Some Renew Calls For Exotic Pet Reform


UPDATED: Wednesday October 19, 2011 7:54 PM

Some people questioned on Wednesday Governor John Kasich’s decision to allow a ban on exotic animals to expire.

The ban was originally put into place at the end of former governor Ted Strickland’s term, after a man was killed while feeding a bear in northeast Ohio, 10TV’s Glenn McEntyre reported.

Earlier this year, the ban was allowed to expire and now people are wondering why.

Ohio has long been in the sights of the Humane Society of the United States for its absence of any law regulating private ownership of exotic animals, McEntyre reported.

“In Ohio, I’m required by law to have a license for my dog,” said Karen Minten, State Director of the Humane Society of the United States. “But I can go get a grizzly bear and keep it in my garage.”

The HSUS ranked Ohio among the five worst states for exotic animals, McEntyre reported.

Strickland’s previous attempt to address the issue with an executive order in the final days of his administration, a measure the HSUS called a step in the right direction, McEntyre reported.

The Kasich Administration chose to let the order expire, because they said it was unenforceable.

The Chief Legal Counsel for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources said the order exceeded the scope of Ohio law, McEntyre reported.

“The reality is, had the executive order been in place, it’s almost certain this incident in Zanesville probably wouldn’t have occurred,” said Minten.

Though the Kasich Administration disputes that, representatives said they agreed with the need for regulation, McEntyre reported.

The Department of Natural Resources said they has been working on legislation to address this issue since the spring.

ODNR officials said they hope to have a framework to present to legislators in the next 30 days, McEntyre reported.

In the meantime, The HSUS is asking the Governor to issue an emergency order to crack down on exotic pets in Ohio.

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