Ohio: Ownership of exotic animals limited

June 6, 2012 at 5:06 PM

COLUMBUS, Ohio, June 6 (UPI) -- Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed a law Wednesday placing limits on the acquisition, sale and breeding of exotic animals.

Ohio had previously been one of seven states with no restrictions on private ownership of exotic pets.

Senate Bill 310, to go into effect in 90 days, requires current owners to obtain a permit and pay a fee to the Ohio Department of Agriculture by Oct. 1, 2013. Local humane societies would have the authority to seize animals from those without permits as of Jan. 1, 2014.

The law will also ban ownership of specific animals, such as big cats, bears, hyenas, some primates, gray wolves, crocodiles and alligators. However, current owners of such animals will be permitted to keep them as long as they obtain permits and follow other rules, The Columbus Dispatch reported.

Owners of restricted species will also be required to obtain liability insurance or surety bonds for $200,000 to $1 million, and current exotic-animal owners seeking permits will be subject to criminal background checks.

The bill was drafted in an apparent response to an incident last fall when more than 50 wild animals escaped from the Zanesville home of Terry Thompson. Most had to be put down.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Wisconsin's Walker in hot seat over open-records restrictions
Putin congratulates U.S. on Independence Day
Immigrant who shot S.F. woman was deported 5 times in the past, police say
Greek economy reaches low point on eve of referendum
10-month-old Turkish baby rescued after floating out to sea