Ohio Residents: Take Action After Exotic Animal MassacrePosted by Stephan Otto, ALDF's Director of Legislative Affairs on October 19, 2011
Dozens of exotic animals escaped from an Ohio farm
on Tuesday prompting a hunt which resulted in the death of almost 50
animals. Sherriff’s deputies shot at least 18 Bengal tigers, 17 lions,
six black bears, one baboon, two grizzly bears, three mountain lions and
two wolves. Their owner, Terry Thompson, appeared to have freed the
animals and then taken his own life. The horrific incident has brought
attention to the serious need for a ban on private ownership of exotic
animals in Ohio.
What Ohio residents can do:
Contact your state and local elected officials and demand that they enact laws to:
- Prohibit new ownership of exotic and wild animals as pets.
- Protect currently-owned exotic and wild animals by giving officials the authority to inspect and regulate these animals and the conditions in which they live.
- Prohibit all sales and transfers of existing exotic and wild animals.
Last January, former Ohio governor Ted Strickland signed an executive
order that prohibited keeping certain types of wild animals as pets.
However, current governor John Kasich let that order expire, in part,
because the Ohio Department of Natural Resources interpreted state law
to give them only the authority to regulate species that are native to
the state, thereby excluding most exotic animals. Prior to the recent
release and subsequent slaughter of dozens of exotic animals in
Muskingum County, a state task force had been convened to study the
regulation of all exotic animals in the state. Once finished, their
recommendations are to be submitted to the Ohio General Assembly for
consideration. Dayton, Cincinnati and Cleveland all currently prohibit
ownership of wild or exotic animals.