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Ohio Senate OKs bill to regulate exotic animals

By Ann Sanner

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, April 25 2012 12:15 p.m. MDT

Nancy Nighswander, left, speaks to an unidentified opponent of Senate Bill 310 before testifying against the at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio, to give testimony to the Senate Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources committee regarding Senate Bill 310 on Tuesday, April 24, 2012. Senate Bill 310, introduced by Sen. Troy Balderson, R-Zanesville, is intended to regulate the ownership of exotic animals in Ohio.

The Marion Star, James Miller, Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The state Senate has passed a bill to ban Ohioans from acquiring new exotic animals and regulate the current owners of tigers, lions and other creatures.

The measure cleared the chamber by a 30-1 vote Wednesday, and goes now to the House for its consideration.

Facilities accredited by some national zoo groups would be exempt from the bill, along with sanctuaries and research institutions.

The legislation would allow current owners to keep their pets by obtaining a new state-issued permit by 2014 and meeting other strict conditions. Owners would have to pass a background check, post warning signs and obtain liability insurance or surety bonds.

The measure follows the October release of dozens of exotic animals by their suicidal owner from Zanesville, following which authorities had to kill 48 animals.

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