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Legislators want action on wild animal possession, transparency in boxing rulings

Image

Steve Marcus

The body of a male chimpanzee lies on Ann Road near Jones Boulevard after being shot Thursday, July 12, 2012.

Exotic animal bill

State Senator Michael Roberson (R-Henderson) plans to introduce legislation to curb ownership of exotic animals as pets.

Two high-profile news events — the escape of two chimpanzees last week in North Las Vegas and the decision in June's boxing match between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley — will be the subjects of legislation sought by local lawmakers for next year's session.

Sen. Michael Roberson, R-Henderson, said Monday he will ask for a bill to prohibit most dangerous wild animals from being kept in residential backyards and basements. His announcement comes follows Thursday's incident in which one escaped chimp, Buddy, was shot and killed by police and the other, C.J. was captured and returned to a caretaker.

"It has been clear for some time that it is a free-for-all in Nevada when it comes to owning dangerous exotic animals as pets," Roberson said. He has been working with the U.S. Humane Society in drafting the legislation.

Nevada is one of just six states that does not have a law on the private possession of dangerous wild animals, including chimpanzees and other primates, big cats, bears, wolves and constricting and venomous snakes, the senator said.

Click to enlarge photo

Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley Jr.'s WBO welterweight title fight at MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday, June 9, 2012. Bradley won a controversial split decision in the 12-round bout and is now 29-0.

On the Pacquiao-Bradley fight, Assemblyman Harvey Munford, D-Las Vegas, said the controversial decision that gave Bradley the welterweight championship win shows there has to be more transparency in how boxing is regulated.

"Everybody is sweeping it under the table," said Munford, who who has requested a bill to "provide more disclosures' in such things as how the judges are chosen and the scoring system.

Bradley won a split decision over Pacquiao despite near unanimous accounts by boxing writers who were ringside at MGM Grand Arena that Pacquiao had won easily.

Munford said the public is "very naïve" and they take every word the officials relay. He said the public should know the background of the judges.

The bills are two of nearly 150 that have been requested for drafting for the 2013 Legislature, which begins in February.

Tacked on to this bill will be a proposal to create a fund to help retired boxers. Munford introduced a similar bill in 2011, but it ran into opposition and died.

He said he has "toyed" around with the addition of a $5 charge on ticket prices, but there was opposition to that.

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