Those that live and reside in the State of Ohio who own exotic animals will soon be required to register the animals with the state once this law goes into effect. The new law for exotic animals here in Ohio had gone into effect on Wednesday September 12, 2012. Ohio restrictions on exotic animals including pets have been among the nation’s weakest.
An urgent situation occurred in October of 2011 in Zanesville, Ohio when exotic animal owner, Terry Thompson released 50 of his exotic animals which consisted of both Black Bears, Mountain Lions as well as Bengal Tigers. After releasing the animals, the owner then committed suicide. Unfortunately the exotic animals that had been released ended up facing an unforeseen fate for their future. Authorities had been left with no choice, but to kill 48 of the animals that had been released because they posed a danger and threat to the public. Two of the other animals were believed to have been eaten by other animals. An additional six animals were found to still be caged and were later transferred then put in quarantine at The Columbus Zoo. One of the animals that was taken to the Zoo later died of unknown causes. In May of 2012 the owner’s widow picked up the remaining five animals from the Zoo and had them all transferred back to the farm. After this incident efforts where on there way to strengthen the current law for both current and future exotic animal and pet owners.
Once this law went into effect Ohio residents were banned from both buying and selling dangerous wild animals. Individuals are generally prohibited from also trading and/or transferring ownership however this particular provision doesn’t apply in certain cases in which or when the owner passes away. Individuals will be banned from removing microchips implanted in the restricted animals nor will they be allowed to remove the animals’ teeth or claws or knowingly release them back into the wild.
Those that currently own exotic animals must obtain a new state-issued wildlife shelter permit by Jan. 1, 2014. The owners must and have to pass a background check, pay fees, obtain liability insurance or surety bonds and show inspectors that they can, are able to and capable of properly containing the animal(s), but also caring for them too at the same time. Each exotic (dangerous) animal has to get a microchip inserted into them so that there able to be identified should or if they get lost or happen to escape. Every animal must be registered with the State of Ohio by, but no later then November 5, 2012. Each owner is then required to post signs on and around their property to alert people (and the public) that dangerous animals reside on the premises.
However the animals can and are able to be seized should an owner or owners be denied a permit or permits and/or can’t or are unable to meet the new requirements in which the State of Ohio is now requesting.