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Support Washington County ban on exotic animals

Washington County will hold a public hearing Tuesday to consider a ban on keeping exotic animals such as lions, tigers and bears. We support the proposal because we think these animals belong in the wild and should not be bred, bought and sold for confined lives in captivity.

The hearing will be at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, December 19, at the Hillsboro Civic Center, 150 E. Main Street, Hillsboro, Oregon. You can also submit comments, through Jan. 12, using this contact form or by calling 503-846-8681.

The proposed ban would prohibit keeping exotic cats, canines, bears, primates and crocodiles in the county, subject to a few exceptions. To see the specific proposal, go here. To see a summary in question and answer format, go here.

The county's proposed ban is in part a response to a business called "A Walk on the Wild Side," which exhibits exotic wild animals and recently relocated to Washington County. Willamette Week did a great article on the business in July, which you can find here.

While we support the Washington County proposal, we would like to see one exemption eliminated. In its current form, the proposed ordinance would not prohibit having the animals in "[a] [t]emporary circus, carnival or other similar itinerant show business, if the Exotic Animal is kept for the primary purpose of public entertainment." We will ask the county to take out that exemption.

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