Three weeks after two chimpanzees escaped their cages in northwest Las Vegas, county commissioners are making it harder to own an exotic pet. On Tuesday, they voted to change the county's policy.
Among the changes include special use permits for keeping an exotic pet. The permits must now get approved by the board of county commissioners and not the planning commission. Exotic pet owners must also own the property the animal lives on. They must provide animals with an enclosure with shade. The cages must not be stacked.
Owners are also required to state why they want an exotic pet and prove they know how to keep the pet. The Humane Society calls these changes a good first step.
"I think what they brought up today were definitely important but I think there needs to be stronger standards," said Holly Haley who is the director of the Humane Society. "There definitely needs to be a ban on the most dangerous exotic animals."
Some exotic pet owners aren't too happy with some of the changes.
"Why do I have to state a need?," said Ken Foose who owns the Exotic Pets company. "What if I want the animal? Why do I have to justify if I need it or not? Does a person have to justify needing a dog just because they want one? It just seems like a double standard."
Last month, two chimpanzees escaped in northwest Las Vegas. Officers shot and killed one of them. The commission plans to vote on the specific language for the policy next month.
Copyright 2012 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.