DearColleague.us

Letter

Earl Blumenauer

From the office of:

Earl Blumenauer

From: The Honorable Earl Blumenauer

Sent By: tyler.frisbee@mail.house.gov <mailto:tyler.frisbee@mail.house.gov?subject=RE: Support the Captive Primate Act>

Bill: H.R. 80

Date: 2/20/2009

February 20, 2009

Dear Colleague,

This week’s tragic attack by a chimpanzee, leaving a woman in very critical condition brings renewed urgency to Congress to pass H.R. 80, the Captive Primate Safety Act. Below is a New York Times article which details the attack. We are writing to ask your support for the Captive Primate Safety Act,which will protect public health and safety as well as animal welfare by prohibiting interstate commerce in primates as pets.

As this incident demonstrated, primates can inflict serious injuries. Chimpanzees are many times stronger than humans, but even a small monkey poses a significant risk. Primates can also carry life-threatening diseases, such as Herpes B and tuberculosis. These risks are increased by interstate transport of the animals.

The Captive Primate Safety Acthas received strong support from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, The Humane Society of the United States, BornFree USA and many other organizations. Renowned primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall urged passage at a hearing, saying: In doing so, you will be promoting public health and safety, as well as taking a reasonable and sound step toward protecting these amazing wild creatures.

Currently, twenty states prohibit keeping primates as pets, and the importation of such animals into the United States for the pet trade has been prohibited by Federal regulation since 1975. However these animals are bred in the United States and are readily available for purchase from exotic animal dealers and even over the Internet. Our bill provides the appropriate federal response to complement state and local laws by adding primates to the list of animals that cannot be purchased or transported as pets across state lines by individuals. The bill targets the pet trade and does not affect trade or transportation of animals between zoos, research facilities, or other federally licensed and regulated entities. It is similar to the Captive Wildlife Safety Act,which Congress passed unanimously in 2003 to ban interstate commerce in lions, tigers, and other big cats for the pet trade.

We hope this bill will move quickly. For more information or to cosponsor the Captive Primate Safety Act,please contact Tyler Frisbee in Congressman Blumenauer’s office (6-1057) or Randy Hirsch in Congressman Kirk’s office (5-4835). Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,