Ohio

Exotic Pets Threatened Due to Ohio's Pointless New Regulations on Animal Ownership

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"Exotic Pets Threatened Due to Ohio's Pointless New Regulations on Animal Ownership," produced by Tracy Oppenheimer. About 6 minutes.

Original release date was March 26, 2014 and original writeup is below.

In 2011, Ohio exotic animal owner Terry Thompson committed suicide after setting over 50 animals loose. No civilians were injured, but the story received widespread media attention and Ohioans called for action. The state responded by passing the Dangerous Animal Act in record time, introducing rigid regulations for all exotic animal owners. 

"To focus on this, and this law, as fast as they did and to pass it as fast as they did was nothing but a knee-jerk reaction," says Cyndi Huntsman, president of Stump Hill Farm in Massillon, OH. Hunstman and a few other exotic animal owners banded together to sue the state over the act, and in early March 2014, the court ruled to uphold it. 

The Ohio Department of Agriculture told Reason that federal qualifications and requirements are too loose and don't properly manage the ownership of the animals, but Huntsman says that the new state restrictions are keeping neither society nor the exotic animals any safer. She adds that new insurance, veterinary care, and cage requirements make it very difficult for the owners to maintain their animals.