Ohio Panel Accepts Changes To Exotic Animal Rules

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An Ohio Senate committee has accepted a slew of changes to a measure aimed at regulating exotic animals in the state.

The Senate's agriculture panel agreed to revisions Tuesday that include easing rules for snake ownership and exempting certain service monkeys who helped the disabled. The changes would exempt animals from a required microchip implantation if it would endanger their health.

The panel has scheduled a possible vote on the measure Tuesday, though it could come Wednesday. It would ban new ownership of exotic animals while allowing current owners to keep their pets by obtaining a new state-issued permit by 2014 and meeting other strict conditions.

The measure follows the October release of dozens of exotic animals by their suicidal owner from Zanesville, forcing authorities to kill 48 animals.