Friday, February 10, 2012

Jack Hanna Criticizes Ohio State Lawmakers on Exotic Pet Legislations

Jack Hanna

The state of Ohio had experienced one of the most horrific events last year, when dozens of wild animals were set loose in the town of Zanesville by their suicidal owner, Terry Thompson. The end result was 48 of these endangered species shot down for the fear of harming and killing the general public. Many of these magnificent beasts included lions, tigers, bears, a baboon, and a wolf. The incident highlighted the fact that Ohio remains to have some of the weakest restrictions on exotic pets. A Republican senator named Troy Balderson, who was from that same town, had planned to introduce a bill that would regulate exotic animals in the state. He even sent them a letter last Friday, asking them to sign on to the bill. The letter included details about future regulations, such as banning people from acquiring additional exotic animals and that zoos, circuses, sanctuaries, and research facilities would be exempt. It further added that owners of large animals would be banned from keeping them in 2014, unless they applied to be a "private shelter" and met new caging requirements and care standards.  However, despite having such convincing information, the bill was never passed. And for this reason, celebrity zookeeper Jack Hanna criticized the lawmakers for not passing that bill. In his argument, Mr. Hanna stated that he was in a state of shock because of the delay in passing the law. This would mean that in the future, more people are going to be either killed or will be in danger of being killed if this law is not going to be passed. He further added that he had been frequently asked about the aftermath of this issue during his travels, making it an international issue.

I very much feel the same way as Mr. Hanna, regarding the lives of people and animals in the state of Ohio. This state has long been considered to have one of the most lax laws in exotic wild animals. Because of this people are being put in a state of danger. Due to the state of laws, Ohio has witnessed numerous cases of exotic animals turning against either their "owners" or the general public. One incident occurred in August 2010, when a bear attacked and killed its caretaker on a property near Cleveland. Recently, a suicidal owner turned his so-called "pets" loose in the town of Zanesville all of which ended being shot and killed by the local police. Although Mr. Hanna is no power over the Ohio State Legislature, he has the knowledge about exotic wildlife and the dangers of owning such animals. This is why it is important that the legislature should listen to him, and should pass the bill calling for regulating exotic animals in Ohio as soon as possible. Otherwise, the general public will continue live in fear of being brutally mauled by a lion, tiger, or any other dangerous animal.

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