Thursday, January 3, 2013

Thank Goodness the Governor is Looking Out for You and Me

On December 31st, Governor Rick Snyder got his veto pen out and thumbed through the big pile of bills setting on his desk. Two of the bills that I am certain all of us were concerned about caught his eye. The first would have prohibited a person from importing or attempting to import a large carnivore into Michigan unless certain requirements were met. The second would have prohibited the possession of a large carnivore without a permit; regulated the handling and care of large carnivores; established standards for keeping large carnivores; and specified owners' responsibilities in instances of attacks.

If there is one thing that I was worried about at the end of 2012, it was that I would no longer enjoy the unrestricted freedom of importing non-native species of large carnivores or that I might have to invest in proper caging for the dozens of large carnivores that I keep as family pets!

OK, so I don't import or keep large carnivores and it wasn't high on my list; in fact, it wasn't on my list at all and probably wasn't on yours either. But you have to wonder why the governor would get his veto pen out for this largely uncontroversial legislation that enjoyed bipartisan support. I don’t imagine that his In Box was filled with emails from angry Michigan residents who owned large carnivores or that tens of thousands of large carnivore owners were staging protests on the capitol lawn.

I’m sure there is a perfectly good reason why the governor vetoed this bill that would have protected Michigan from non-native species escaping into our communities and/or harming our neighbors and our environment. And, it probably has something to do with the income level of the people who can afford to import and keep these exotic species.

I'm just saying ...