Owners Line Up To Oppose Ohio’s Exotic Animal Bill

One of the spotted leopards being held at the Columbus Zoo after their Zanesville owner committed suicide.(Photo: Coutesy of the Columbus Zoo)
One of the spotted leopards being held at the Columbus Zoo after their Zanesville owner committed suicide.(Photo: Coutesy of the Columbus Zoo)

Dozens of exotic animal owners in Ohio were lining up Tuesday to oppose permit fees, certain caging requirements and other proposed regulations contained in a bill being considered by a state Senate panel.

The measure would ban new ownership of exotic animals, while allowing current owners to keep their pets by obtaining a permit by 2014.

They’d be required to pass a background check and obtain insurance along with meeting other rules.

Evelyn Shaw of Pataskala told senators the bill would force her to euthanize her animals or keep them illegally. She said the fees are too expensive.

Efforts to strengthen the state’s law took on new urgency in October when authorities were forced to kill 48 wild animals after their suicidal owner freed them from his Zanesville, Ohio farm.

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