By CAROLINE MURRAY
For the Express
NORTHAMPTON — The town council Wednesday tabled councilman Arthur Simmons’ motion to formally adopt a New York State law requiring residents to annually register their exotic animals.
Supervisor Jim Groff and councilman Ivar Anderson both said adopting a state law was redundant.
Simmons said the law is not widely known across local municipalities, and is a matter of public safety. Simmons said formally adopting a law could help spread awareness.
“There have been problems close by,” Simmons said.
The state General Municipal Law, section 209-cc, states individuals harboring, owning or in possession of a wild animal must file a report with the city, town or village clerk before April 1 of each year.
In conjunction with the law, the state Department of Environmental Conservation has created a list of wild animals residents are mandated to report to municipalities.
There are hundreds of species on the list, from poisonous snakes to primates and every exotic animal in-between.
“This isn’t for pet dealers, this isn’t for a museum, this is for private citizens,” Simmons said.
Simmons suggested adopting this law prior to Wednesday’s meeting, but the matter was tabled because the board wanted to research it further.
“I don’t think we need it,” Anderson said. “It is there already — what else do we need besides make people aware of it,” he said.
Groff said if the board was to adopt the state’s law as a public law, they would have to hold a public hearing on the matter.
He agreed that adopting the law was not vital.
“If it is already a state law, there is no reason to adopt it as a state law,” Groff said.