Humane Society wants to join Ohio exotics lawsuit

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- The Humane Society of the United States wants to join the state in defending a lawsuit that challenges Ohio's new law regulating dangerous wildlife.

The lawsuit filed earlier this month in Columbus federal court by four owners of exotic animals contends the restrictions threaten their First Amendment and property rights.

The Humane Society asked Judge George Smith on Tuesday to allow the organization to intervene in the lawsuit.

The organization says it has a significant interest in defending the law that it strongly supported, as well as an interest in the lawsuit's outcome since the organization is pushing similar laws nationwide.

Ohio's law followed the 2011 mass killings of dozens of escaped wild animals that had been released by their suicidal owner in eastern Ohio.