Changes Made To Exotic Animal Ownership Bill

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Ohio lawmakers considering regulations on exotic animals have eased proposed rules for snakes and decreased requirements for property warning signs as part of two dozen changes to the bill.

Boa constrictors were removed from the suggested list of restricted species as a committee considered the measure Tuesday. Other changes would let animal owners use surety bonds instead of liability insurance and exempt animals from a required microchip implantation if it would endanger their health.
The measure would ban new ownership of exotic animals, allowing current owners to keep their pets by obtaining a new state-issued permit by 2014 and meeting other conditions.
The hearing room was packed Tuesday as lawmakers heard testimony from dozens of witnesses, including a woman son was fatally mauled by a bear in northeast Ohio.