CHARLESTON, W.Va — A list of animals to be banned in West Virginia is causing an uproar among animal lovers and pet store owners.

The public has been able to comment on the list and the Dangerous Wild Animal Board is taking what they have had to say into consideration. A new list is now being created, and those with the Board said they’re hoping it will erase public confusion.

“After receiving public comments, we need to take action,” said Jewell Plumley, state veterinarian and chairperson for the Dangerous Wild Animal Board.

The Board met Thursday to discuss the messages that they’ve been receiving from West Virginia citizens. Board members said it appeared many people thought the list they previously released was unclear so they decided to introduce a more “user-friendly” list of banned animals.

The list the Board released previously contained complete animal classifications, including family, genus, and species. They said they believed that led to public confusion. The new list, built from the dangerous animal list for the state of Ohio, will likely contain only the name of the specific animal, pending subcommittee meetings.

“The reason I really like this list is because it says ‘tiger’, it doesn’t give the class or the order,” Plumley said.

The board is willing to reconsider several other things the public brought to their attention. They received hundreds of general complaints about the banned animals list they previously released. Many pet owners were worried the fees they would have to pay to keep certain animals could put them out of business. The fee for a permit for a banned animal, as proposed, would have cost $100 and be subject to an annual review.

“A lot of the general comments were they didn’t like the rule at all. Then some of the comments were focused primarily on what was being sold at pet shops or aquarium fish. We will look at the fee structure also, but the fee structure actually is fairly conservative for what’s on this Ohio list,” said Plumley.

A technical subcommittee will work with the Ohio list to decide what animals will be added and removed from that list to fit West Virginia’s needs. The public is still able to comment until August 1st.

All of this began after an incident in Zanesville, Oh. in 2011. Exotic animal preserve owner, Terry Thompson, released over 40 animals, including lions, tigers, wolves, and bears, before ending his life. Fearing the aggressive animals were a threat to the public, officers were forced to kill them.

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  • Charleston_Pet_Owner

    Where can I comment on the list? Several animals are not dangerous at all. I want to voice my opinion on this law.

  • Mom

    The law excluded domestic animals and livestock. In some parts of the world camels and reindeer are domesticated. There are dissagreements as to what is domesticated. Some humans are not domesticated.

  • Harpers Ferry

    I noticed that dragons are not on the list. It looks like someone on the Dangerous Animal Board is as big a Game of Thrones fan as I am!

  • mechel whitaker

    Let me get this straight. You want to inforce more bans on animals because one man allegedly let his animals out. He had his keys in his pocket when found dead but the locks on all the cages were cut with bolt cutters. You say the animals posed a treat to the public, but the animals were running away from the leople shooting them. I think you have it backwards. Exotic animals are not a treat to the public. The public is a threat to the animals.
    So you thank that the bans are going to protect the animals and keep you from having to kill more exotic pets. Wrong. When the bans are placed on these animals they will be euthanized.

  • BF

    This isn't related to the guy in Ohio that let those animals is related to this sorry state trying to raise money off of anything they can.


    Yes ms plumley, we do know what "family, genus & species" are. We also know that what "tetras" are. They are tropical fish that if released in the cold waters of WV streams would NOT survive. So, please tell us how they could damage the ecosystem.

  • tokira

    The effort to pass this law did not begin after the Zanesville incident. In fact, it predates the Zanesville incident by more than ten years. The Animal Rights industry uses these laws to incrementally reduce and eventually end pet ownership entirely.

  • Jim

    That's really insulting Mr. Plumley. You put out a proposed regulation that was poorly drafted and nearly unreadable. The list itself was bad enough, but your regulatory proposal did not make it clear which species, under which circumstances, were banned or needed permits. Now you are slandering the citizens of West Virginia by claiming that the problem is that we don't know what "genus" or "species" means. The problem was sloppy work on your part.

  • Della

    Please add link to new list. Also any exotic SHOULD be a LOT more costly to have, because there is NO good reason for anyone to have some of the things people keep and want to call pets.

    • mechel whitaker

      Dela you are wrong and please don't speak of things you have know idea about. If you actually had a exotic pet you would know that what your saying is wrong. People like you that go around spreading lies about exotic animals are the reason so many are murdered and killed as a result of the state bans you support. What you don't understand you will fear so please educate yourself and actually visit some pet exotics.

    • BF

      The exotic part is not true though....a sugar glider is NOT exotic. Everyone complaining understands that yes, you should not own a tiger, elephant or whale.

  • Dr. Sarcasm

    Guess we have to start dumbing down everything else MetroNews Staff. I mean MetroNews people who work there.

  • wow

    Dang it, I have to get rid of my tiger now.