Tell Ohio Gov. to Enforce Exotic Pet Ban
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In January of this year, outgoing Ohio governor Ted Strickland issued an executive order which banned private ownership of any new wild animals and allowed existing exotic pets to be kept only under tough new rules. Ohio was one of the few states in which private ownership of wild animals as pets was virtually unregulated. Strickland's action was a step in the right direction, but not nearly enough, as an emergency executive order is only effective for 90 days.
A 90-day ban isn't really very long, but apparently it is too long for new Ohio governor, Republican John Kasich. While the Ohio Department of Natural Resource is supposed to be enforcing the new policy regarding exotic pets, under Kasich's orders the ban isn't being enforced because, according to ODNR spokesperson Laura Jones, "If it was enforced at this very moment, it would hurt small businesses."
And what kind of small businesses is Jones referring to? Perhaps cheap roadside zoos where animals are kept in horrible conditions purely for the amusement of paying visitors. Or maybe small businesses like the one operated by Ohio native Sam Mazzola, where he would stage wrestling matches between humans and bears.
By not enforcing the ban, Gov. Kasich is putting the profits of animal exploiters above the health and well-being of not only the animals themselves but humans as well. (After all, Strickland's executive order stemmed in part from someone being killed by one of Sam Mazzola's bears.) So take a moment to urge Gov. John Kasich to do the right thing and enforce Ohio's exotic animal ban.
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