exotic animals

New guidelines regulating exotic animals in Ohio will require owners to meet new caging, safety and caretaking standards.

The new rules were reviewed and OK'd Wednesday by the state's legislative rule-setting committee.

The regulations come as the state prepares to begin issuing new permits this fall to owners. Permit holders must obtain the authorization document by 2014 to keep their dangerous wildlife.

A newly formed board created by Ohio's law on exotic animals has set temporary rules for cage sizes and caretaking of the dangerous wildlife.

The Dangerous and Restricted Animals Advisory Board met for the first time Wednesday to establish interim housing rules for regulated animals, such as alligators, cougars and lions. A legislative panel would have to approve the rules.

Animakitty

An Ohio House committee has approved legislation outlining new regulations on exotic animal ownership, paving the way for a full House vote on the measure.

The Senate passed the bill last month. The Columbus Dispatch reports a House panel made several changes before approving it in a 17-4 vote late Wednesday.

The bill now includes more monkeys on the list of creatures that would have to be registered. It also says the authority to expand the list of restricted species would go to the Legislature instead of the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

Ohio officials are considering the request of an animal owner's widow for the return of five exotic animals that survived an October release.

The state Agriculture Department meets today to review Marian Thompson's appeal of a state-issued quarantine of the animals.

Officials are expected to defend the state's authority to hold them on suspicion of infectious diseases.

animakitty

An Ohio lawmaker plans today to introduce a proposal to ban new ownership of exotic animals.

State Sen. Troy Balderson's office says the measure would also prohibit people from acquiring additional dangerous wildlife. Zoos, circuses, sanctuaries and research facilities would be exempt.

Owners of lions, tigers and other large animals would be banned in 2014 from keeping the creatures unless they met strict care standards.

A study group is proposing that Ohio ban new ownership of venomous snakes, monkeys, tigers and other dangerous animals with only limited exceptions.

The group has been holding expedited meetings since last month, when police were forced to kill 48 wild animals — including endangered Bengal tigers — after their owner freed them from his Zanesville farm and then committed suicide.

A summary of the group's input and state agencies' recommendations for new regulations was obtained by The Associated Press on Monday, after the group's final meeting.

Paul Eakin / Ohio Public Radio

Animals rights advocates say state leaders are not doing enough to deal wtih problems involving exotic animals in Ohio. Statehouse correspondent Jo Ingles reports.