One year after the tragic incident of Zanesville, I would say that Ohio has not taken a step forward but a giant step backwards. Legislation forced upon Ohio citizens was neither for the benefit of the public nor the animals.
SB310 does not protect the public nor will it stop another incident from occurring. It only allows animal rights- backed elected officials the right to forcibly remove animals from facilities where they are well cared for and protected.
Legitimate USDA licensed facilities are now forced to make a decision; pay exorbitant fees, relinquish their beloved animals or move out of state. We are persecuted for selling our animals to help pay for their feed, vet care and our facilities while local zoo personalities go on late night TV and exploit the very animals they claim to protect.
ODA states their vets are knowledgeable of exotic species, yet it is the owners to which they turn for knowledge. Even the zoos seek our knowledge and purchase animals from us; I have USDA forms to prove it, as do others.
SB310 testimony saw numerous incorrect statements, including one made stating one fatality due to exotic animal ownership is not correct, that there is “no checkbox on the coroner’s report for death by exotic animal.”
Although correct, so is the number, one death in 50 years. While there is no “check box,” there is a mandatory investigation by local law enforcement and they must notify the state health department.
Before the law was drafted the odds were against owners. Prior to the hearings, one senator attended a meeting with concerned animal owners, one of the first statements he made was “there will be a new law.”
Odds continue to be stacked against animal owners by appointing a biased law enforcement officer to the state board along with a rescue facility owner that is not in touch with animal owners. How easy to “add” new animals to the list with each passing year.
The greatest event in the past year was the return of the animals to Zanesville. They once again are in a loving environment with human contact daily, not just thrown a chunk of meat and left in a cold cell alone.
The series of events, starting in 2009 lead to a logical conclusion. This was staged for the animal rights agenda of the HSUS and completes the “Buckeye Agreement.” Shame our elected officials were so easily persuaded to turn against those that put them in office.