Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

There is a new law under debate in the Ohio chambers concerning the ownership of wild/exotic animals. This debate began last year when an older man living in a rural setting released forty or so exotic animals from their cages, including lions, monkeys and such, and then tragically took his own life. The result was the killing of most of those by sheriff deputies. It is something that saddened me.

The resulting law that is now under debate pits animal owners against those who think exotics should be kept under strict conditions. I am for the strict conditions, but I would take it another step. There is no one who should just have the 'right' to own these types of animals. I understand someone wanting to build a business in such a way, however I would apply heavy restrictions to them as well.

Anyone wishing to own such animals must not only be licensed but must have a legitimate veterinarian/animal husbandry, zoology or similar degree from an accredited state university. Why? Managing this requires special training and knowledge and shouldn't be allowed by anyone just because they want to own exotic animals. These creatures, beautiful though they are present a danger to their owners and the public in general. Without special knowledge and training we are just waiting for another incident down the road.

Just because you want them doesn't give you the right to own them. Some things aren't about rights, it's about common sense.

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