Ohio legislator proposes ban on owning exotic pets

COLUMBUS, Ohio - A Democratic state legislator is proposing a ban on the private ownership of exotic animals in Ohio after 50 wild pets were killed by police when their owner turned them loose and committed suicide.

The proposal announced Thursday by state Rep. Debbie Phillips of Athens would allow existing owners with federal licenses to keep animals but require them to register with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. It also would require owners to embed microchips in animals so they could be tracked if they escape. A bill has not yet been introduced.

Muskingum County officials say animal owner Terry Thompson shot himself Tuesday after releasing lions, tigers, grizzlies and other beasts into his community near Zanesville. Sheriff's deputies killed 48 animals; six were taken in by the Columbus Zoo.

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