George Hiotis

Judge Upholds Ohio Exotic Animal Law

by George Hiotis on December 20, 2012 at 1:25 am

A Federal Judge has upheld Ohio’s new restrictions on exotic animals after several owners sued the state over the law.  The Judge in Columbus ruled Thursday the owners failed to prove constitutional rights were violated.  Seven owners had claimed the law forces then to join private associations with which they disagree and possible give up their animals without compensation.  They also challenged a requirement that animals be implanted with a microchip, which would allow the creatures to be identified if they get lost or escape.  Ohio officials have defended the law as a common sense measure to address the growing public safety problems of private ownership of exotic animals.  State lawmakers passed the tougher restrictions after suicidal owner Terry Thompson released dozens of creatures from his Kopchak Road farm in Muskingum County last October.