primates as pets.
A week after a woman was brutally attacked by a friend’s chimpanzee, a House committee moved to prohibit humans from keeping primates as pets.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – A week after a woman was brutally attacked by a friend’s chimpanzee, a House committee moved to prohibit humans from keeping primates as pets.

Rep. Nick Rahall, chairman of the Committee on Natural Resources, requested action Monday on legislation to prohibit people from buying or transporting primates across state lines as pets. The West Virginia Democrat warned that primates are too dangerous to be kept as pets.

“Images of Curious George and Koko may lead us to believe that these creatures are cuddly and harmless, but last week’s tragedy and other similar attacks stand as evidence that this is not the case, that they are in fact wild animals, and they simply must not be kept as pets,” Rahall said in a statement.

The Captive Primate Safety act would modify the Lacy Act amendments, which were passed in 1981 and only included a ban on buying or transporting fish and wildlife across state lines to keep as pets, by adding primates to that list. The legislation is expected to go to the House floor for debate this afternoon.

Roughly a dozen Americans were attacked by primates in 2008, according to the Humane Society.

soundoff (175 Responses)
  1. BUCKWHEAT19

    This is a racist article and a racist picture. Fire that editor and photgrapher!! Sorry, was just pretending to be Al Sharpton.

    February 23, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  2. connect the dots

    I think the Members of the "Skull and Bones Cult," of which both G.W Bush and President Obama are members of, are much more dangerous than chimps.Their agenda is not known to the American people.They should be investigated.They are currently being sued by an Indian tribe for the theft of Geronimos remains.

    February 23, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  3. NY Post

    Just don't let those chimps anywhere near the stimulus bill.

    February 23, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  4. Andrea

    How many dog bites have there been in the last year? I'm sure there's more than a dozen...

    February 23, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  5. Griff............... on The Truth...

    No more Monkey Business???? Consumer confidence UP!
    Stock Markets DOWN! Who is kidding Who?

    February 23, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  6. Kevin

    I don't get it. Tobacco kills thousands of people, both first hand and second hand smoke. Same with alcohol and firearms. But one monkey injures a person, and the are now going to illegal to own as pets?

    While the attack was horrific, there are many things that are legal that produce horrific injuries and deaths, Why are people fixated on monkeys? Of all things that kill people?

    Maybe because there are no lobbyists and big business wrapped up in selling them.

    I'm not convinced that some people couldn't responsibly own the animals. To require a license and training would be sufficient.

    February 23, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  7. person

    Is this monkey a picture of the conservatives??? I think so. Reggie it's you.

    February 23, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  8. Kay

    It's always interesting to me that people keep dangerous wild animals as pets and are then stunned when they actually act like dangerous wild animals.

    February 23, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  9. debbie

    Hmmm please note that this legislation was originally passed in 1981 under the reign of Ronnie "No Big Gov't" Reagan. So much for THAT.

    February 23, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    Can we ban feces-flinging monkeys from the congress too, please?

    February 23, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  11. Carl

    They're seriously going to introduce legislation for something that only effects about 12 people a year? It certainly would be rough to be one of those people, but that's a pretty minor risk.

    How many people were attacked by dogs last year? Maybe we should prohibit keeping dogs as pets too...

    February 23, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  12. chuck

    This monkey looks just like Sarah Palin.

    February 23, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  13. Heart of Texas

    This is so stupid. 26 primate attacks in the US last year. How many dog attacks were there?

    February 23, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  14. meh

    That's stupid. How many people are bitten by dogs every year?
    Please keep in mind this was an 1. old and 2. sick chimp. They do get more aggressive as they age...and who isn't crabby when they're sick? It's silly to single out chimps over this.

    February 23, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  15. For anyone listening

    Is evolution no longer a part of the Democratic plank? Poor Travis the Chimp, morphing his way closer to being human and now this. What impact will this have on the advancement of other chimps? Now that hanging out with humans and being able to observe and be educated and work their way up into being productive members of society is gone, what now? I think the chimps of the world should unite and launch a media campaign against any congressman that votes for this bill. The campaign could include the impact on each district and set the stage for a class action lawsuit against the media for showing violent TV, that's what made poor Travis do it. He watched too many episodes of COPS.

    Nick Rahall is an unabashed bigot. What will this do for species relations in our country?

    February 23, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  16. no monkeys in the news

    didn't you get the memo last week

    monkeys in the news are offensive

    we need to remove them from the zoo, from the library, anywhere they might be misconstrewed

    CNN you are walking a thin line showing a monkey on your website

    Al Sharpton is going to come looking for you

    February 23, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  17. person

    Democrats should keep conservatives as pets, as far as this monkey goes it probably a lot smarter than Gingrich, Limbaugh, Palin, Jindal, W the messiah, Cheney and every other disgusting conservative. even those idiotic so-called B rate actors like Dennis miller, patricia heaton, E. Hasselbeck who make this country look stupid. You people are the reason we have enemies today, if you guys left this country there would be no reason for a Homeland security department.

    February 23, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  18. Debby

    I agree with this, some of those chimps grow huge like Travis and could be uncontrolable like we have seen.

    February 23, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  19. Wesley

    Just what we need, more laws to protect us from ourselves!

    February 23, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  20. Matt

    And car, plane, and boat accidents kill more people than monkeys and dogs. And horses can lead to accidents, too. We should just walk everywhere. Get a life, people.

    February 23, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  21. Change is coming!

    wow too bad it took this accident for the law makers to think that a wild animal needs to be left in the wild.... go figure.

    February 23, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  22. Jeanine

    bout time

    February 23, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  23. SJ

    I know it's a sorry day in West Virginia when my representative is trying to pass legislation to keep monkeys from owning monkeys. Hey Nick, did you hear? The country's economy is falling by a landslide! If you can't get your act together and help do something for this country, maybe you're the one who belongs in the zoo.

    February 23, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  24. pete

    Congress is always so timely with these dimitted measures.

    February 23, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  25. Sandra

    Shouldn't we be debating our practice of holding higher order primates in captivity, which usually means taking them from their parents shortly after birth and subjecting them to our need to see them in movies and commercials?

    Yes, they are strong animals who can hurt people - but I think we lost sight of the main issue, which is cruelty to these worthy animals.

    February 23, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
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