NORTH CAROLINA (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – When a spitting zebra cobra escaped fromits owner, it prompted a two-day chase involving dozens of police and animalcontrol officers, leaving residents in our state capital housebound andterrified.
Laws surrounding North Carolina’s exotic animals are now being reexamined.
North Carolina is only one of four states in the country with no uniform statelaw on private ownership of exotics. Laws vary depending on your zip code.
“We have enough laws. What we need to do is enforce the laws we already have,”Scottie Brown said, who owns Zootastic in Iredell County.
Meaning, more animal control officers making sure private owners are properlytaking care of their wild pets.
Several state lawmakers disagree. They’re looking to strengthen the state’sexotic animal laws after a deadly cobra escaped from its owner in Raleigh.
Right now, state laws only deal with how to house dangerous animals, not whatanimals people can own.
Brown is worried lawmakers may end up hurting businesses like his.
“We in the private sector want to continue to breed. We want to makeendangered species come back and we’re the ones that are doing that,” he said.
And as a local politician, Brown sees these types of bills pop up every fewyears. Brown feels that as long as they are treated well and the zoo isregularly inspected, they are not dangerous – or endangered.
Brown said, “These are not just animals they’re our babies.”
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