House OK's Bill to Stem Primate Ownership

The House of Representatives passed the "Captive Primate Safety Act" Tuesday, banning the interstate commerce of selling primates as pets.

The House voted 323-95 to pass the measure after a renewed effort to pass the bill following the mauling of a Connecticut woman by her pet chimpanzee. A similar measure had passed the House but stalled in the Senate during the 110th Congress.

This time around, the legislation has already drawn sponsorship from Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and David Vitter (R-La.).

"It is inhumane to cage primates in private homes," said Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), one of the lead sponsors of the legislation in the House. "Besides the animal cruelty concerns, the interstate movement of pet primates creates serious public health and safety risks."

"The passage of this bill is long overdue," added Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), another lead sponsor. "I salute The Humane Society of the United States and animal welfare advocates for their consistent dedication and I am pleased that together we were able to pass this bill.

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