Ohio: Help Ban Private Ownership of Exotic Animals
Take action to help keep wild animals and the public safe in Ohio!
In October 2011, Terry Thompson intentionally released over 50 exotic animals from his “farm” and then took his own life. Sheriff’s deputies tracked down and shot the animals to protect the public. At the conclusion of the massacre, the pile of carcasses included: 18 tigers, 17 African lions, six black bears, one baboon, two grizzly bears, three mountain lions, and two wolves. Thompson had previous convictions for cruelty to animals and possession of illegal firearms.
This tragedy highlights the need for a state law to ban ownership of exotic or dangerous animals. Currently anyone may keep exotic animals in Ohio, one of only eight states that have no law regulating the possession of exotic animals.
A bill introduced in the state legislature, SB 310/ HB 483, would ban the acquisition, sale, and breeding of restricted species. If passed, the new law would:
Prohibit new possession of dangerous wild animals
Prohibit all sales and transfers of dangerous wild animals
Authorize officials to inspect dangerous wild animals already in someone’s possession