COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A proposal to regulate ownership of exotic animals in Ohio is getting is first hearing Wednesday before state senators.
Efforts to strengthen the state's law took on new urgency in October when authorities were forced to kill 48 wild animals, including endangered Bengal tigers, after their suicidal owner freed them from his farm near Zanesville.
A Republican state senator from that eastern Ohio city has introduced a bill to ban new ownership of exotic animals in the state.
Sen. Troy Balderson's legislation would bar current owners of large animals from keeping the creatures unless they met strict caretaking standards beginning in 2014.
Owners also would have to pass a background check needed under his bill to acquire a permit for the animals.
The Associated Press