Monkeys and other wild animals would be added to the list of pets banned in Kentucky under a proposal approved by a legislative panel on Tuesday.
People who now own the animals could keep them as pets. However, pet owners would not be allowed to obtain new ones or breed them under the proposed regulation brought by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. The proposed ban would not apply to people who require their animals for medical reasons.
"They just don't belong in living rooms, basements and back yards," said April Truitt, who operates the Primate Rescue Center in Nicholasville. "They don't belong."
The General Assembly's Administrative Regulation Review Subcommittee approved the proposal, after nearly two hours of heated debate - most of which focused on the proposed ban of primate pets.
Elephants, lions and bears were among the list of exotic animals that would also be banned as pets. Circuses and zoos would not be affected.