Wild Animal Attacks Legislation

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Legislation filed in the U.S. House this week is aimed at preventing wild-animal attacks like the one last year that killed a southeast Kansas girl.

Congressman Jim Ryun is sponsoring the bill that would prohibit direct contact between big cats in captivity and the public.

The measure is called ``Haley's Act,'' for 17-year-old Haley Hilderbrand. The Labette County High School senior was mauled to death by a tiger in August 2005 when posing for a picture with the big cat at a southeast Kansas animal refuge.

The bill would also require the U-S Department of Agriculture to write public-safety regulations for licenses it issues to animal exhibitors under the Animal Welfare Act.

This year the Kansas Legislature passed a bill strengthening the regulation of exotic animals.