George Hiotis

Questions About Ohio’s Exotic Animal Bill

by George Hiotis on March 22, 2012 at 12:47 pm

Officials from Ohio Zoos and Humane Societies have told a State Senate panel they support a bill that would ban new ownership of exotic animals but question some of its provisions.  The main point of contention at the hearing this week was an exemption for members of a zoological association that one official described as an advocacy group for private animal owners.  Some officials questioned less restrictive regulations for snakes and an exception for a Massillon High School’s tiger cub mascot.  The bill came in response to the October release In Muskingum County of dozens of animals by their owner, Terry Thompson, who when killed himself.  Most of the bears, lions and endangered Bengal tigers were killed by Muskingum County Sheriff’s Deputies seeking to protect the public.