W.Va. Exotic Animal Bill Among Legislation Vetoed by Gov. Tomblin

By: The Associated Press Email
By: The Associated Press Email

UPDATE 4/3/12 @ 10:15 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- A bid to restrict exotic animals in West Virginia is among a half-dozen bills vetoed from the recent regular session.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin disapproved the measures by Tuesday's deadline to act on legislation.

The Division of Natural Resources' concerns regarding funding and enforcement prompted the exotic animal veto.

Two other vetoed bills involved fees. One proposed special municipal charges, but was deemed unnecessary because of existing law. The other involved housing development improvement fees for future infrastructure. Tomblin cited pending litigation over such fees.

The governor called for further study when he vetoed a proposal to ease the process for erasing felony convictions.

Technical errors doomed bills targeting graffiti and updating rules for archiving government records.

Tomblin earlier vetoed bills addressing antique autos and the Municipal Pensions Oversight Board.



ORIGINAL STORY 3/10/12
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Private owners of tigers or lions would need to obtain a permit to continue housing their animals in West Virginia under legislation heading to the governor's desk.

Both the House and the Senate approved the bill during the final day of legislative action Saturday.

The bill delays enforcement until 2013 by requiring the Department of Natural Resources to write rules that would identify which animals require permits and whether zoos and animal sanctuaries would be exempt.

The bill defines exotic animals as those that pose a physical or biological threat to humans, livestock or native wildlife.

Pet owners fear the law would apply to small critters like hamsters and parrots. Owners can weigh in during the rule-writing process and when the legislature reviews the rules next January.


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