Since the introduction of Senate bill 310, disguised as a bill to regulate the private ownership of exotic animals, it seems this bill will be passed.
Overwhelming numbers of animal owners from all over Ohio have testified with solid facts and an impeccable record (no public deaths have ever occurred in Ohio from ownership) that we are not against regulation, we just want fair regulation.
At the April 24 hearing, Spencer Waugh, lobbyist for the Ohio Farm Bureau, testified in support of Senate bill 310. Once again the Farm Bureau has sold out their brothers and sisters in the agricultural realm.
Many readers may ask why I refer to exotic animals as agriculture. Well that is a simple answer. Ohio law already exists that says if you raise any animal (animal husbandry) then you are considered agriculture.
The Senate Committee of Agriculture and Natural Resources will most likely vote unanimously in support of this bill. Since most exotic animals already fall under Ohio law as agriculture, the OFBF and Senate committee are then saying they do not support agriculture in Ohio.
Since 2010 Jack Fisher, executive vice president for the Farm Bureau, first used the non-traditional animal industry as a bargaining chip for HSUS. Readers should remember that OFBF, in their own words, said we were “acceptable collateral damage.”
We have known they do not support us, despite that fact the ripple effect will also engulf them. It is sad to see our own elected officials would succumb to bullying or fear from one individual who will not see office again.
The ripple effect will be felt across Ohio. Innocent animals will be put to sleep at taxpayer’s expense just to appease out of state special interest groups.
Only one “public” person (I use the term very lightly) testified in support of this bill and she only just recently moved to Ohio, in her own words, to fight for this bill.
Numerous testimonies from non-exotic animal owners were submitted against the bill. Sum it up: Senate bill 310 will cost tax payers dollars to kill innocent animals, shut down private business in Ohio which in turn support feed mills, hardware, vets, etc.
It will not stop another incident such as Zanesville from occurring; it will create a monopoly for zoos and empowers HSUS, via a seat on a board, to govern how any animal in our state is cared for.
It additionally states that federal law should be replaced by private companies with no legal power to enforce animal care. It also gives the state the power to enter your private property on hearsay to conduct search and seizure.
I think it is time to take back Ohio and get leadership that will support agriculture, not destroy it.
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