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Appendix F3

Appendix F3

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Published by: The Official Petiton on Jan 04, 2013
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01/04/2013

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To: Missouri State Senate Agriculture CommitteeFrom: Dr. Douglas S. Pernikoff Date: 03/06/2011Re: SB 138/Nonhuman Primate Act I have been asked to review and comment on the proposedNonhuman Primate Act, SB 138, as first presented and read onJanuary 19, 2011. My review is in response to this first draft. Inthe event that further drafts have since been presented, I must apologize for any points I address that are no longer relevant.I want to begin by stating that due to my professional historyworking with non-human primates in private practice, as a zooveterinarian, and as a field conservation veterinarian, I must oppose SB 138, as it is written.1. SB 138 includes unnecessary language and overly restrictiveprovisions that unfairly impose controls over private owners of non-human primates; and further, impose on rights of realproperty ownership and economic exercises that are contrary tothose fundamental rights granted all U.S. citizens by ourConstitution.2. SB 138 is lacking in essential components that in turn, can helpguide owners of non-human primates to manage animalshumanely and safely. The result will help safeguard humancommunities as well.3. SB 138 is drafted by proponents imposing personal bias onbehalf of their particular agenda, rather than including provisionsthat focus on both human and animal welfare, the bills impliedfundamental intent. Allow me to begin with a short summary of my history andcredentials relevant to this particular subject matter. I havepracticed as a licensed veterinarian for nearly 30 years. I wasfortunate to be selected to the St. Louis Zoo Residency program inassociation with the University of Missouri-Columbia campus.During the 2
nd
year of my residency I was invited into graduate
 
studies in physical anthropology and primatology at WashingtonUniversity. Following this exercise I served as the first full-timeZoo Veterinarian at the Fort Worth Zoological Park for 5consecutive years. I was then invited to initiate the first fieldveterinary role for the world renowned Jersey WildlifeTrust/Wildlife Preservation Trust, serving the program as fieldveterinarian participating in various endangered species researchand management programs worldwide. I presently practice as aclinical veterinarian in St. Louis County, serving both domesticdogs and cats, avian species, reptiles and amphibia, large exoticcats, non-human primates and more. During the course of thesemany life adventures, I have lectured, provided field researchsupport, taught veterinary students here and abroad, served as aveterinary reviewer of AZA zoo programs, helped to establish theCenter for Conservation Medicine at Tufts College of VeterinaryMedicine, participated in the Plum Island pathology course inforeign animal diseases, and lectured and trained USDA veterinaryinspectors regarding foreign animal disease concerns. I haveanesthetized and personally handled and examined approximately800-900 primates in both wild, forest settings, in zoo practice, at Yerkes Regional Primate Center, and in clinical private practice.My professional life experiences these past 30+ years include work with non-human primates in formal research facilities, in forest settings worldwide, and on behalf of primates kept in privatehomes and sanctuaries.I also feel it important to emphasize that I personally do not encourage non-human primates as personal pets. However, myprofessional oath as a veterinarian dictates that I will care for anyand all animals to assure their well-being, both physically andemotionally, and their safety as well. I also want to emphasize that I believe that legislation to protect any animals managed incaptivity is a good concept. However, I feel that SB 138, as it iswritten, has problems with its content and should be revised underthe guidance and participation of additional reviewers who own byexperience and professional practice, special skills and knowledgethat will accomplish an honest and thorough representation of theconcerns that impact both human and animal welfare and safety.
 
 Assumptions:1.The fundamental purpose of the Non-human Primate Act is forthe protection of the human population against zoonotic ortransmissible diseases and other physical trauma or death that canoccur when managing and handling these animals in a privateownership setting,2.Further, it is implied by language found in SB 138, that primatesin private ownership should not be exploited for commercial gain,and thereby, should not be presented in public spaces, nor shouldthey be allowed to procreate.3.Our U.S. Constitution’s Founders provided individual humanrights regarding ownership of real property and free markets. It ismy assumption and understanding that animals constitute ‘realproperty’ by strict legal definition. Although there have likely beenmany scholarly treatments of the Founders’ understanding of property and economics, the fundamental principles of thoseconcepts still hold today.SB 138: Specific Point Review & Comments.578.700 2(1). “Circus”- …and that offers skilled performances bylive animals, clowns, and acrobats for public entertainment.
Skilled performances by live animals are common images for any of uswho have experienced a circus event in our lifetimes, all defined hereinas public entertainment, and yet, are the extreme in animal exploitationfor commercial reward. Further, the circus scenario does not support husbandry that encourages activities and a lifestyle inherent to theanimal’s nature. These animals are constantly transported and held inminimal standards of housing that in no way can support normal sociallifestyles, and thereby, in no reasonable way resemble the naturalbehaviors inherent to their millions of years of evolutionarydevelopment. Zoos also provide public entertainment passively, in thedesign and presentation of elaborate and costly exhibits. They look amazing realistic and seemingly supportive of captive primates innatural settings. You only need to step inside a large ape exhibit spaceand realize that the animals are living on concrete with artificial treesalso made of rigid concrete. They are kept for a scheduled amount of time in the public viewing space, and any other time, you can find them

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