Update: Ban On Exotic Animal Ownership Proposed

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Update 2:11 p.m.

A study group is proposing that Ohio ban new ownership of venomous snakes, monkeys, tigers and other dangerous animals with only limited exceptions.

The group has been holding expedited meetings since last month, when police were forced to kill 48 wild animals – including endangered Bengal tigers – after their owner freed them from his Zanesville farm and then committed suicide.

A summary of the group's input and state agencies' recommendations for new regulations was obtained by The Associated Press on Monday, after the group's final meeting.

The guidelines suggest the ban start in 2014. Owners would have to meet new temporary safety standards before then and also register their animals with the state.

Zoo, circuses and research facilities would be exempt.


Ohio Gov. John Kasich used tough talk when he spoke last month to a working group studying ways to change the state's laws on exotic animals.

Kasich told the group by phone during their Oct. 31 meeting that no one should own wild animals such as bears or primates, and he sees no reason why people own these animals now.

The meeting minutes were released late last week.

Kasich also called for a ban on auctions where exotic wild animals are sold, and suggested that fees be significant. He emphasized to the committee he doesn't want any nonsense.

The group is continuing its work weeks after dozens of exotic animals were released by their private owner in Muskingum County who then killed himself, leaving deputies to put down many of the beasts.