(STAMFORD, Conn.) — A Connecticut woman who was brutally mauled by a friend’s pet chimpanzee in 2009 appeared on Capitol Hill Thursday to support legislation that would stop interstate transport of chimps and other non-human primates.
Charla Nash was blinded and left without hands and nearly all of her face after the brutal attack outside the chimp owner’s home in Stamford, Connecticut. In 2011, Nash was one of the first people in the U.S. to get a face transplant.
At a press conference sponsored by the Humane Society, Nash said she decided to appear to support the bill to make sure that what happened to her “never happens to anyone else ever again.”
The chimp, which was killed after the attack, was purchased in Missouri and transported to Connecticut.
There’s a 100-year-old law that bans interstate sales of several wild animals, including lions and tigers. The proposed Captive Primates Safety Act would add non-human primates to that list of animals that cannot be transported across state lines to be used as pets.
Connecticut Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal is a co-sponsor of the bill and appeared with Nash Thursday. “Wildlife like non-human primates cannot be kept safely in people’s homes because they are wild. That’s their instinct. That’s what they are,” said Blumenthal.
Bills similar to the Captive Primates Safety Act have passed in the House before, but were ignored by the Senate. Blumenthal is hoping to change that this year.
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