Exotic Animal Ban Considered in Ohio

State Senator Troy Balderson, a Zanesville Republican, has introduced legislation that would ban new ownership of exotic animals. Current owners of lions, tigers and other large animals would face new requirements, such as obtaining a special permit, stronger cages, microchipping animals, and obtaining insurance. Also, convicted felons would not be allowed to obtain the special permits for exotic animal ownership.

The Zanesville man (Terry Thompson) who set his large exotic animals free before committing suicide, would not have been allowed to own them if Balderson’s legislation had been in effect because he was a felon and would not have passed the background check. His actions led to the deaths of many large predators, some of which were endangered, including 18 Bengal tigers. (Only about 2,500 of them are left in the wild and they are in a decline.) At his farm, Thompson reportedly only had fencing three feet high. The new bill would require exotic animal owners to have fences eight feet high.

If the bill passes, zoos, circuses, sanctuaries and research facilities would not be affected. One potential issue with the proposed legislation is the legal definition of a sanctuary. Some exotic animal owners have tried to skirt the law by calling their personal property a sanctuary in order to keep large exotic animals.

Sign the Care2 petition, Ohio: Stop the Dangerous Sale of Exotic Pets!

Image Credit: Brian Gratwicke

Related Links
Wild Exotic Animal Ownership Allowed in Multiple States
Wild Animal Ownership Banned in Ohio

71 comments

Natasha Salgado
natasha salgado3 years ago

Make this a universal ban,not just in 1 state or in 1 country but everywhere. Please.

Halle Brassington
Past Member 3 years ago

Ownership of exotic animals should be banned everywhere! These animals should roam free in their natural habitat instead of living in captivity :)

Phyl M.
Pho M.3 years ago

Ownership of exotic animals MUST be BANNED everywhere.

Nirvana Jaganath
Nirvana Jaganath3 years ago

It's always been beyond me that people would cage up exotics!

Amy L.
Amy L.3 years ago

The ban needs to be in every state not just Ohio.

Ruth Massey
Ruth Massey3 years ago

They need to ban ownership of exotic animals everywhere

Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola3 years ago

Very interesting. Thanks for the post.

Christine Stewart

The sad part is, all these animals now need to find other sanctuaries that can take them in! Life in a crappy cage in Ohio is surely not great- but what is to be done if there are no good sanctuaries that have room for more?

Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson4 years ago

exotic animals are meant to be in the WILD! not in your bedroom

Debra Griffin
Debra B.4 years ago

I love exotic animals as much as anyone could, but they are NOT to be captured & caged, but treasures of beauty in the WILD!!!!!!