Court Blocks Judge from Ordering Exotic Animals Back to Farm

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – The Ohio Supreme Court says a county judge doesn’t have jurisdiction to order the state to return five tigers and other exotic animals to the farm where they were seized two weeks ago.

A Stark County judge ordered the animals returned to Stump Hill Farm in Massillon (MAS’-ih-luhn) by Thursday. But the high court’s decision Wednesday says the judge doesn’t have jurisdiction to do that and the Department of Agriculture has authority in such matters.

The department says that the owner didn’t meet tightened restrictions and that returning the animals would pose a safety risk.

The judge’s attorney had argued he acted within his authority.

The owner says the animals are no threat and should be returned. They include a tiger that gave birth to four cubs after being seized.