Posted by Donna J. Miller April 18, 2007 10:04AM
A proposed law that would regulate the keeping of exotic animals is being discussed today at the Statehouse.
House Bill 45 requires exotic animal owners to get permits and pay fees through the Division of Wildlife. It gives the division the ability to confiscate exotic animals from owners who don't have a permit.
In order to get a permit, owners must have sturdy enclosures and fences and allow wildlife officers to inspect the premises at least annually. They also must have liability insurance of at least $250,000 to pay for injuries or damage caused by the animal.
The bill was introduced by Rep. L. George Distel of Conneaut. It is co-sponsored by Northeast Ohio representatives Mike Foley and Sandra Williams, both of Cleveland, Timothy DeGeeter, of Parma, Kenny Yuko, of Richmond Heights, and Lorraine Fende, of Willowick.
The legislation was written after a 36-year-old Ashtabula County woman was mauled by a 500-pound black bear that escaped from its pen in May 2006.