New proposed legislation across the province of New Brunswick will aim to crack down on exotic animals and the people who own them.
This comes four years too late for two little boys who were attacked and killed by an African rock python while staying over at a friend’s apartment.
“It’s just nice to know that their death isn’t in vain — that the government did take it seriously, and they acted. We can’t go back. We can’t press rewind, but we certainly can make it better to go forward,” said Campbellton Mayor Stephanie Anglehart.
The reptile store owner Jean-Claude Savoie, kept the illegally owned python, measuring close to four meters, inside a large enclosure inside his apartmen, but did not account for the ventilation duct which lead to its escape.
The victims, four-year-old Noah Barthe and his six-year-old brother, Connor, died from asphyxiation and were covered in snake bites.
Exotic Animals Act
According to Energy and Resource Development Minister Rick Doucet, the new legislation will go a long way to increasing public health and native species and their habitats
“Chances are, if the legislation had been in place in 2013 we would not be here today,” said Bruce Dugan, chairman of the province’s Exotic Animal Task Force.
Last year, Savoie was found not guilty of criminal negligence, despite not owning a permit for the rock python.