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Old 01-07-2011, 05:33 PM   #3
Originally Posted by EricWI View Post
Crossposted courtesy of OAAO.

Here, very briefly, are the points we need to address:

1. This is a power grab by the DNR to seize control of, and ultimately shut down, Ohio's exotic animal industry.

2. Ohio Revised Code Section 1531.02 clearly shows the DNR does not have statutory authority over exotic animals. It states: "The ownership of and the title to all wild animals in this state, not legally confined or held by private ownership legally acquired, is in the state, which holds such title in trust for the benefit of all the people..." Governor Strickland chose to leave out the part about animals that are legally acquired, confined and held by private ownership. The DNR has no authority over non-native/exotic animals, so the emergency rule is flawed and will likely be overturned if and when the permanent rule is filed with JCARR (Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review). Governor Strickland lied, and the DNR is willing to participate in this Governor-ordered power grab.

3. The order exempts AZA- and Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries- accredited facilities. Both are private corporations with financial links to HSUS. The emergency order is unconstitutional and creates a monopoly for those two corporations, while shutting down the other USDA- and DNR-licensed facilities that have these types of animals; that includes the drive-through animal parks, private zoos, and licensed breeders/dealers/exhibitors throughout Ohio. In Governor Strickland's own words last fall, the exotic animal industry is a 12.5 billion dollar/yr industry in Ohio. His emergency order will shut down a large part of that 12.5 billion dollar industry. Ohio cannot afford more job loss.

4. There is no exotic animal emergency in Ohio. Licensed animal owners, breeders and exhibitors have safely and securely kept these animals for many, many years and are subject to regular, unannounced government inspections to ensure that the public and the animals are not at risk. This emergency order is fueled by animal rights extremism and scaremongering, and it is a direct attack on commerce and private enterprise in Ohio. This order was not requested by a government agency (the DNR) as Governor Strickland indicates in paragraph 5 of the emergency order; it was agreed to by HSUS, Ohio Farm Bureau, and the Governor himself.

5. Exotic animal owners throughout Ohio rallied to vote Ted Strickland out of office, due to his "back-door deal" with HSUS. We voted John Kasich in, convinced that he would not support that back-door deal. We now appeal to incoming Governor Kasich to immediately vacate this emergency executive order which will cripple the exotic animal industry in Ohio.

Action required:

1. Call incoming Governor John Kasich at (614)824-2017 and email him at john@kasichforohio.com with the above information. Put it in your own words, tailor it to your operation, or copy and paste it as you see it, but do it now. Don't wait!

We will be sending out another email as soon as we have the contact information for incoming DNR Director David Mustine. It is a waste of time to contact Gov. Strickland or outgoing DNR Director Sean Logan, so don't spend your time and energy on them. They've already done their damage. It's up to us to make incoming Governor Kasich understand the ramifications of this emergency order so that he'll vacate it. Those of you who have friendly contacts in the media, go ahead and pass this information on to them.

Polly Britton
Legislative Agent
Ohio Association of Animal Owners

Is it OK with you to cross post this on facebook and such?