Finally, Congress acts quickly to avert disaster

Economic crisis? Two wars going on? Small potatoes compared to the rampaging primate problem.

By Alex Koppelman

Published February 24, 2009 9:55PM (EST)

Sometimes, I admit, I go too far in making fun of members of Congress. They are, after all, our elected officials, and they consistently act completely unselfishly, trying only to do what's best for their constituents and the country as a whole. Take, for example, the House's rapid passage of HR 80, the Captive Primate Safety Act.

Just a week after a chimp attack made national news, members of the House moved swiftly to protect Americans from the enormous threat posed by the band of captive primates currently running wild through the heartland. The House approved the bill, which bans the interstate sale and transport of pet primates, by a vote of 323-95 on Tuesday afternoon.

Congressional Quarterly reports that there are currently about 15,000 pet primates in the United States, most of whom would presumably be unaffected by this bill, as Congress doesn't have the power to regulate pet ownership if there's no interstate commerce involved.

Over the 10-year period between 1995 and 2005, there were roughly 80 documented attacks on humans by pet primates.

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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