It's not all monkey business for Missouri exotic animal owners
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It's not all monkey business for Missouri exotic animal owners

Date: February 8, 2012
By: Stacey Kafka
State Capitol Bureau
Links: SB 666

Intro: 
Primate owners from across the state say they object a new bill putting limits on primate ownership.
RunTime:  0:46
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: This new bill would require primate owners to obtain a permit within thirty days of possessing a primate.

Small monkeys would be exempt from the rules.

Primate owner Vickie Harvey says zoos should have the same guidelines.

Actuality:  PRIMATE1.WAV
Run Time:  00:09
Description: "If there's to be any laws inacted, zoos should not be exempt. Their track record is a lot worse than the private sectors."

But, Vice president of the St. Louis Zoo Dr. Eric Miller says zoos actually have tougher regulations than private owners.

Actuality:  PRIMATE2.WAV
Run Time:  00:08
Description: "The zoos, the accredited zoos like the St. Louis Zoo, the Kansas City Zoo, the Dickerson Park Zoo, they abide by standards of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, which are much higher."

Half of all primates in private ownership in the United States are currently in the state of Missouri.

Reporting from the state Capitol, I'm Stacey Kafka.

Intro: 
Primate owners from across the state mean business, and no, not monkey business.
RunTime:  0:53
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: If this bill passes it would make releasing a primate a Class D felony.

Suzanne Windsor who owns primates says this shouldn't be a problem.

Actuality:  WINDSOR1.WAV
Run Time:  00:10
Description: "I know of no one who intentionally releases these primates. These animals cost anywhere between 12,000 and 35,000 dollars and there are already laws on the books to address this issue."

Ingrid Porton is the Primate Curator at the St. Louis Zoo and says these social animals need to be around other primates, not humans.

Actuality:  PORTON1.WAV
Run Time:  00:13
Description: "People should not own any non-human primates. For reasons of safety to the people that own them, their friends, the public, and the welfare of the animal."

There is no database to track the number of primates in the state.

But, the Vice President of the St. Louis Zoo says half of all primates privately owned in the country are in Missouri.

Reporting from the state Capitol, I'm Stacey Kafka.


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