Getting a Recovery for Injuries from a Wild Animal Attack; Congress Moves to Limit Trafficking in Chimps

In light of the savage attack by Travis, the chimpanzee, which has caught the attention of the nation, Congress is moving to curb interstate sales of apes and monkeys.  See New York Daily News story here.  Also see our prior posts here and here.

If you have been injured in an animal attack, please call me at 800-581-1434 for a free consultation.

A bill has been introduced in the House of Representative entitled the Captive Primate Safety Act which would ban the sale of chimpanzees, gorillas, monkeys, and orangutans across state lines.  The bill passed 323 to 95.  Passage is likely in the Senate. 

The bill does not affect the use of primates in zoos and laboratories.

This law will not affect people who already own chimps and who do not intend to move them across state lines.  But it will cut-down on the trafficking and sale of apes.  Effectively, this bill will prevent future sales of chimps.  Travis, the chimp, was born on a Missouri primate farm and was sold to the buyer in Connecticut. 

The Connecticut chimp attack has shown that primates are not house pets and are capable of horrible violence. 

There has been a small trend to keep exotic animals as pets.  As we indicated in prior posts, an owner of a wild animal is strictly liable if that animal injures an innocent person.  The injured person does not have to show that the animal exhibited no prior vicious propensities.  This rule applies not only to primates, but to any wild animal that might be kept as a “pet.”  

Also, a wild animal is not limited to large animals, such as chimps and tigers.  Wild animals include animals which are not domesticated.  For example, keeping ferrets as pets is outlawed in New York City.

If you have been injured please feel free to call me at 800-581-1434.

Mark E. Seitelman, 2/25/09,


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