Ohio man couldn't have kept exotics under proposal

ANN SANNER Associated Press Published:

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- A suicidal owner in Ohio would not have been allowed to keep his exotic animals if legislation being introduced Thursday were in place months ago.

A state senator who is proposing the new regulations says Terry Thompson would not have passed the background check in his bill needed to acquire a permit for the animals.

Thompson had spent time in federal prison for possessing unregistered weapons. In October, he freed dozens of lions, tigers, bears and other animals at his Zanesville property before killing himself. Authorities were forced to shoot many of the animals.

State Sen. Troy Balderson's legislation would ban new ownership of exotic animals in the state, and current owners of large animals would be barred from keeping the creatures unless they met strict standards beginning in 2014.