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Exotic ownership bill needs to be done right

Posted on March 27, 2012

Mike MooreA proposed bill that would ban new ownership of exotic animals in Ohio and require permits for existing owners has some fearing they'll have to euthanize pets or leave the state.

The Zanesville Times Recorder reports dozens of owners met this weekend with state Sen. Tim Schaffer, a Lancaster Republican. Media was prohibited from the Saturday meeting conducted by The Fair Animal Industry Regulations group.

Outside, Keith Campbell, co-owner of Hillview Exotics asked, "If they come after my foxes and birds, what will they come after next?"

Carol Bohning, owner of Butternut Farm Wildcat Sanctuary, says she and many others would move if the state tried to take their animals.

The bill comes in response to the October release outside Zanesville of dozens of wild animals by their suicidal owner. Most of those pets were killed by police.

The Ohio legislature needs to get this right. It is doing its due diligence in meeting with the affected parties, but it says here that it shouldn't be swayed by emotion. No one wants to see a similar circumstance as we had in Zanesville last year, which made national headlines for  the state's lax authority over exotic animals.

Ohio Outdoor News will be following this story closely. Be sure to read upcoming editions as this story winds to a conclusion.

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