Hundreds of curiosity-seekers, horse-traders and others have attended an auction of the estate of a suicidal man who released dozens of exotic animals in eastern Ohio almost two years ago.
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Proposed legislation in Ohio would allow owners of lions, bears, gorillas and other exotic animals to keep the pets if they meet new strict requirements, but it would not allow any new purchases.
State Sen. Troy Balderson of Zanesville sent a letter Friday afternoon to state lawmakers, asking them to sign on to his proposal. He plans to introduce the bill Tuesday and hearings are also planned next week.
Zoo, circuses and research facilities would be exempt from the ban.
Efforts to strengthen the state's law took on new urgency in October when authorities were forced to kill 48 wild animals -- including endangered Bengal tigers -- after their owner freed them from his Zanesville farm and then committed suicide.
Attorneys for Ohio told a federal appeals court Wednesday that the state's exotic animal law gives owners a pathway to keep the creatures if they choose and doesn't violate their constitutional rights.
Owners of exotic animals in Ohio would be required to meet new caging, safety and caretaking standards under proposed rules slated for review Wednesday by a legislative panel.
The types of animals being held at Ohio's new holding facility for exotic creatures won't be released to the public, mainly to deter anyone from trying to gain access to them, state Agriculture Director David Daniels said Thursday.
A federal judge has upheld Ohio's new restrictions on exotic animals after several owners sued the state over the law.
A federal judge is scheduled to begin hearing testimony Monday in a lawsuit involving Ohio's new law regulating dangerous wild animals.
A judge has ruled in favor of allowing the Humane Society of the United States to join the state in defending Ohio's new law regulating exotic animals.
Gov. John Kasich has cleared the way for Ohio to enforce temporary rules set by a board that was created under the state's new law on exotic animals.
State officials continue to work with owners of exotic animals to help them fully register their creatures with the Ohio Department of Agriculture, even though the state deadline for them to submit information was several weeks ago.