Senate committee passes bill banning exotic animals

MADISON — Most Wisconsin residents wouldn't be able to possess dangerous exotic animals like tigers and gorillas under a bill a Senate committee passed Wednesday, January 27th.

The bill prohibits people from possessing, breeding and selling big cats, nonnative bears and apes. Vets, Association of Zoos and Aquariums-accredited zoos, circuses and wildlife sanctuaries would be exempt.

The Senate judiciary committee approved the bill on a 3-2 vote Wednesday, setting up a full vote on the Senate floor.

The committee also approved an amendment on a 3-2 vote that would allow entities with Zoological Association of America accreditation and people with federal licenses to possess, sell and breed dangerous exotic animals. The amendment also removes prohibitions on crocodilians and allows the public to come into direct contact with dangerous exotic animals.