Action Alert: West Virgina SB 247

Repeal the Dangerous Wild Animals Act Now!

UPDATE 2/2/15: SB 222 was forwarded as "do pass" from the Ag Committee and assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Now is your opportunity to make a difference. SB 247 has been introduced by Senators Trump, Blair, Walters and Nohe, and is a bill to repeal the WV Dangerous Wild Animals (DWA) Act. View the bill at
www.usark.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/2015-WV-SB-247.pdf. It was referred to the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development.

NOTE: WV SB 222 and its companion bill HB 2361 have been introduced. They place the amended DWA rule before the WV Legislature. These bills amend the rule proposed by the DWA Board and streamline the list of species as suggested by the WV Legislative Rule-Making Review Committee last November. For example, through the work of USARK and the Reptile Nation, this bill removes all constrictor snakes from the DWA list. However, current efforts should be focused upon SB 247. These two bills will be discussed in committee next week (week of 2/2/15).

Action Alert #1:

Copy/paste these email addresses into your email's "To" box (even better to send individual emails):

daniel.hall@wvsenate.govcharles.trump@wvsenate.govbob.beach@wvsenate.gov
william.laird@wvsenate.govronald.miller@wvsenate.govbob.williams@wvsenate.gov
mike.woelfel@wvsenate.govcraig@craigblair.comrobert.karnes@wvsenate.gov
Mark.Maynard@wvsenate.govdave.sypolt@wvsenate.gov

 

Copy/paste one of these subject lines:

  1. Repeal the DWA Act with SB 247
  2. YES on SB 247
  3. Please Support SB 247
  4. WV Says YES to SB 247
  5. SB 247 = YES

Copy/paste this sample letter. It is important personalize/edit at least one or two sentences at the beginning.

Dear West Virginia Senator,

As a West Virginia resident and pet owner, I urge you to realize the over-reaching and unjust legislation that passed last year in the WV Dangerous Wild Animals (DWA) Act. Now is your opportunity to do right by your constituency and repeal this Act by voting yes to SB 247.
 
The WV DWA law is an ideal example of totally unnecessary and unconstitutional legislation which lead to a mockery of the rule-making process in WV history. State officials with no education of exotic animals (species non-native to WV) proposed to list over 10,000 species of common pets as dangerous wild animals. Their initial list had everything from small tropical aquarium fish to salamanders to hamsters. The newly-formed DWA Board ignored the clear requirement to provide the specific basis for animals being listed under the WV Administrative Procedure Act (APA).
 
WV media regularly reported on the unjust actions after being notified that hundreds of pages of comments were left unreported following the public comment period. The process following the passing of the DWA Act has undermined your constituents faith in government to conduct itself competently and within the bounds of its own law.
 
While the list of species has been greatly reduced, unless repealed, this Act will still lead to the thoughtless killing of many animals. Most keepers will not be able to meet the demands of added expenses, including an unjust requirement for liability insurance for animals that don't come into contact with the public. What will officals do with surrendered animals?
 
As written, the Act will tie up government funding and resources. The list of species must be reviewed annually. Each review will require substantial time from state officials and legislators. While this Act was passed under the assumption that WV would incur minimal financial impact, who pays for all the time put in by officials and politicians? Also, this is keeping them from addressing much more serious and critical issues.
 
Repeal of the DWA Act would be a step in the right direction to restore dignity to West Virginia's government. Thank you for your time and have a good day.
 
Sincerely,
 
[your name; add address if in WV]

Action Alert #2

Every WV resident should go to the link below and identify your two (2) Senators. Email and call them immediately asking them to co-sponsor SB 247; Repeal of the Dangerous Wild Animals Act. It would be helpful to add a personal message about how this law has upset your life.
 
Also, ask at least two of your exotic animal friends in WV to do the same thing and for them to ask two more people (and so on) so we create a pyramid and every Senator (all 34) is contacted multiple times by their constituents to sponsor SB 247. Now is the time to HELP YOUR COMMUNITY!
 
Step 2: Find your district in the state map and then scroll down the page to find it. Note: Clicking the map may not work properly.
 
Step 3: Your 2 Senators will be listed. Click the names of your Senators. You will then see his/her contact information.
 
Step 4: Email and call them!

Sample Email: (Please edit/personalize.)

Subject: Please Sponsor and Support SB 247!
 
Dear West Virginia Senator [insert Senator last name],
 
As your voting constituent, I write today to ask you to sponsor and support SB 247; Repeal of the Dangerous Wild Animals (DWA) Act. This Act was passed despite vast opposition. The process following the passing of the DWA Act has undermined my faith in government to conduct itself competently and within the bounds of its own law. Repeal of the DWA Act would be a step in the right direction to restore my trust in West Virginia's government.
 
I am sure you heard about the hundreds of pages missing from public record following the comment period. The new DWA Board failed to follow the state's Administrative Procedure Act and tried to list hamsters, tropical fish and even tree frogs as dangerous wild animals. My state became a laughing stock to the rest of America. Please do what is right! Revive my faith in you and our government by supporting and hopefully co-sponsoring SB 237. Thank you for your time and have a good day.
Sincerely,
 
[your name and address]

Complete contact information for the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee:

Daniel J. Hall (R - Wyoming, 09)

Email: daniel.hall@wvsenate.gov

Capitol Office:
Room 216W, Building 1
State Capitol Complex
Charleston, WV 25305
Capitol Phone: (304) 357-7807

Charles S. Trump (R - Morgan, 15)

Email: charles.trump@wvsenate.gov

Capitol Office:
Room 210W, Building 1
State Capitol Complex
Charleston, WV 25305
Capitol Phone: (304) 357-7980

Robert D. Beach (D - Monongalia, 13)

Email: bob.beach@wvsenate.gov

Capitol Office:
Room 204W, Building 1
State Capitol Complex
Charleston, WV 25305
Capitol Phone: (304) 357-7919

William R. Laird IV (D - Fayette, 10)

Email: william.laird@wvsenate.gov

Capitol Office:
Room 229W, Building 1
State Capitol Complex
Charleston, WV 25305
Capitol Phone: (304) 357-7849

Ronald F. Miller (D - Greenbrier, 10)

Email: ronald.miller@wvsenate.gov

Capitol Office:
Room 229W, Building 1
State Capitol Complex
Charleston, WV 25305
Capitol Phone: (304) 357-7959

Bob Williams (D - Taylor, 14)

Email: bob.williams@wvsenate.gov

Capitol Office:
Room 223W, Building 1
State Capitol Complex
Charleston, WV 25305
Capitol Phone: (304) 357-7995

Mike Woelfel (D - Cabell, 05)

Email: mike.woelfel@wvsenate.gov

Capitol Office:
Room 441M, Building 1
State Capitol Complex
Charleston, WV 25305
Capitol Phone: (304) 357-7956

Craig Blair (R - Berkeley, 15)

Email: craig@craigblair.com

Capitol Office:
Room 217W, Building 1
State Capitol Complex
Charleston, WV 25305
Capitol Phone: (304) 357-7867

Robert L. Karnes (R - Nicholas, 11)

Email: robert.karnes@wvsenate.gov

Capitol Office:
Room 200W, Building 1
State Capitol Complex
Charleston, WV 25305
Capitol Phone: (304) 357-7906

Mark R. Maynard (R - Wayne, 06)

Email: Mark.Maynard@wvsenate.gov

Capitol Office:
Room 206W, Building 1
State Capitol Complex
Charleston, WV 25305
Capitol Phone: (304) 357-7808

Dave Sypolt (R - Preston, 14)

Email: dave.sypolt@wvsenate.gov

Capitol Office:
Room 417M, Building 1
State Capitol Complex
Charleston, WV 25305
Capitol Phone: (304) 357-7914