Essex politician wants ban on exotic pets
Sherry Bondy grew up next to an exotic cat and says laws need to have more teeth
Posted: Aug 23, 2012 3:37 PM ET
Last Updated: Aug 23, 2012 5:34 PM ET
Essex town councillor Sherry Bondy is proposing a bylaw banning exotic pets in Essex because some residents are worried about them turning feral or spreading diseases.
Bondy, who grew up near a family that had an exotic cat as a pet, said recent cougar sightings is proof that something needs to be done. But she said the issue should really be dealt with on a provincial level.
"Windsor can have a bylaw, Essex can have a bylaw, but if Amherstberg allows exotic [pets], then what's the point because animals don't know any municipal boundaries," said Bondy.
In the meantime, she's preparing to propose a bylaw banning exotic animals in Essex. If the pets escape or are intentionally released to the wild, Bondy said they can be dangerous and spread diseases.
Ojibway Nature Reserve naturalist Paul Pratt said just last week a person he called "credible" reported a seeing a cougar cross Malden Road in Windsor near the nature reserve.
Bondy is skeptical about a cougar being on the loose, but won't rule it out.
"Anything could be possible. I'm not sure if I believe these cougar sightings, but I have followed it a bit because it's interesting. It's just proof that we need to watch out for these sorts of animals," said Bondy.
Bondy said Essex council will vote on a ban this fall.
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