Way to go, Ohio! Gov. Ted Strickland issued an executive order today prohibiting Ohio residents from owning, breeding, selling, or trading wild exotic animals. People who already own exotic animals will not be allowed to breed, sell, or trade them and will have to register them with the state each year, making it easier for law enforcement to monitor the animals.
The ban comes none too soon. Ohio has had its share of captive animal attacks—the most recent being the fatal attack by a black bear on a handler last August. Wild animals who are kept in captivity are denied everything that is natural and important to them, and this causes many of them to lash out in frustration.
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Barely a month ago, lawmakers in Oregon passed a similar ban designed to protect both animals and humans from the often dire consequences of keeping wild animals in captivity. Hopefully, more states will quickly follow suit. In the meantime, we'd like to remind you never to patronize roadside petting zoos, traveling shows, or "take-a-picture-with-a-tiger" exhibits. True wildlife sanctuaries aren't open to the public, don't take animals on the road, and never breed animals.
Written by Michelle Sherrow