Exotic Animal Legislation To Be Introduced Today

By
Associated Press

Dateline
Updated Thu, Mar 8, 2012 4:07 pm

UPDATE 4:05 p.m. Officials at the Columbus Zoo are taking issue with an exemption in an Ohio bill that would allow a school to display a dangerous wild animal as a sports mascot.

The exemption is part of a proposal introduced on Thursday to regulate exotic animals in the state.
 
The zoo's chief operating officer says the facility supports the legislation overall, but not the exemption.
 
Tom Stalf also praised the bill's perimeter fencing requirements. He says the rule could have helped keep dozens of animals in Zanesville contained after their suicidal owner freed them from their cages in October.
 
The bill would ban new ownership of exotic animals in the state. Current owners of large animals would be barred from keeping the creatures unless they met strict standards beginning in 2014.

An Ohio lawmaker plans Thursday to introduce a proposal to ban new ownership of exotic animals in the state.    

State Sen. Troy Balderson's office says the measure would also prohibit people from acquiring additional dangerous wildlife. Zoos, circuses, sanctuaries and research facilities would be exempt.
    
Owners of lions, tigers and other large animals would be banned in 2014 from keeping the creatures unless they met strict care standards.
    
Efforts to strengthen Ohio law took on new urgency in October when authorities were forced to kill 48 wild animals - including endangered Bengal tigers - after their suicidal owner freed them from his Zanesville farm.
    
Celebrity zookeeper Jack Hanna had criticized state lawmakers last month for not yet passing new regulations.
    
A hearing on the bill is planned for Tuesday.
 

Tags: