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The Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council of Washington, D.C, is participating in the Dangerous Animal Initiative, a workgroup created by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, in conjunction with the University of Virginia Institute for Environmental Negotiation, according to a report filed by Pet Product News.

The purpose of the group is to help identify issues and develop recommendations about public safety and potentially dangerous animals in Virginia. Input from the public is encouraged and may be given via the online survey.

In the survey’s preface it is revealed, “In response to a 2011 Ohio incident involving the release of more than 50 dangerous exotic animals, Governor McDonnell asked the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) to review Virginia’s policies and regulations on dangerous exotic animals. At the same time, Virginia Delegate Chris Peace and Virginia Senator Louise Lucas introduced new legislation to strengthen the regulations on ownership of these animals, generating substantial public comment. DGIF contracted with the UVA Institute for Environmental Negotiation (IEN) to facilitate a process for engaging stakeholders and collaboratively developing recommendations around this issue.”

Public input is open through Wednesday, September 5, 2012. Input will be reviewed and then used to develop recommendations about public safety and any future regulation dealing with potentially dangerous animals in Virginia.

Thirty stakeholders comprise the Initiative group and include pet industry groups, business owners, state and federal agencies, zoos, nonprofit organizations and experts with potentially dangerous animals.

According to PIJAC, anyone who owns or deals with animals that might be considered “dangerous or potentially dangerous” should take the survey. PIJAC is also soliciting recommendations directly so that they can be relayed to the Initiative work group. Interested parties may contact PIJAC’s Michael Maddox or Bambi Nicole Osborne at 202-452-1525 or at michael@pijac.org or bambi@pijac.org to offer recommendations and comments, or to ask questions.

For more information about PIJAC, visit http://www.pijac.org.

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