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W.Va. officials toss out banned animals list

Parkersburg News and Sentinel photo by Michael Erb Nancy Sullivan, assistant to the director of the state Division of Natural Resources, speaks during a meeting of West Virginia’s Dangerous Wild Animal Board concerning a proposed list of dangerous and banned animals.
Parkersburg News and Sentinel photo by Michael Erb
Nancy Sullivan, assistant to the director of the state Division of Natural Resources, speaks during a meeting of West Virginia’s Dangerous Wild Animal Board concerning a proposed list of dangerous and banned animals.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia’s Dangerous Wild Animal Board has thrown out a proposed list of banned exotic animals and will now use a list created for Ohio.

The board’s technical committee will meet next week to review and make adjustments to the list, which was created and approved by the Ohio legislature following the 2011 release of exotic and dangerous animals from a private zoo in Zanesville.

Some parts of the new list are very specific to Ohio and will have to be revised for West Virginia. Butch Antolini, spokesman for the Department of Agriculture, cited banned snakes as an example.

“The Ohio list says snakes of 12 feet (are banned) and West Virginia law already says six feet,” he said.

Nancy Sullivan, assistant to the director of the state Division of Natural Resources and a member of the board, asked for the technical committee to look at both lists and to add to the new list creatures from the original list that were not objected to or that are considered dangerous.

Sullivan said the Ohio list does not include any fish, but WVDNR believes several species of fish do pose a danger.

The original list, which was published July 2 for public comment, was considered confusing and covered a wide selection of animals, ranging from dangerous creatures such as tigers to small exotic pets like hedgehogs and sugar gliders. There also were omissions, such as monkeys and gorillas, that left people scratching their heads…

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