Exotic Animal Owners File Suit Against The State Of Ohio - FaunaClassifieds
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General Legislative Discussions Any general discussion concerning legislative issues or events. Not necessarily specific to a particular region, or even a type of animal group.

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Old 11-04-2012, 09:28 AM   #1
Exotic Animal Owners File Suit Against The State Of Ohio

Exotic Animal Owners File Suit Against The State Of Ohio

Suit was filed today in the Eastern District of the United States District Court today for an injunction against the Ohio Exotic Animal Ban and for violating Constitutional rights of owners to have their property taken away without compensation.

COLUMBUS, OH, November 04, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Despite the pressure from the Humane Society of the United States, Sheriff Lutz of Zanesville, Ohio , and many other animal rights groups, the exotic animal community from all around the Nation united and said they have had enough of the laws being pushed through to take their rights away from them in regards to owning exotic animals.

On November 2, 2012, a federal suit was filed along with filing for a temporary injunction in the United States District Court For The Southern District Of Ohio, Eastern Division. (See full suit here http://www.usza.us/Downloads/Complai...Animal_Ban.pdf) Together with the OAAO, President Victoria Galle and Herplobby President, Terry Wilkins, leading the suit filed in Ohio, funds were donated by members of the United States Zoological Association, Feline Conservation Federation, Simion Society Association and the Herplobby Reptile Club along with people all over that aren't even exotic animals owners. Together they say enough is enough and they are starting with Ohio and intend on filing suits in every State that attempts to take the rights away from tax paying citizens.

The Federal suit filed claims the animal owners Constitutional rights are being violated to own their private property by the State of Ohio being able to seize their property without compensation, along with being forced to join certain political organizations, being forced to perform invasive and dangerous procedures on their animals.

The State, City or Federal Government can not make anyone join a private non profit organization to be exempt from any law, which is creating an illegal monopoly. The law in Ohio and many other States and Cities exempt people and zoos with an AZA (American Zoological Association) accreditation, which is nothing more than a private club for exotic animals and discriminates against any other organization. This is the first time the animal owners have taken a stand against this kind of law and in the following months and years you will see many other states getting sued for the same practice according to exotic animal owners.

Joe Schreibvogel, President of the United States Zoological Association says, "They would not listen to the people who's lives were affected during the hearings in early 2012, but instead they listened to a bunch of people that had absolutely nothing to lose from it. Those people were the Animal Rights representatives whose agenda is to take away people's pets and their rights to keep them. I flew out there 3 times to watch people pour their hearts out to empty chairs while the lawmakers went to other meetings due to already having their minds made up. Maybe they will listen in court now that the people have taken a stand," Schreibvogel says.

The United States Zoological Association is the only organization that represents all species of animals and their owners whether it be private, zoo or sanctuary. The organization applauds OAAO for their work in Ohio and is rallying a National fundraising campaign to gear up for what comes next at exotic animal owners for 2013. If you would like to join and help the fight to keep your rights, you can do so at www.usza.us.

For more information contact the OAAO or the USZA.
Old 11-04-2012, 11:23 PM   #2
Great article.
Old 11-06-2012, 03:01 PM   #3
Old 11-06-2012, 04:06 PM   #4
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Four owners of exotic animals in Ohio are suing the state's agriculture department and its director over a new law regulating dangerous wildlife, contending the restrictions threaten their First Amendment and property rights.

The lawsuit was filed Friday in Columbus federal court. It comes as the owners faced a Monday deadline to register their animals with the state.

The owners' attorney said Monday that the state has agreed not to enforce certain provisions of the law until there's a hearing on the lawsuit. Attorney Robert Owens said lawyers were still reviewing the agreement, but a court order detailing the arrangement was expected in the coming days.

For instance, under the agreement, Ohio officials wouldn't refer owners for prosecution if they didn't register their animals by Monday.

Under the law, owners who don't register could face a first-degree misdemeanor charge for a first offense, and a fifth-degree felony for any subsequent offenses.

A spokeswoman for the agriculture department declined to comment on the lawsuit and the agreement.

The owners claim the law forces them to join private associations and possibly give up their animals without compensation. They also take issue with a requirement that the animals be implanted with a microchip before they're registered, so the creatures can be identified if they get lost or escape.

The state has said it would work with owners on the microchip requirement.

As of Monday, Ohio's agriculture department said it had received 130 registration forms accounting for 483 dangerous wild animals in the state.

Ohio's restrictions on exotic animals had been among the nation's weakest.

State lawmakers worked with a renewed sense of urgency to strengthen the law after owner Terry Thompson last fall released 50 creatures from an eastern Ohio farm in Zanesville before he committed suicide.

Authorities killed 48 of the animals, fearing for the public's safety. Two others were presumed eaten by other animals. The six surviving animals were placed under quarantine at the zoo. Five were later returned to Thompson's widow, Marian Thompson. The zoo had to euthanize one leopard.

Marian Thompson was among those who registered animals with the state. She submitted information for the two leopards, two primates and a bear that survived.

Registration forms obtained by The Associated Press through a public records request also show she has two 11-week-old leopards on the property.

The owners suing the state have multiple breeds of exotic animals. They are Terry Wilkins, who owns a reptile and amphibian store called Captive Born Reptiles in Columbus; Cyndi Huntsman, owner of Stump Hill Farm in Massillon; Mike Stapleton, owner of Paws & Claws Animal Sanctuary in Prospect; and Sean Trimbach, owner of Best Exotics LLC in Medway, where he breeds, raises and sells exotic animals.

In their lawsuit, the owners say the cost of implanting a microchip in the animal can exceed the animal's value. They also contend that joining certain groups to become exempt from the law means they would have to associate and fund organizations with which they disagree.

The law exempts sanctuaries, research institutions and facilities accredited by some national zoo groups, such as the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the Zoological Association of America.

While the law took effect last month, some aspects have yet to kick in. For instance, a permit process for owners won't begin until next October.

Current owners who want to keep their animals must obtain the new state-issued permit by Jan. 1, 2014. They must pass background checks, pay fees, obtain liability insurance or surety bonds, and show inspectors that they can properly contain the animal and care for it.

One of the factors of obtaining a state permit includes timely registration.

If owners are denied permits or can't meet the new requirements, the state can seize the animals.
Old 11-29-2012, 01:25 AM   #5
the one leopard was killed at the zoo with a shift gate falling on its back

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