CHARLESTON, W.Va. –– The chief of staff for the state Department of Agriculture says the state’s Dangerous Wild Animal Board is now working with a simplified list of animals that could one day be banned in West Virginia without a permit.
“(They wanted it to be) Something that someone could pick up and take a look at and say, ‘Yeah, I pretty much agree with the thinking on that,'” Chris Ferro said. “I think we’re in a much more, kind of, rational spectrum now.”
That list will be taken up during a Wednesday meeting for the Board which, earlier this month, threw out a more extensive list and, instead, substituted in the list of dangerous wild animals already banned in Ohio.
That Ohio list included tigers, lions, bears, elephants, certain monkeys, rhinos and alligators along with venomous snakes and anacondas and pythons that are more than 12 feet long.
A Board subcommittee worked that list last week and it could be pared down even more on Wednesday. The Legislature, though, will have the final say on what animals require permits to possess in West Virginia along with annual reviews from the Dangerous Wild Animal Board.
As it stands now, Ferro said the $100 permit fee is still in place for the larger animals, but the fees have been adjusted for others. In some cases for smaller animals, like birds, registration fees of $10 could be applied to multiple pets.
“I think the committee’s been very responsive to the public comments and so we started out with that spirit of, ‘Hey, we’re going to listen to you.’ We want to make sure we get this right,” Ferro said on Tuesday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”
The revised list was expected to be released publicly following Wednesday’s meeting. A public comment period continues through Friday.