COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) - Governor Ted Strickland issued an executive order Jan. 6, 2011 that allows for the immediate adoption of a new Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Wildlife rule that bans the private ownership of dangerous wild animals.
"This action fulfills my responsibilities within the agreement that will keep Ohio's vital agriculture industry profitable while appropriately updating animal care standards," Strickland said. "This rule will help protect Ohioans from deaths and serious injuries caused by attacks from dangerous wild animals held in private ownership."
The executive order authorizes the ODNR Division of Wildlife to adopt a new rule that prevents new private ownership of wild animals that are dangerous to human health and safety, requires existing private owners of dangerous wild animals to register the animals with the state, and details the type of facilities that can own and rehabilitate dangerous wild animals.
These emergency rules will be in place for 90 days. During those 90 days ODNR will submit these rules to the state's rule making body, the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review, for inclusion in Ohio's Administrative Code. The JCARR process is expected to be completed before the executive order expires.
Under the rule, the ownership, breeding, selling, trading, and bartering of dangerous wild animals is prohibited to anyone who does not currently own one of the designated animals. Similarly, existing owners of wild dangerous animals cannot breed, sell, trade, or barter these types of animals. Existing owners would be allowed to continue with their ownership if they register their animals by May 1, 2011, and every year thereafter. This registration will improve law enforcement efforts, if needed, and provide a mechanism for the Ohio Department of Agriculture to trace animal-borne diseases before they become a widespread problem.
"This rule takes a responsible step forward in protecting human life," said ODNR Director Sean Logan. "While the rule will become effective immediately, under Ohio law it is only effective for 90 days. Therefore, we hope the incoming Administration will see the value of this effort and take the necessary steps to implement a permanent rule that would ban the ownership of these species."
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