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Washington County Delays Exotic Animal Ban

The Washington County Commission decided Tuesday, January 16, to delay until April 17 a proposed ban on keeping "exotic" animals in the county. In the meantime, the commission is likely to explore possible amendments, including an exemption for facilities with some type of accreditation.

Exotic animals are non-native wildlife such as lions, tigers, bears, monkeys and crocodiles. We support a ban on private parties keeping them in captivity because we believe such animals are physically and psychologically made to live in the wild, not in small, confined spaces; and because allowing people to keep these animals in captivity leads to more breeding, buying and selling for inhumane captive confinement. We oppose exemptions even for accredited facilities because they still increase demand for captive confinement, and because some accrediting organizations are illegitimate industry-run operations serving only to give false legitimacy to inhumane animal exploitation.

To see the currently proposed Washington County ordinance, go here. While the public hearing on the current proposal is closed, you can always communicate with county commissioners 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.

You can see our written testimony on the Washington County ordinance here and here.

Thank you for your interest in this important issue!

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