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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Exotic Animal Owners Aren't Registering Pets with the State (Updated)

Posted By on Thu, Nov 1, 2012 at 11:42 AM

Just make sure you keep it street legal.
  • Just make sure you keep it street legal.

Update: So, how's the exotic animal registration progressing as the deadline to notify the state and fill out the proper paperwork approaches on Monday? Not good. Via the Zanesville Times Recorder:

Officials at the Ohio Department of Agriculture think at least 500 private individuals own animals on the state’s restricted species list, but only 36 have come forward so far.

“Our best guess is that there are over (500) or 600 private people who own these animals,” David Daniels, agriculture director, said this morning at the first meeting of the state’s Dangerous and Restricted Animals Advisory Board.

To date, 341 animals are tallied up. 240 of those are at zoos or The Wilds conservation center.

A couple board members think animal owners are scared of the state — The Big Bad State, The Man — and that might be cause for a lack of self-reporting. Who would have guessed? — Grzegorek

***

As we all know, despite a historically bad economy and record unemployment, one of the most high-profile issues tackled during the last legislative session was what to do with the exotic pets some Ohioans like to keep around the house. As sarcastic as that sentence can read, there were actually pretty compelling reasons to address the topic.

After some legislative mud wrestling down in Columbus, lawmakers passed a law that, among other things, requires exotic animal owners to register their special friends with the state. The needed info includes the location of the animals, the number, and the info on who tends to their health needs. The registration window opened on September 5th, and owners are required to have their animals street legal by November.

Unfortunately, pet owners aren't getting the message. According to the Sandusky Register:

Only one person has registered since the law took effect on Sept. 5, according to the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Three others tried, but turned in incomplete forms. Their animals also didn't have a required microchip with identification implanted in them.

Now, the reason for this lack of participation might not actually stem from the fact that a person inclined to own an exotic animal probably isn't the type to keep an unobstructed channel open to general society, or at least into fine-print requests of government bureaucracies. Rather, the Ohio Association of Animal Owners, a group opposed to the legislation and running 8,000 strong, is considering a legal challenge.

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