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. Mike Dallas

    The ticker is confused.

    The first one is about the monkey this one is about Sarah Palin.

    February 23, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  2. Iguana Victim

    Oh Joe – Just cause you love Sarah Palin, doesn't mean we all hate her. Saying CNN hates her is also strange because not a week goes by that she doesn't grace the CNN ticker. Name one other state governer that gets that much coverage – neagative or positive.

    I understand it must be frustrating that your candidate's running mate lost. However, blaming the media on the loss, or alluding to them playing favorites is just very trivial.

    Not at one time from the moment Sarah was tapped did McCain close the gap in the polls, let alone lead.

    Maybe it's unfair that McCain's team let her do the RNC's dirty work – fear-mongering, half-truths, questioning sincerity – especially when ususally this spurs a negative-ad sparring competition. Obama never entered that ring, so she came out looking viscious and unhinged. That's not the media though – McCain received a second wind because the media was so romanced by her. (Biden got 1/16th the coverage she did). After the first month, McCain all but dissapeared.

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

    And everyone keeps bringing up dogs. Look up the fatality numbers on Horses. When are they going to be outlawed??????

    February 23, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  4. Maria

    Are you even kidding me, ban this and ban that, a law for this and a law for that. I think there are more important items on the agenda then making sure Curious George doesn't attack. After all I have 3 dogs and yet know “Images of (Fedo) Curious George and (Lucky) Koko may lead us to believe that these creatures are cuddly and harmless", yet I still would not leave a child unattended with anyone of my dogs.
    Plus, here is statics for dog attacks for 2007, per the dogbitelaw.com: The most recent official survey, conducted more than a decade ago, determined there were 4.7 million dog bite victims annually in the USA. A more recent study showed that 1,000 Americans per day are treated in emergency rooms as a result of dog bites. In 2007 there were 33 fatal dog attacks in the USA. Most of the victims who receive medical attention are children, half of whom are bitten in the face. Dog bite losses exceed $1 billion per year, with over $300 million paid by homeowners insurance. Hum.....will my Fedo be banned now?

    February 23, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  5. greed is not good

    Good! That lady was totally out of control giving psycho meds to a wild animal without the proper consultation by a licensed vet.

    Wild animals are not meant to be pets. That lady should be fined or sent to prison for her horrible judgement.

    February 23, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  6. MICK in MESA

    Adding ANY primate to the law works for me...

    February 23, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  7. Once you vote Black

    Why would you bring up Sarah Palin on this article Joe? Is it the monkey that reminded you of her? Keep in mind, the media was responding to her not attacking her. She was the one with the dangleing modifiers. She was the one on the attack. She attacked the media the night of the convention. She as much as said "Bring It On".

    February 23, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  8. Steve

    Ummm....Isn't there still a financial crisis?? How about the politicians in Washington do something useful and fix our economy instead of making a law that only affects 1% of our entire population. Who in their right minds want's a damn monkey for a pet anyway?

    February 23, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  9. Once you vote Black

    Joe, the Rev. Wright story was looped on CNN for about a week and a half. The spark Sarah brought to the ticket was talked about for 2 weeks after the convention. Sarah fell off after the Katie interview because her cards had been showen, not because of a hate for her or a love for Obama. Come own, be honest.

    February 23, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  10. Once you vote Black

    Last, Obama worked very hard to make himself a small target, Sarah tried to get as much air as she could. The media noticed that and treater her accordenly.

    February 23, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  11. rich

    Thats not fair,now the republicans wont have anyone to consult.

    February 23, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  12. rcloosisadick

    Joe
    The Palin comment really belonged with the monkey story...good job.
    But then, neither Palin nor the chimp can take responsibility for their own behavior

    February 23, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  13. mary,florida

    Now the republicans wont have anyone to consult.

    February 23, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  14. FAYE

    This woman was obviously sick . She allowed this chimp to sleep and cuddle??? with her , kiss her , brush her hair, bathe with her. What does this say about the owner?

    February 23, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  15. Jon in Ca

    Democrats = Incensed Muslims

    Did Anyone else catch the outpouring of anger and cries against the NY Post for their cartoon?

    It is reminiscent of when the Dutch published a cartoon of Mohammed with a bomb in his turbin – and the muslims went nuts.

    I guess each group reveres their messiah.

    February 23, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  16. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    Where's the Constitutional authority for this proposal?

    Amendment 10 – Powers of the States and People. Ratified 12/15/1791.

    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

    There's nothing in the Constitution giving Congress the authority to determine what kinds of beasties people may keep as pets. If this kind of law is to be made, it must be made at the State level. The business about tying that restriction to transportation across state lines is nothing more than a cynical evasion of the intent of the Tenth Amendment.

    February 23, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  17. Kevin in Ohio

    More signs of increased federal government intrusion in to our lives... the bureaucracy feels it has a free pass. Licensing is sufficient in the land of the free. And if it isnt, how about licensing for all those people out there who have absolutely no capacity for being a parent? In my opinion, responsible ownership of a pet primate (not that there was responsible ownership in this case) is every bit, if not more, reasonable than having 14 children and expecting the state to take care of you.

    February 23, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  18. Gary, Detroit

    It's hard to believe in creationism when you can look at this monkey and then look at Sarah Palin...

    February 23, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  19. Roy

    Well DUH..about time....now they should extend the same restriction to PIT BULLS and any other animal that could attack and maim its owner, or worse....someone else.
    How stupid can some of these pet owners be?

    February 23, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  20. obama-mama

    GOP = GANG OF PRIMATES.

    February 23, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  21. Orly

    We should never have had a monkey for President. Bush I mean ...

    February 23, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  22. Ariana

    Andrea,

    You are comparing a DOG BITE to a chimp tearing a woman's FACE OFF? You need help!

    February 23, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  23. VonK

    no more monkey business....

    February 23, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  24. TexAnnie *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

    I would never want a 200 lb. chimpanzee in my house as a "pet".
    But– this appears to be the feel good cause du jour.
    Do we really need a big media hype and a federal law for this?? I don't know– maybe so. But it just seems like politicians are trying to make this their "cause" to get themselves some "spotlight" time.
    Personally, I'd rather see them get some "spotlight" time by doing something constructive to help improve this country's economy.

    February 23, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  25. Kevin in Ohio

    Joe, you are right..... the Palin haters were out in force on this ticker as well as in the media. If people cant see the left-wing hatred and vitriol, they are blind. Sarah Palin is a successful and popular governor, not to mention a decent hard-working American. More than I can say for all the left-wing "victims" out there who think the world (and federal government) owes them a living.

    February 23, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
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