Victory! South Carolina Bans Private Ownership Of Wild Animals

Kathy Milani/HSUS

It’s hard to believe that it is still legal in some states to keep wild animals as pets, but sadly, there is still a handful that allow it.

Beginning January 1, 2018, as reported by the Associated Press, there will be one less state condoning it when South Carolina joins the majority in banning the unfair and dangerous private ownership of animals that clearly belong in the wild.

When the new law is enacted at the beginning of the year, it will be illegal for people to maintain possession of a “large wild cat, non-native bear or great ape.”

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The exact number of wild animals currently being kept as pets is not known for certain, but House Natural Resources Chairman David Hiott said officials estimated that there are less than one hundred statewide.

While he added that the law is about preventing potential tragedies and that no humans had been killed by wild pets yet thankfully, The Humane Society has documented that since 1991 a minimum of 10 incidences of bears, big cats or primates getting loose and or injuring someone in the state had occurred.

In the spirit of the state’s motto which is “Dum Spiro Spero (While I breathe, I hope),” WAN and animal advocates everywhere can only hope that the other states will follow suit.

Alabama, Nevada, North Carolina and Wisconsin are the four states that still have no laws on keeping wild animals as pets.

According to Big Cat Rescue, one of the largest accredited sanctuaries in the world dedicated to abused and abandoned big cats, 21 states have banned all dangerous exotic pets while the rest regulate which species are allowed and the conditions people must meet to do so, including requiring permits.

The state of Wisconsin regulates native species like bobcats, lions and lynx; issuing permits for game farms participating in the breeding or hobby of keeping of wildlife.

Breeding? Hobby keeping?

There is absolutely no acceptable reason to keep a wild or exotic animal as a pet.

They are wild or exotic animals that belong in their natural habitat!

To find out what your state laws are regarding the keeping of exotic cats from bobcats to tigers click Here!

The organization also offers numerous ways you can help Here!

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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