House defeats bill to allow skunks as pets in Tennessee

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A proposal to allow skunks to be kept as pets in Tennessee has fallen short in the state House amid concerns about spreading rabies.

The bill sponsored by Republican Rep. Jeremy Faison of Cosby received 44 votes on Monday. Bills need a constitutional majority of 50 votes to pass the chamber.

Faison argued that rabies has not been a problem with pet skunks kept in other states. He has said that skunks kept as pets usually have their scent glands removed at an early age.

The Senate passed the bill on a 27-3 vote on Feb. 17.