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      ODA fastens the leash on dangerous animals

      Lions, tigers and bears, so long! New laws restrict the ownership and sale of dangerous wild animals in Ohio.

      Dangerous wild animal and restricted snake registration forms are now available on the Ohio Department of Agriculture website.

      The regulations passed in Senate Bill 310 go into effect September 5, requiring owners to register dangerous wild animals with the Director of the Department of Agriculture. After January 1, 2014, private ownership of dangerous wild animals and restricted snakes will be prohibited unless the individual is granted a permit or exempted under the bill. Permit forms will be available in 2013. The new law ends an era of loose-regulations on the sale and ownership of exotic animals in Ohio.

      Registered animals will be implanted with a microchip that by law must be maintained. Owners are restricted from selling exotic animals, removing the animal's teeth or claws, allowing it to roam freely outside of a confined space, or knowingly releasing it into the wild.

      Chapter 935 of Ohio Revised Code defines what qualifies as a "Dangerous Wild Animal." The extensive list includes lions, cougars, elephants, crocodiles, alligators, and certain breeds of monkey. Species of constricting snakes longer than twelve feet are also restricted. Those seeking a Restricted Snake Possession Permit and/or a Wildlife Shelter Permit must be able to provide proof of insurance, an animal care plan, a relationship with a veterinarian, application fees, and other requirements.

      The Dangerous Wild Animal Registration Form must be completed and signed by owners and returned no later than November 5, 2012.

      Do you think the new animal restrictions are fair? Are you concerned that your exotic animal will not meet state requirements? Let us know on our Facebook fanpage.