Exotic animal regulations clear Ohio Legislature

ANN SANNER Associated Press Published:

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Proposed regulations on exotic animals in Ohio are now headed to the governor for his signature.

Efforts to strengthen the state's law took on new urgency in October, when a suicidal owner released dozens of exotic animals from his farm near Zanesville in eastern Ohio.

The Ohio House passed the measure on an 87-9 vote Tuesday. And the Senate then agreed to the House's changes. Those revisions included lower permit fees and liability insurance requirements than the version that state senators passed last month.

The measure would ban new ownership of exotic animals, while allowing current owners to keep their pets by obtaining a new state-issued permit by 2014 and adhere to strict new caretaking standards.

Owner would have to post signs alerting people to dangerous animals on the property.