Just hours before President Obama’s televised speech to Congress outlining his forthcoming legislative agenda, the House of Representatives moved swiftly to pass the Captive Primate Safety Act. The bill—which bans the transportation of primates across state lines for the purpose of selling them as pets—comes in the wake of the highly publicized mauling of a woman by a 200-pound pet chimp last week in Connecticut.
Although the attack occurred only nine days ago, this is not the first time the legislation has come to the floor of the Congress. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), first proposed it more than a year ago. Defeated in the Senate, the legislation was billed by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) as part of a set of measures unworthy of the Senate’s attention at a time of national crisis. Coburn is expected to renew his opposition.
The bill passed in the House with a 323–95 vote.
Image courtesy Corbis.