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In what can only be described as a vote to ensure that we all have the freedom to choose the primate of our choice, Michele Bachmann stood up to those that believe we probably shouldn't be keeping exotic animals as pets.

H.R. 2964 makes it illegal to "import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire, or purchase nonhuman primates (such as monkeys or apes)".

Unfortunately, ultra-liberal organizations such as the American Veterinary Medical Association are out there trying to convince people that owning and selling primates isn't the coolest thing in the entire world.

Between 1995 and 2005, there were 132 injuries or escapes by primates in the United States, according to the coalition. Also, some 80 percent of health and behavioral issues pertaining to primates involve those kept as pets.

Dr. Golab told subcommittee members that the evidence is clear that primates kept as pets are unsafe. Not only are these animals a physical threat, they may also be a source of the herpes B virus and other zoonotic pathogens. "Make no mistake about it," Dr. Golab, said, "nonhuman primates kept as pets—while cute and often very entertaining—can also pose serious injury risks for their human caretakers and other domestic animals."

You can't tell me that a few injuries aren't totally worth it to have the freedom to keep and sell primates. The Humane Society chimed in on this one and sent out a press release attacking our poor Representative whose only job is to make sure we have the freedom to choose the primate of our choice.

Rep. Michele Bachmann Votes Against Protecting Primates, Public Health and Safety

(June 18, 2008) WASHINGTON — Last night, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) yet again voted against a common-sense animal welfare measure that was overwhelmingly approved by the U.S. House of Representatives. This time, she voted against a bipartisan bill called the Captive Primate Safety Act, an anti-cruelty and public safety measure written to stop the movement of primates for the pet trade. The House of Representatives passed the bill by an overwhelming vote of 302 to 96.

"Primates belong in the wild, not in our basements and bedrooms," said Michael Markarian, president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund. "Michele Bachmann is out of step with Minnesota citizens who want common-sense animal welfare policies and want their communities protected from dangerous attacks and diseases."

The bipartisan Captive Primate Safety Act, H.R. 2964, prohibits the interstate and foreign commerce in apes, monkeys and other primates for the exotic pet trade. These animals can inflict serious injuries and spread life-threatening disease, and the average pet owner cannot provide for the animals' basic social, psychological and physical needs in captivity. These highly intelligent and social creatures are often confined in small cages, and their teeth are pulled out to make them less dangerous.

Twenty states, including Minnesota, already prohibit private possession of these animals as pets, but primates are easily obtained over the Internet and through out-of-state dealers and auctions, making federal legislation necessary to complement the efforts of state law enforcement. The bill has received strong support from a broad range of scientists and organizations, including Dr. Jane Goodall, the American Veterinary Medical Association, and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.qq

In Minnesota, a boy pried open a trailer door at a 2004 fair, allowing several monkeys to get loose; a capuchin monkey bit two people before being recaptured.

The Humane Society Legislative Fund notes that Rep. Bachmann has consistently voted against common-sense humane laws. She has voted to allow the trophy shooting of threatened polar bears, and to allow the commercial sale and slaughter of wild horses and burros from public lands so their meat can be consumed in foreign countries.

Congratulations, Mrs. Bachmann, on being one of only 96 Representatives to understand that owning primates is totally awesome and should be kept legal. For being one of a brave few to look past the injuries and the diseases and the abuse that these exotic animals are accompanied with.

Cross Posted on Dump Bachmann