Ohio Panel OKs New Rules For Exotic Animals

In October, 2011 farm owner Terry Thompson released dozens of lions, tigers and other animals shortly before committing suicide. The incident pushed state lawmakers to tighten restrictions on owning exotic animals.(Photo: Columbus Zoo)
In October, 2011 farm owner Terry Thompson released dozens of lions, tigers and other animals shortly before committing suicide. The incident pushed state lawmakers to tighten restrictions on owning exotic animals.(Photo: Columbus Zoo)

New guidelines regulating exotic animals in Ohio will require owners to meet new caging, safety and caretaking standards.

The new rules were reviewed and OK’d Wednesday by the state’s legislative rule-setting committee.

The regulations come as the state prepares to begin issuing new permits this fall to owners. Permit holders must obtain the authorization document by 2014 to keep their dangerous wildlife.

Owners will have to pass background checks, pay permit fees, obtain liability insurance and show inspectors they can properly contain their animals. Ohio officials could seize the animals if owners are found housing them without a permit.

Polly Britton is the lobbyist for the Ohio Association of Animal Owners. She says a problem with the proposed rules is the required sterilization of certain animals.

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