AR-News:Newsday Letter -- Get the Right Pet

Karen Dawn KarenDawn at DawnWatch.com
Tue Jun 24 14:06:07 EDT 2003


Newsday (New York)
June 24, 2003 Tuesday NASSAU AND SUFFOLK EDITION
VIEWPOINTS, Pg. A27
 LETTERS


Get the Right Pet

The monkeypox scare continues to focus on Gambian rats and American prairie
dogs but blame for the latest alien disease outbreak lies with an apathetic
federal government ["Exotic Pets, Exotic Diseases," News, June 17.)]

Its appalling failure to control the flow of tens of millions of exotic
creatures into this country to supply the multi-billion dollar pet trade,
threatens both human health and native wildlife populations.

HIV-AIDS, hemorrhagic Ebola and Marburg viruses, Lyme disease, hantavirus,
mad cow disease, West Nile virus, SARS, and now monkeypox have all jumped
from animals to people. What deadly contagion threatens next?

It's time for Washington to prohibit imports of all wild-caught animals
destined for the pet trade - mammals, reptiles, amphibians and birds. The
Declaration of Independence guarantees every American the right to life,
liberty and the pursuit of happiness, not to ownership of a Bengal tiger or
a Gambian giant-pouched rat. If you want a loving pet, millions await
adoption at local humane societies and animal rescue groups.

Wayne Pacelle

Editor's Note: The writer is senior vice president of Humane Society of the
United States.

Washington, D.C.




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