By Associated Press - Tuesday, April 7, 2015

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Several groups including Arkansas’ largest zoo are calling on Gov. Asa Hutchinson to veto a bill that would make it less restrictive for groups to keep primates in Arkansas.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Dan Douglas, R-Bentonville, will come before the governor Wednesday. Spokesman J.R. Davis says the governor is still reviewing the legislation.

The bill would revise a 2013 law that prohibits ownership or breeding of orangutans, baboons, chimpanzees, gorillas or macaques unless a facility is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Opponents say the bill, which would allow groups accredited by the Zoological Association of America or any other zoological accrediting agency, would decrease the required care of animals and make it easier for the primates to spread diseases to humans.

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