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Voice of the people

Jan. 25, 2014 @ 12:00 AM

Exotic animal bill could affect kids

I'm writing with concerns about Senate Bill 371, which is meant to outlaw exotic animals in West Virginia. The people who already own exotic animals will have heavy permit fees and insane insurance costs, not to mention that pet stores, breeders and employees who will go out of business and lose what they have worked hard for.

West Virginia has a huge income from exotic animals, which will be lost if the bill passes. This bill also has no real details on which animals are considered exotic. If this bill is passed people that own peafowl to hedgehogs will have to pay $200 just to keep them. Not to mention the $250,000 worth of insurance they will need.

I would like to move on and look at our youth. There are already large drug and crime problems in West Virginia. I'm aware of many youth who have great interest in exotic animals. If we take this away from them, they may easily try to spend their time elsewhere (example drugs).

Here are some examples of "exotic" animals that could be outlawed if this bill is passed: sugar gliders, chinchillas, hedgehogs, ferrets, tropical fish, finches, parakeets, macaws, cockatiels, all reptiles, degus, many breeds of hamsters, gerbils, flying squirrels, prairie dogs, all amphibians, all tortoises and turtles, hermit crabs, scorpions, tarantulas, alpaca, fennec foxes, pot-bellied pigs, skunks, Qquail, swans, pheasants, and much more!

I would expect as a child you owned at least one of the above pets listed or your child or grandchild does now. It would be horrible to take away these pets that children and adults alike love with all their heart. I truly believe if this bill is passed, it would destroy many homes in our great state.

Tyler Borror

Moorefield, W.Va.

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