The Raleigh City Council has voted 5-3 in favor of drafting the proposal to prohibit the possession of “dangerous wild animals” with grandfathering and registration. This would include medically significant reptiles and crocodilians. The estimated costs of enacting the proposal are estimated at $865,000 annually for only 250 expected registrants at a projected compliance rate of only 20%. As Mayor Pro Tem Nicole Stewart (who we thank for her direct and candid comments on the issue) pointed out, such measures in other cities have been ineffective, costly, and are not good governance, going so far as to state her opposition to the proposal from the onset. Councilmember Corey Branch expressed hesitation at the proposal, stating that he does not feel a ban is necessary, but would like to see registration for first responder use. Councilmember Stormie D. Forte pointed out that the option to not prohibit but require registration was submitted.
Councilmember Knight, who introduced the proposal, scoffed at the costs calling them “premature” and “a distraction” and moved for the proposal to be drafted for final vote. If enacted, keepers are expected to have 60 days to register and comply with the ordinance, which includes the requirement to purchase cost-prohibitive insurance which is not readily available. The nature of the proposal also leaves open the possibility of adding animals well beyond the intended scope of the ban.
Stewart, Branch, and Forte voted against. All others voted in favor. No call-in speakers for this or any other item on the agenda were able to make public comments to the council.
Raleigh City Council meeting minutes and agendas are posted here when available: https://raleighnc.gov/…/city-council-agendas-and-minutes