George Hiotis

Senate Approves Exotic Animal Bill

by George Hiotis on April 25, 2012 at 4:00 am

The State Senate has passed a bill to ban Ohioans from acquiring new exotic animals and regulate the current owners of tigers, lions and other creatures.  The measure cleared the Chamber by a
30-to-1 vote today and now goes to the house for its consideration.  Facilities accredited by some national zoo groups would be exempt from the bill, along with sanctuaries and research institutions.  The legislation would allow current owners to keep their pets by obtaining a new state-issued permit by 2014 and meeting other strict conditions.  Owners would have to pass a background check, post warning signs and obtain liability insurance or safety bonds.  The measure follows the October release of dozens of exotic animals by their suicidal owner, Terry Thompson, from his Kopchak Road farm.  Muskingum County Sheriff’s Deputies were forced to kill 48 animals to ensure public safety.