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The Dangerous Animals Initiative is pleased to present the final recommendations of the Workgroup, which can be found on this website.  The combined report is available in its entirety (which has a large file size) or can be downloaded  as two smaller file sizes, separating the body of the report from its appendices.

Combined Final Report

Final Part One

Final Part Two

The publication of this report concludes this effort.  We wish to thank everyone for their interest and their input.  If there are further comments or concerns, please contact Ed Steinkoenig of VDGIF at

In response to a 2011 Ohio incident involving the release of more than 50 dangerous exotic animals, Governor McDonnell asked the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) to review Virginia’s policies and regulations on dangerous exotic animals. At the same time, Virginia Delegate Chris Peace and Virginia Senator Louise Lucas introduced new legislation to strengthen the regulations on ownership of these animals, generating substantial public comment. On May 10,th 2012, DGIF hosted a meeting of government stakeholders and IEN to discuss ways to engage stakeholders in a consensus process to develop potential recommendations around policies and regulations governing dangerous and exotic animals. DGIF contracted with the UVA Institute for Environmental Negotiation (IEN) to facilitate a process for engaging stakeholders and collaboratively developing recommendations around this issue.   

IEN conducted a series of interviews regarding the issue in the summer of 2012 to help inform the process and identify issues.  In the late summer and fall 2012, DGIF and the Coordinating Team will convene, and IEN will facilitate, a Workgroup of stakeholders to identify key issues, generate ideas and build consensus around recommendations for dangerous and exotic animal regulation and policy in Virginia.  This phase could also involve broader public meetings, surveys, webinars, social media, and other methods for engaging a diverse stakeholder group and providing opportunities for greater input to the Workgroup.  Finally, IEN will draft a report explaining Workgroup recommendations and highlighting areas of agreement as well as any remaining differences.

Current Happenings

On September 7th the online survey was closed; we conducted the survey to seek your input regarding public safety and potentially dangerous animalsThank everyone for the input provided, we received a great deal of feedback on the initiative.  The input will be gathered and reviewed as part of the process and subsequently shared with the Workgroup.

Also the Webinar that was held with state agency representatives on Wed., August 29th outlining the Dangerous Animal Initiative focusing on existing federal, state, and locality regulations and animal care standards in Virginia is available to view on the Background page.