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. Lisa B

    HEY CHUCK, I agree, the monkey does resemble Palin. But I think he looks a bit more like Dubya, don't ya think...wink, wink!

    February 23, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  2. neil pharr

    Good Idea. We don't know how to take care of dogs and cats. We surely don't know how to lead our cousins to the promissed land.

    neil

    February 23, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  3. For anyone listening

    Stuffit...er, I mean Sniffit...

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

    If we did then your beloved stimulus plan and SCHIP program and the like would have never passed.

    February 23, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  4. Kevin in Ohio

    I was apparently censored on this comment because CNN thought it was too offensive.... so I'll repeat it. This is one more piece of evidence that the federal government is intruding in to our lives. People have a right to own a chimp in a free society, albeit with a license. Curiously, Octomom didnt need a license to procreate 14 children that will require federal assistance.

    February 23, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  5. Dave

    I agree. You have a "wild" chimp storied in one section and Obama's "wildly" optomistic aim in another section. Definately racist. Someone needs to be fired.

    February 23, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  6. toddpalin

    Hey Lauren Kornreich, humans are primates too. Perhaps "wild" should be added to the instances of that word in your article and in the bill. But then some nut job might try to keep a human as a pet.

    February 23, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  7. chuck

    LisaB@ did you take your pills today?

    February 23, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  8. Gene

    I think a weight limit on primates would be more efficient than all primates.. some of these monkeys are tiny and relatively harmless.

    February 23, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  9. A sexy bathing suit and a rifle won't win you an election

    Joe February 23rd, 2009 1:32 pm ET
    ....It would appear to me that most Democrats hate Sarah Palin because CNN hates Sarah Palin and for no other reason!
    --------------
    It couldn't be that many, if not most, Americans disapprove of the hate mongering and the racial and religious bigotry that Palin encouraged among her supporters. It couldn't be that when Palin accused President Obama of not being one of 'us', she was actually referring equally to many, if not most, Americans.

    If Palin considers you, Joe, as one of her definition of 'us' then congratulations....

    Many Americans like myself, who value intelligence, education and tolerance are thankful that they are not one of Palin's definition of 'us'.

    February 23, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  10. JoeShmoe

    Can't have primates as pets (not that I would). Attacked 12 Americans in 2008. So now they're criminals and MUST BE STOPPED. Yet theres tens of thousand of deadly crimes committed by humans every year. Go figure.

    February 23, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  11. Axl in Iowa

    I think we have much BIGGER fish to fry. Putting our current crisis aside The US congress has NO business worrying about pet issues for cryin' out loud. BUTT OUT!!!! What is the matter with you people! HELLLO...WAKE UP!!!!!!!

    February 23, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  12. AndyL

    Wow amazing how people here on this board compare the looks of this Monkey to Sarah Palin or Georges Bush. I guess you are only a racist if the race you are offending is not the white race. Delonas, hope you learned a lesson from this.

    February 23, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  13. my name is mud

    as long as they don't take my bulletproof tiger, we're cool

    February 23, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  14. Sam Jones

    I think most people are losing the point WILD ANIMALS ARE NOT PETS! It is too bad that we had to kill an animal before this was brought to congress. Suggestig the idea of banning pit bulls is just ludicrous because it is not even on the same playing field as a wild animal, much less a primate. Domesticated animals have been domesticated for thousands of years. You can't put wild animals and domesticated ones into the same category.

    It is about time they put something into law. Of course there needs to be more regulation on wild animal captivity. They should never be held as pets, or not at an accredited zoo (ie. roadside zoos).

    Zoos, however, are an important part of education and conservation. Accredited zoos can not pluck their animals from the wild and put them on display. They do, nevertheless, take in injured animals that would be killed in the wild, and breed endangered ones and release them. People who bad mouth zoos are just as ignorant as people who keep wild animals as pets.

    February 23, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  15. Obama 2.0

    I agree, They need to be protected from stupid humans.

    February 23, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  16. Ignorance to a T

    Buckwheat and related flakes: Check the sordid history of the the enslaved, i.e., lynched, dragged while tethered to a moving pick up, being labeled a monkey for generations,etc. Would you laugh if you were in their shoes?

    February 23, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  17. Franky

    This is one of the most funniest things...and it involves monkeys, LOL!

    Wow, our representatives are freakin out too much, is crazy. What, you think families have some pets?? First of all, the numbers don't lie, second, they don't!! Is a rare incident at an unfortunate time...

    February 23, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  18. yuri

    Exotic pets, besides engendering tissue injuries to the bitten, scratched, or licked areas of human body, also transmit diseases by virtue of contaminating the surroundings in the house, including human food.

    They may attack their owner's neighbors, potentially triggering a litigation. Small kids are very vulnerable. These sholud be safely kept away in a zoo, without curtailing freedom of movement.

    February 23, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  19. Craig Nazor

    What about Universities and the drug industry that keep these animals for experiments? So now it's to dangerous to keep them as pets, but it's OK to abuse them as laboratory animals! Shouldn't the real issue be what's best for these intelligent creatures, and not what's best for humans? Human anthropocentric logic is destroying this world as it is. We don't need more of it!

    February 23, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    @ James, who said "Why are legislators worried about animals when there are more important, urgent, and immediate matters?"

    Because it's their job. To translate this new GOP talking point: "we don't want the Dems doing anything but playing in the pig muck we've created around the economic crisis because that was the issue that won the elction for them and we need to make it into as much of a political circus as possible to the exclusion of all else in preparation for playing th eblame game in 2010."

    February 23, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  21. obama-mama

    Anonymous that was too funny

    February 23, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  22. Rhonda

    Outlaw chickens too! They lay eggs which humans consume and that causes health problems. Come on, let's really overreact!!!

    February 23, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  23. Cammi317

    This story brought back to mind my Planet of the Apes phobia which I had as a child. I spent most of my adolescents waiting to see if all the dogs and cats would die during 1989 due to a virus brought back from a space mission. And those of you who are familiar with the story knows that human took on primates as pets, and the primates eventually took over. The sad part of my story is that in 1989 I was 17 years old, and still worried it was going to happen....LOL.

    February 23, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  24. Island girl

    James February 23rd, 2009 2:04 pm ET

    Why are legislators worried about animals when there are more important, urgent, and immediate matters?
    ________
    While you have a point, don't forget that a woman may need a face transplant. Also a woman was living closely with this pet and we wonder why some crazy diseases are around. (CDC should be aware of this). Last but not least – animals have rights. If this chimp was left in his natural habitat he would probably be alive today.

    February 23, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    Texas Proud! February 23rd, 2009 1:34 pm ET
    Psst—-there was nothing racist regarding that cartoon.
    --------------
    I'm guessing Texas Proud is overweight, uneducated, does not have a passport and has never left the United States...watches the NFL but mutters racial slurs under his breath at African Americans in his everyday life.....and voted for McCain/Palin…while trying to google a jpeg of Palin in her pageant one-piece.

    God Bless America!

    February 23, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
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