USDA Honors Governor's Request For Inspections Of Licensed Exotic Animal Farms
According to the United States Department of Agriculture animal welfare division, the state requested that the department inspect federally licensed facilities with exotic animals.
One of the provisions of the executive order signed by Governor John Kasich on Oct. 21 called for the Ohio Department Agriculture to work with local law enforcement and others including the USDA to identify any persons or groups who were not properly licensed but were still acting as auctioneers or conducting auctions in Ohio.
According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the USDA did not have to agree to perform the inspections, but chose to enter into partnership with the state as it works toward legislation regarding care and treatment of exotic animals.
The inspectors will check to make sure the animals are well cared for, and make certain the facilities are up to federal standards.
"We're currently reviewing all of the facilities in Ohio with exotic, wild and potentially dangerous animals to determine which are in need of inspection, and which should be inspected first," said Alyn Kiel of the USDA.
The USDA estimates between 100 to 150 facilities will have to be inspected. Kiel said there are six USDA inspectors, four animal care inspectors, and two veterinary medical officers in Ohio for the inspections.
"We have no timeline, but will be completing the review and inspections as quickly as possible," said Kiel.
The call for inspections came weeks after Terry Thompson released 56 exotic animals on his farm in Zanesville. Deputies shot and killed 48 of them. The six surviving animals are being cared for at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.
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