One of only eight states without exotic animal laws, West Virginia is moving toward regulating exotics ownership. Approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee, the bill calls for exotic animal owners to obtain a permit and insurance by July 1 or face fines of up to $2,000 per animal. Also mandated in the bill, an owner who intentionally releases exotic animals into the wild would spend one to three years behind bars and incur fines of up to $5,000. The state Senate will vote on the measure later this week.

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