February 23rd, 2009
01:48 PM ET
5 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. I hate Texas

    Texas Proud!
    "Psst—-there was nothing racist regarding that cartoon"

    Of course you didn't, you're far too stupid from all the inbreeding your retarded relatives did! Now do the rest of the world a favor, you & all your little inbreed Texas buddies just go back to sleeping with your ciblings & leave us normal people alone!

    February 23, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  2. connect the dots

    Lets put a hold on the partisanship for an hour and find out who started the run on the MONEY MARKET ACCTS. on 9/16.We may find the real finacial terrorists that started this collapse we are now in.

    February 23, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  3. Keith

    I can't believe you used the "m" word! We're not supposed to use the word "monkey" for the next 4 years.

    February 23, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  4. B Canard

    Stop legislating away choice. If someone wants a primate as a pet, let them take the risk.

    February 23, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  5. James

    Why are legislators worried about animals when there are more important, urgent, and immediate matters?

    February 23, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  6. Truth Bomb Thrower

    Uh-oh. Sounds like the democrats may be losing some voters.

    February 23, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  7. Iguana Victim

    Ah, the cartoon debate still rages on. Seems to me the most noise is coming from the "offending" side, not so much the "offended."

    Working for a paper, I can tell you, one must carefully weigh content for the wide audience. Very rarely will a paper "step out of line" from your basic everyday coverage.

    When it comes to political and topical comics, a little more leeway is granted, but not enough to risk losing ad money.

    At this point an editor must go, "Hmm...is this offensive? Could it be construed as offensive?" If so, is it worth the controversy and potentially losing advertisers? In this case, it was clearly decided, "yes."

    Make no mistake – was it intentionally offensive? Not really. Did they know it was potentially offensive? Absolutely.

    Papers are dying everyday, as an editor, you don't want this kind of misstep – unless it can cause enough controversy.

    You all got played.

    February 23, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  8. Dana (Maryland)

    Also prohibit the transportation of homo sapiens. They hurt more people than do chimps.

    February 23, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  9. JSU-TIGER99

    Well I think they need to be able to run free in the wild and not for people to be thinking that they are a child.

    February 23, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  10. me

    Why haven't they banned republicans from office? The last eight years alone they killed 1 million Iraqis.

    What about cigarettes? 72oz. steaks? Everclear? These things kill as many people as republicans do a year, why aren't they banned?

    February 23, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  11. Steve (the real one)

    Kevin February 23rd, 2009 1:22 pm ET
    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
    ---------
    I hear you Kevin but the government is taxing tobacco to fund SCHIP (the precurser to national health care). So I guess its OKAY!!??

    February 23, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  12. Rick

    We have the same issues going on now with reptiles. HHR669 is trying to add all reptiles to the Lacy act right now.

    February 23, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  13. TRUTH

    These lawmakers are just looking for more ways to intrude in our lives. Do we really need a law for this? The overwhelming majority of Americans do not own Chimps nor would they ever want to. It is called good old fashioned common sense, and you cannot legislate that.

    February 23, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  14. Kage

    I think the point of this should be that exotic animals, not just chimps but many animals that are potentially dangerous should not be in people's homes. They are WILD animals not domesticated and therefore they should not be pets.

    February 23, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  15. JA/TN

    pitbulls and a few more dog species need to be added

    February 23, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  16. Thumbs Up For Obama

    How about the transportting /selling of snakes (pet and people eaters ) from out of country then when they get to large these people open the cage and let them loose just look what has happened in Florida and these snakes are spreading north
    and west as climate warms expected to be across the southclear to to California .
    Wouldn't you feel safe having children your your pets in the yard with these snakes even grownups are not safe .
    Anaconda -Any large snake that crushes its prey "A South American Boa "
    This is no joke

    February 23, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  17. thomas

    Listen ladies, get rid of the big apes.

    February 23, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  18. Beverly, NYC

    This bill should extend to any wild animal in a populated area. This bill should cover anacondas to pit bulls. How many people have to die before we realize that wild animals should not replace people. This crazy woman fed this primate wine, Xanax, and slept in the same bed with it and soneone else paid theprice. She should be locked up.

    February 23, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  19. Jason

    I believe it was the Romans who said 'Dont legislate based on the extremes,' which means you shouldn't make broad-but-pointless laws based on extremely unusual circumstances.

    February 23, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  20. mary

    TO Joe
    I do not hate Sarah Palin! The American people knew absolutely nothing about Sarah Palin. John McCain brings this woman out of nowhere and picks her to be his running mate. I believe that the American people were not prepared for what John MCain exposed this innocent woman to. She was not allowed to speak and to be familiarized with the people of this great country of ours, instead John McCain used Sarah Palin for his own gain and it backfired on him. So, Sarah Palin it is not the fault of the media. It was WHO you trusted and hung around with.

    February 23, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  21. John from SC

    It needs to happen.

    They are dangerous, wild animals.

    What makes them even more dangerous is the fact that they are too much like humans, therefor people treat them as humans (the owner of the chimp actually napped with it and fed it at the table, she called it her son) and not as animals. They are too much like humans in that their intellect is much higher than that of a dog, and they can make choices (I heard that the lady attacked had just gotten a new hair-do, and he did not recognize her). They are just too dangerous.

    February 23, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  22. JP

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

    And therefore they are "too dangerous" to keep as pets?

    I'm not saying people should be allowed to keep monkeys as pets, but for officials to talk like they're attacking people left and right when only "roughly a dozen" attacks occurred is silly and just trying to get folks to buy into fear. Watch out, folks, it could happen to you next!! Good Lord...

    I know more people that have been attacked by cats and dogs than monkeys. Why not ban them, too?

    February 23, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  23. Kevin A

    Yeah, that's what our elected representatives should be doing. After all this happens so often and is such a threat. Gimme a break. All the issues in this country and this is what's important. What a joke.

    February 23, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  24. MZ

    Sooner or later, when the stimulus fails, one of these chimps is going to sue the the New York Post cartoonists board for defamation of character, for having the gall to compare them to Obama.

    February 23, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  25. AL

    Send all the chimps to Iraq to finish off the war and the cost will be nothing to the American people.. Oh and send them to look for Osama, I bet they, (you know the BUSH look alikes) can find him and finish the job Bushie started..

    February 23, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
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