Transport of monkeys, apes banned
WASHINGTON - Eight days after a 200-pound chimpanzee critically mauled a woman in Connecticut, the House moved yesterday to ban the transport of monkeys and apes across state lines for the purpose of selling them as pets.
The legislation to prohibit interstate commerce in primates also passed the House last year, but bill sponsor Representative Earl Blumenauer, an Oregon Democrat, said the "horrific chimpanzee attack" that stunned the nation last week would bring "renewed urgency" to the need to pass the bill into law.
The importation of primates for the pet trade has been outlawed since 1975, but Blumenauer said 30 states, including Connecticut, allow the keeping of the animals as pets and it is easy to purchase a primate from exotic animal dealers or over the Internet. He said there have been at least 100 reports of attacks over the past decade, 29 involving children.
The Humane Society, which supports the legislation, said nonhuman primates can also pose serious health risks to humans, spreading diseases.