Ohio limiting ownership of exotic animals

Sept. 4, 2012 at 3:58 PM

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Sept. 4 (UPI) -- Owners of exotic animals in Ohio are trying to figure out how to comply with strict new state rules.

The new law takes effect Wednesday, the Kent State University station, WKSU-FM, reported. It was adopted after police killed dozens of exotic animals in Zanesville, many of them potentially dangerous predators, when their owner freed them before killing himself.

Most operators of exotic animal farms and refuges say Ohio's previous laissez faire attitude was a mistake, but they believe the new law goes too far in the other direction. Cindy Huntsman of Stump Hill Farm in Massillon told WKSU she believes the state could have ordered all exotic animal owners to get licenses from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and to carry insurance.

"It doesn't cost the taxpayers a dime with that type of regulation," she said.

Huntsman said she is unsure if her farm can stay open because she supported it by bringing in visitors to see the animals and taking them to schools and fairs. The new rules ban those activities.

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