COLUMBUS -- Exiting Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland ordered a ban on new dangerous pets Thursday.
According to Strickland, the order will restrict future ownership, breeding, sale, and trade or barter of wild animals “that are dangerous to human health and safety.”
Under the ban, those who already own exotic pets will now have to register their animals with the state will also be barred from breeding boas, tigers, bears and other wild animals.
Strickland signed the emergency order to fulfill a deal his administration made with the Humane Society of the United States, Ohio’s agribusiness industry and other animal rights groups.
That agreement kept the Humane Society from going to the ballot with a measure containing a numerous restrictions on pet ownership and treatment and livestock care.
“"[The ban] will keep Ohio's vital agriculture industry profitable while appropriately updating animal care standards," Strickland said.
Strickland’s move follows a fatal black bear mauling of an animal caretaker in Lorain County last August.
"This rule will help protect Ohioans from deaths and serious injuries caused by attacks from dangerous wild animals held in private ownership," Strickland said.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Wildlife will enforce the ban. It will last 90 days.
It will be up to Gov.-elect John Kasich whether to keep the restrictions in place. He takes office Monday.
Ohio was one of the last few states to allow private ownership of dangerous animals with few restrictions.
For those interested, here is the Executive Order itself. Especially disconcerting is that there is NO definition of what a "large, constricting snake" is. Are corn snakes, boas, and ball pythons now considered "large constricting snakes in Ohio?