The proposal was scheduled for the Health & Human Services Board's December 5th meeting, but it was tabled. Wisconsin residents, and especially those in Adams and surrounding counties, should follow the USARK Action Alert below and sign up for our free email newsletter (right side of page at www.USARK.org).
Sarah Grosshuesch (contact information below) is the Public Health Department contact overseeing the development of the ordinance for Adams County. The ordinance implemented in Adams County will likely be proposed for surrounding counties.
Wisconsin residents and those that can help should join the Facebook group below for immediate updates:
- Primates (except humans);
- Felids (except domestic cats and their hybrids);
- Canids (except domestic dogs);
- Prairie dogs;
- Marsupials (except Sugar gliders);
- Ungulates (except llamas and alpacas);
- Mustelids (except ferrets);
- Procyonids (raccoons, etc.);
- Dasypodidae (anteaters, sloths, etc.);
- Viverrids (genets, civets, etc.);
- Suidaes (except domestic pigs);
- Reptiles over 10 feet (large pythons, anacondas, monitors, etc.);
- Venomous reptiles (snakes and lizards).
Special thanks to Eric Roscoe from the Madison Area Herpetological Society (MAHS) for following and updating us on this issue.
1. Copy/paste these email addresses into your email:
2. Copy/paste one of these subject lines (can be edited slightly);
- NO to Exotic Animal Ban
- Regarding an Exotic Animal Ban
- Exotic Animal Ban is Not the Answer
- No to Bans and Fear-mongering
- Proposed Wild Animal Ban
- NO to Wild Animal Ban
3. Copy/paste this message (it's best to slightly edit/personalize) and include your full name;
Adams County Health & Human Services Board,
As a Wisconsin resident, I would like to voice my concern regarding a proposed exotic animal ban. The list of proposed animals will affect many residents and will have detrimental effects upon the animals. A ban, such as proposed, will lead to the unnecessary euthanization of longtime pets and farm animals. It will also end many educational opportunities involving these animals. Properly supervised educational outreach programs can have tremendously positive impacts upon students.
Many species are being proposed due solely on the miniscule chance that someone could potentially attain a zoonotic (transferable from animal to human) disease. If diseases from these exotic animals were a serious threat to humans, there would be no exotic pets as everyone keeping them would have died from zoonotic diseases.
Quite simply, disease is possible from every animal (including dogs and cats), and even humans. As with interactions with humans, interactions with animals that are not followed by proper hygiene (i.e. hand washing) may lead to disease transmission. You cannot punish an entire population at the slim chance that irresponsible people do not practice proper hygiene.
It has been noted that at least one County official has circulated a concern of ebola and HIV transference from small primates. Again, there would be no one keeping primates, even rescues facilities and zoos, if this occurred as those people would be deceased.
Also, interactions with non-traditional hoofstock, big cats and large constrictor snakes may have the potential for injury, but that is accepted by the individuals interacting with them at private and accredited facilities. It is not a public safety risk. Just as someone riding or shoeing a horse may be injured, they are occupational or accepted risks.
Bans simply are not the answer and bans often lead to more problems than they attempt to resolve. This includes the euthanization of animals that were perfectly healthy but must now be killed as new homes for them cannot be found. As mentioned, a public safety risk is not a concern, especially since the public does not come into contact with animals kept by private owners.
If an ordinance is to be considered, input from citizens and alternatives to over-reaching bans should be at the forefront of discussions. States and municipalities across the country are actually amending bans with common sense legislation including animal welfare concerns, animal registration and/or minimum caging standards rather than over-restriction. It is very rare that officials are educated with the husbandry and welfare of these animals, so input from legitimate experts, educators, scientists and veterinarians should be used to write ordinances. Laws certainly should not be written due to fear-mongering based upon mistruths without peer-reviewed scientific backing.
Thank you for your time and I look forward to seeing a new approach taken should the Board feel a need for an ordinance. Have a good day.
INCLUDE YOUR FULL NAME
Adams County Health & Human Services Board Contact Information
When calling, you can simply state that you are opposed to an exotic animal ban in Adams County and that such an ordinance is over-reaching. You can also read from the sample letter above and request officials to accept proposed common sense legislation presented by the reptile and exotic animal communities.Sarah Grosshuesch, Health Officer 108 E North Street Friendship, WI 53934 608-339-4505 firstname.lastname@example.org
Jack Allen: (608)339-7898
Lori DJumadi: (715)572-4746; email@example.com
Robert Grabarski: (608)564-2729
Heidi Roekle: (608)547-1367; firstname.lastname@example.org
Rocky Gilner: (608)254-5096; email@example.com
Fran Dehmlow: 608-547-2894