exotic animal legislation

No more lions and tigers and bears as pets

A committee representing various zoos and animal groups across the state is working on legislation to regulate ownership of non-native animals. This is being done to prevent an animal Armageddon such as we had last week in Zanesville, Ohio. (See: What can we learn from Ohio‘s animal Armageddon?)

A proposal has been made banning private ownership, except in the case of existing owners, who would be covered by a grandfather clause for those possessing animals prior to Jan. 1, 2013. Jack Hanna told the committee, “All eyes are on Ohio. The world is watching, and we need to have something in place so this never happens again….”

Hanna also said, “No more lions and tigers and bears as pets.”

The group has drafted a new exotic-animals law that proposes a permitting process, but not a ban on ownership of wild animals not native to Ohio. It also includes that owners would be required to have at least $250,000 in liability insurance and to implant electronic devices under the animals’ skin so they can be tracked if they escape.

Hanna said the facilities of exotic animal owners should undergo regular inspections and provide proof that they have funding for humane animal habitat and care; document where the animal came from, and if sold, where it is going; maintain adequate insurance; build tall perimeter fencing, and plan for where the animals would go if the facility were closed.

Ban on exotic wildlife debated.