The Ohio Exotic Pet Ban: What Animals Are Now Illegal as Pets?

Updated on July 10, 2018
Melissa A Smith profile image

Melissa cares for a variety of exotic animals and has completed a certificate in veterinary assisting and a bachelor's degree in biology.

The Zanesville, Ohio, 'Zoo Massacre', which ended with the deaths of 18 tigers, 17 lions, 6 black bears, 2 grizzly bears, 3 mountain lions, 2 wolves and a baboon after they were allegedly set free by their suicidal owner Terry Thompson, sent legislators into a frenzy to amend previous bills that were said to be far too lenient on what exotic pets could be legally owned in Ohio.

Prior to the incident, Governor Kasich's task force, which was composed of organizations like the HSUS and the American Zoological Association, originally were examining the state's lack of regulations when the Zanesville incident propelled the issue into the spotlight and largely contributed to the support of the finished bill.

The new Dangerous Wild Animal Bill had widespread approval and was passed by the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee in a 87-9 vote (the previous Senate Sub-Bill 310 was approved by the committee and was sent to the Senate floor for a vote, passing the Ohio Senate 30-1). Governor Kasich is expected to sign SB 310's exotic pet ban into a law soon.

People Who Owned Banned Animals Before the Law Change

If you live in the state of Ohio and possess a 'restricted species', you can acquire a permit for the animal(s) by 2014, but there's a catch: you must meet strict new regulations including registration, expensive liability insurance coverage (a 1 million dollar insurance policy is required of those that possess a restricted species for educational purposes) and facility standards are enforced. The registered animal must also be microchipped. Owners who cannot meet these new standards have to find new homes for their pets or turn them into the state where they will likely be euthanized. No new animals may be purchased once the ban takes effect on January 1, 2014.

As of 2018, years after the ban was enforced, many owners were forced to give up their animals.

A Pet Serval
A Pet Serval | Source

Animals That Are Banned as Pets (Excluding Zoos and Sanctuaries)

The following animals are banned as 'pets' with the exception of zoos and sanctuaries (I have bolded animals that obviously pose little or no danger to the public, and/or are popularly kept):

  1. Hyenas
  2. Gray wolves, excluding hybrids
  3. Lions
  4. Tigers
  5. Jaguars
  6. Leopards, including clouded leopards, Sunda clouded leopards, and snow leopards
  7. All of the following, including hybrids with domestic cats unless otherwise specified: a) Cheetahs; b) Lynxes, including Canadian lynxes, Eurasian lynxes, and Iberian lynxes; c) Cougars, also known as pumas or mountain lions; d) Caracals; e) Servals, excluding hybrids with domestic cats commonly known as Savannah cats.
  8. Bears
  9. Elephants
  10. Rhinoceroses
  11. Hippopotamuses
  12. Cape buffaloes
  13. African wild dogs
  14. Komodo dragons
  15. Alligators
  16. Crocodiles
  17. Caimans, excluding dwarf caimans
  18. Gharials
  19. Nonhuman primates other than lemurs and the nonhuman primates specified in division (C)(20) of this section
  20. All of the following nonhuman primates:
  • a) Golden lion, black-faced lion, golden-rumped lion, cotton-top, emperor, saddlebacked, black-mantled, and Geoffroy's tamarins
  • b) Southern and northern night monkeys
  • c) Dusky titi and masked titi monkeys
  • d) Muriquis
  • e) Goeldi's monkeys
  • f) White-faced, black-bearded, white-nose bearded, and monk sakis
  • g) Bald and black uakaris
  • h) Black-handed, white-bellied, brown-headed, and black spider monkeys
  • i) Common woolly monkeys
  • j) Red, black, and mantled howler monkeys.

Many states, unfortunately, include domestic pet breeds such as Savannah cats and all wolfdogs regardless of percentage, so it is nice that these animals are not included in the ban. While large carnivores should be regulated with common sense legislation, an outright ban is unfair. Many people have the money, space, and experience to successfully own larger carnivores. Medium-sized carnivores such as lynxes, servals, and caracals pose no more threat in society than similarly-sized domestic dogs (and in many cases, less).

A Cotton top tamarin, a "dangerous" animal now banned as a pet in Ohio.
A Cotton top tamarin, a "dangerous" animal now banned as a pet in Ohio. | Source

Primates and Nonhuman Primate Bans

Many of the monkeys on the list are smaller, so it is confusing why they are specifically banned while even lemurs are not. Also, the code in section 20 is confusing because it appears that primates that are not named on the list are unregulated. Ohio strangely bans many primates, including small ones, but allows a few species such as marmosets and lemurs with the requirement that the owner registers them.

Species That Are Not Represented in the Pet Trade

Many of the above species are typically not owned as pets or are non-existent in the pet trade (rhinoceros, hippos, cape buffalo, Komodo dragon). Elephants tend to be owned privately for exhibition purposes. Dwarf caimans are smaller crocodilians that are in the reptile trade and pose no threat to public safety. Other large crocodilians present more danger to the owner but with a little research and experience, even this risk is not high.

Burmese Python at a reptile demonstration held at a library.
Burmese Python at a reptile demonstration held at a library. | Source

Restricted Snakes and Snakes That Are Permitted

Section L addresses 'restricted snakes' which means any of the following (legal only with a permit over the length of 12 feet after 2014).

1. The following constricting snakes are twelve feet or longer:

a) Green anacondas
b) Yellow anacondas
c) Reticulated pythons
d) Indian pythons
e) Burmese pythons
f) North African rock pythons
g) South African rock pythons
h) Amethystine pythons

2. Species of the following families:

a) Atractaspididae
b) Elapidae
c) Viperidae
3) Boomslang snakes
4) Twig snakes

The threat of 'constricting snakes' is largely exaggerated. States that ban certain reptiles almost always name the largest members of the python family as prohibited. Fatalities from these species, however, are very rare; about 1-2 cases per year with negligent handling often being a factor.

Burmese Pythons: A Popular Pet Reptile

Is This Bill Fair?

The strong support of this bill by legislators and the public is the result of the actions of a single individual. In addition to any animals currently listed, additional animals can be added based on a decision made by the Director of ODA that only needs to be approved by the General Assembly.

It should be noted that most of the animals listed are rarely or never kept as 'pets'. The list includes many highly advanced 'pets' that should never be kept by a typical person (however, the few exceptions to this rule should be granted the opportunity to state their situation and privately own a 'restricted species' without being a zoo or so-called sanctuary).

However, the list includes a few species that clearly do not pose any kind of threat to 'public safety' such as the smaller cats and non-human primates. Cases of these animals spreading disease to the public in a pet-owning situation in recent history are non-existent.

Source

Also not given any consideration is the fact that domesticated animals could easily cause similar, or worse damage than these unfairly stigmatized animals. It is obvious that in time, more non-threatening species will make their way on to this list due to ignorance, and these bans will spread to other states that haven't enforced them already. The ban will inevitably affect smaller businesses such as those that present animals for educational purposes and will force many owners to give up their animals.

Such inflexible bans on the rights of the population should be considered as a last option, and this ordinance is far from necessary. Animal ownership is not being taken seriously as pertinent to the livelihoods of pet keepers by Ohio's legislators. Clearly this new law, having been empowered by a single incident caused by one allegedly irresponsible or mentally ill individual is not a valid reason to end lifestyles, businesses, and freedom of choice.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

Questions & Answers

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      • profile image

        Anonymous 

        2 days ago

        Can I have a pet leech?

      • profile image

        Markh0530 

        2 weeks ago

        Why would anyone want to own a snake over 12 feet. It could kill an adult with no problem. I love snakes but i would not want one that big.

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        6 weeks ago from New York

        ReptileDrew: most of them are legal.

      • profile image

        ReptileDrew 

        2 months ago

        I love animals that are studied in herpatology. Are there any lizards, tortises, frogs, toads, or turtles that are illegal in Ohio??? I live in Ashtabula County.

      • profile image

        Allison 

        2 months ago

        can i have a capuchin monkey in ohio?

      • profile image

        ally smith 

        2 months ago

        can i have a green monkey in ohio

      • profile image

        Zayy Zayy 

        3 months ago

        Can I Own A Capuchin Monkey In Ohio??

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        22 months ago from New York

        Primater, I think lemurs are legal. Don't quote me on that.

      • profile image

        primater 

        23 months ago

        so what primates can you own? Its a little confusing and confusing on how to own them? Just registration? No permit? certain tamerins illegal ? Can you own a capuchin but not a tamerin or only tamerins listed?

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        23 months ago from New York

        Neerdy cee- yes

      • profile image

        Amanda Baker 

        24 months ago

        I don't know why these people don't think this through. What do they think happens to the tigers, bears, and exotics when they get banned? Especially if there are no sanctuaries or zoos that can take them. They will more than likely get put down.

      • profile image

        neerdy cee 

        24 months ago

        can u own a wallaby in ohio

      • profile image

        Gary 

        2 years ago

        To the idiots that think this law is OK only because YOU don't "think" people should own them have no right to say anything when some government entity wants to ban something you like for no other reason then the ones doing the banning are uninformed idiots. You know ferrets are banned in California. All because ONE idiot in charge personally doesn't like them. We stand together and demand lawmakers use there brains on ALL laws or we lose everything one by one.

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        2 years ago from New York

        Correct.

      • profile image

        gene 

        2 years ago

        What about a black bear ? I guess I cant own one as a pet in ohio correct

      • profile image

        timothy 

        3 years ago

        Life Liberty and the pursuit of happiness If I can afford and want a Tiger who is to say I cant

      • profile image

        Nick 

        3 years ago

        So as far as having a pygmy marmoset??

      • profile image

        ManNewt 

        3 years ago

        An exotic pet owner under the name of Daniel Chambers has started a fundraiser in gofundme.com. The sad thing is that he only has 19 donors in 10 months. The man only has reached 5% of the money he needs for the attorney funds ($20000). Here is the link to the fundraiser: http://www.gofundme.com/savetheexotics

      • profile image

        AthanasiaJoker 

        3 years ago

        Why just kill all those animals rather than tranquilizing them and sending them to zoos and/or animal preserves? Tigers are endangered and they just kill them?? I mean wth man???

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        3 years ago from New York

        I've never heard of sharks being illegal anywhere.

      • profile image

        Tyler 

        3 years ago

        I didn't see anything about sharks (correct me if I'm wrong though)

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        3 years ago from New York

        As long as there's no ban on venomous reptiles.

      • profile image

        AaronB 

        3 years ago

        I just spent the last hour searching through Ohio DNR for regulations and came across this rule on their page. Im moving there in a couple of weeks for work and eventually hope to get a gila monster. It seems as though they never listed it as "dangerous". So it should be possible for me to get one, right? Though with my luck someone will let them know that they missed Heloderma and it will show up magically on the list.

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        3 years ago from New York

        You're happy about a law that dashes your future dreams? How foolish is that?

      • profile image

        danesha 

        3 years ago

        I just want to own a fox one day. But I know I can't take care of it now so im waiting. But most people don't wait and realized how serious it is to have the funds and proper things to take care of any animal. Irresponsible people buy animals because they think they are cute and are thinking of the now and not the future. I have a dog hamster and mouse and im going to buy two birds and another mouse because I can afford to take care of them. Irresponsible owners don't think about whether they be able to feed the animal when they have to or buy a proper house for them. That why I am happy about this law. I know everyone not a bad owner but I feel bad for the animals that get stuck with one and then are abandoned.

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        3 years ago from New York

        Chadeh, Ohio is obviously not Florida. No tropical snakes can survive their winters.

      • profile image

        Chadeh 

        3 years ago

        I can see why snakes are on the list. Here in S. Florida snakes of all kinds especially Boa's (any kind) are being killed by the thousands. These snakes are killing the natural environment and disrupting the other species balances

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        3 years ago from New York

        You can't rationalize insanity.

      • profile image

        lookalilcloser 

        3 years ago

        Tell me this, why would a person with as much experience with exotics as Terry Thompson had release the animals he loved and was fighting to keep ? I lived 15-20min from where the incident took place. I've been told that Mr Thompson was being targeted by animal rights activists and a lot of people believe that when Mr Thompson begin making his rounds to care for his animals that day he found that they had been released and the shock of finding his animals loose was the final event that drove him to commit suicide. Personally I wouldn't be surprised if the good ole boy cops out there decided to open the cages for some target practice . You see if Mr Thompson was the one who released those animals then why didn't he release all of them and why did he focused on the largest and most dangerous ?

      • profile image

        Victoria 

        3 years ago

        Amber, according to ODA (Ohio Department of Agriculture), tamarins (of any kind) are not legal in Ohio. Only marmosets, squirrel monkeys, capuchin and lemurs (although I don't get the last bit they told me, as lemurs supposedly can only be purchased in the state they were born in and or require a USDA license). That is what I was told in 2013 and have not seen any changes to anything thus far, so I'd think that's how it still stands (currently). You may still want to contact ODA or Ohio DWA. The others I don't believe require a USDA license, at this time.

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        3 years ago from New York

        Yes I've seen that, what a shame.

      • ZookeeperByNature profile image

        ZookeeperByNature 

        3 years ago

        And so now stories like this are happening: http://www.11alive.com/story/news/nation-now/2015/...

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        3 years ago from New York

        If you are in Ohio they might be legal, but you have to check.

      • profile image

        Amber 

        3 years ago

        I am in the beginning stages of research of owning a cotton top marmoset monkey, not planning to purchase for 2 years. As of right now do you know what the rules and/or restrictions are on owning this type of primate?

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        3 years ago from New York

        Colin, animals don't have rights. If I can raise an animal and kill it for food, surely I can raise and pamper an animal as a pet. Why does the species matter? If you are a vegan, great, but most of us aren't. And people shouldn't be able to sit there targeting exotic pet owners for literally no reason other than their discomfort and prejudice towards seeing something unusual. I don't think many states ban exotics because of animal welfare, just due to their ignorance about what 'danger' it presents.

      • profile image

        Colin 

        3 years ago

        Whether the animal is a threat to someone shouldn't be the only defining characteristic. Even though public safety is important, we never see the welfare and safety of the animals taken into consideration. Most of the animals breed, sold and traded in the exotic pet trade are either poached from their wild habitats, or breed in cages and taken from their parents soon after birth. And few of thee animals ever really end up in good homes. I feel that when making laws, we should look out for the rights of the animals, more than the safety of the people, for even though people aren't that often injured or killed by exotic animals, they almost always pay the ultimate price for our contempt and greed.

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        3 years ago from New York

        Great "argument" you have there War Eagle.

      • profile image

        War Eagle 

        3 years ago

        It is just as cruel and inhumane to keep any wild animal as a pet,as it is to kill one for fun or trophy.

      • profile image

        Harrison 

        4 years ago

        Hi! I'm from Harrison County in Ohio, one county away from Muskingum county where Zanesville resides. This entire situation was a nightmare. The government and citizens handled this horribly. It was basically a manicure of those animals. None had attacked any humans yet they found it necessary to to hunt them down with live rounds like they were going out hunting to feed they're family's instead of using traq. Darts so they could be transferred to an appropriate animal care facility. And I do agree with Melissa some animals listed should not be listed. But as for the larger more dangerous animals they should be kept in a zoo or facility with open space or be returned to the wild. But not by any means be subjected to a full scale manhunt.

      • profile image

        TopCat 

        4 years ago

        OK, I respect your wishes & will no longer post nor follow this article after this last & final post. I truly did not mean to target you & only you personally, and I do find this article very interesting. I will leave you with an sincere apology. I have a "tendency" to bring my job home with me instead of leaving it at work where it should be left, (and, you are not the only one that has pointed this out to me)... My job is to poke holes in the prosecutors case & to create reasonable doubt. I guess that I was using this approach in my comments & for that I am sincerely sorry.

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        4 years ago from New York

        I think you are a troll. You CLEARLY directed your comments at me.

        "Who composed this article? Better yet, who let this article be released with such non-sense ideations? "

        The word 'bolded' can ONLY refer to the act of bolding, especially in this context. I'm no longer accepting your comments on this article.

      • profile image

        TopCat 

        4 years ago

        OK, lets back up for one second....A) I am not "stubbornly suggesting" that YOU personally claimed any animal on the list as being dangerous. I do not think that YOU personally had anything to do with the revised list of animals that are being deemed dangerous. I see on your info page that you have asked others to keep an open mind & that is what I am attempting to do...Keeping an open mind on both sides of the fence here. B) As to interpreting the sentence that you posted, "I have bolded animals that obviously pose little or no danger to the public, and/or are popularly kept"... I am a little confused as to how you are using the term "bolded"... To me, bolded means fearless & daring; courageous etc...So, I do not know how to answer that question. C) I do not comprehend as to why you keep stating that I am not reading or listening. Please explain to me what issues you are having with anything that I have posted. I said that I am on YOUR side with this matter. I just do not agree with the list of animals & NO I do not think that you had ANYTHING to do with the revised list, so I am not attacking you personally. You are only reporting what the new rules & regulations are. D) I think that I am very good at my job & if you ever find yourself in a situation, I would be more than happy to offer you advise. E) Who is ranting? If you are referring to myself as "ranting" then you are the one wasting YOUR time writing articles if you cannot take the good with the bad. And, I do not have to defend myself from anti-exotic pet sentiments. I follow the rules that are set in place & if the rules change, then I guess I must adhere to them & also make changes. Of course I do not want to see new & almost impossible rules & regulations put into place that would cause Exotic owners to lose their animals, or new rules that would make it almost impossible for those who are responsible Exotic animal owners to not have the choice to obtain future Exotic pets. And, once again-I am on YOUR side with this matter. I do not wish to fight with you about petty comments that either of us do not like. I was under the impression that you wrote this article in defense of those who own Exotic & so others could state what or how they are feeling about new rules & regulations.

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        4 years ago from New York

        So you're going to sit there and stubbornly suggest that I claimed any of the animals on the list are dangerous? And completely ignore my request to interpret the sentence I posted? If you cannot LISTEN, I don't understand how you'd make a good attorney or properly defend yourself from anti-exotic pet sentiment. You're wasting your time ranting at the wrong person.

      • profile image

        TopCat 

        4 years ago

        Maybe you are 100% correct Melissa, perhaps I should ask for a total refund from the colleges that I have attended. I would seriously give your kind "New York" suggestion a thought if I did not love my job & if I thought even for one second that I was not a good Criminal Defense Attorney. If you did not notice, I am on YOUR side with this issue. I just do not agree that ALL of the animals listed should be labeled as "WILD & DANGEROUS"...And, yes to your question. I have owned & currently own EXOTIC cats that obviously pose little or no danger to my family nor the general public, (all have been small exotic cats with the exception to one Florida Panther to which we got at 2 weeks of age & she passed away of natural causes at the age of 19 years) ..And, yes, each & every Exotic cat that I have owned over the past 25 years were & are properly (not popularly) kept. I welcome Wildlife inspections, they help me-help keep my animals healthy and safe, its only when one becomes complacent with ANY type of animal when stupid accidents happen.

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        4 years ago from New York

        Maybe you should. What does this say? "I have bolded animals that obviously pose little or no danger to the public, and/or are popularly kept"

      • profile image

        TopCat 

        4 years ago

        I am pretty sure that I actually read before I write anything & I certainly hope that I can read & understand English Melissa, if not then I had better ask for a refund for all the money I spent attending college for 8 years. Yes, I seen your name at the top, however; I just assumed that the writer was a professional & would not be calling others comments ignorant, dumb, etc...My bad for not connecting your choice of words & language to being the writer.

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        4 years ago from New York

        TopCat, do you actually read before you write?

      • profile image

        TopCat 

        4 years ago

        I must be reading a different article than most of you Humans are reading, OR I am reading it all wrong. "Non-Human Primates??" So, this means I CAN own a Human Primate or slave, correct? Who composed this article? Better yet, who let this article be released with such non-sense ideations? Of course its just pure common sense that one should not own an adult tiger or lion in their back yard & there SHOULD be rules & regulations to weed out those who think that it is OK to put an adult lion or tiger in their back yard, but as far as calling Caracals & Serval cats a wild & dangerous animal, well that is just pure bullshxx. I have had a Class II Wildlife permit for 25 years & have owned both; Caracals & Servals , and at the present time I own a 7 year old Serval Cat & by NO means is she "WILD" nor "DANGEROUS". She came from 12++ generations of being bred & born in Human care & there is NO way that my "EXOTIC" ~not~ "WILD" but my EXOTIC Serval Cat Pet could survive ONE day in the wild. People are getting the terms "WILD & EXOTIC" mixed up, its like comparing apples to oranges. WILD animals were born in the WILD & I for one would never take ANY animal out of the wild, not even a bird, ant, etc..If they were born in the wild, then that's where they need to stay-IN THE WILD. Now, EXOTIC Pets such as my Serval Cat were NOT born in the wild nor have they ever been in the wild, meaning they could NOT survive without human care. My Serval is from 12++ generations of being bred & born in human care. You can all it domestic or what ever you want, but by NO means does she pose ANY type of danger to anyone & here in Florida we have very strict rules & laws to follow & I for one agree with the rules & regulations as not all Humans care for their animals as they should, hell some Humans don't even know how to care for their own children. Exotic pets such as my Serval Cat are the same thing as at one point in time ALL horses were WILD animals, but us Humans bred & kept them as pets, or like ALL birds at one time were WILD animals, but us Humans bred & kept them as pets & the list goes on & on. Yes, I agree there needs to be rules & regulations for everyone who owns ANY type of pet, just walk into your local animal shelter & see how responsible some Humans are, but to go as far as saying EXOTIC pets such as Caracals & Servals are WILD & DANGEROUS is over the top.

      • profile image

        rico1331 

        4 years ago

        First hello all,i do not own any large exotics.The reason being i do not have the land or knowledge for the best possible care.I do own exotics with four,six,and eight legs.Also a few with no legs being up 8ft in length.I also have the sense to give the best possible care for what i do own,PERIOD! Do the research as you would for anything else,or someone will say they did for you.

      • profile image

        jason 

        4 years ago

        Terry Tompdin did not commit suicide. He was murdered. It was all a set up so mr . Kasich could get this bill passed.

      • profile image

        Monica 

        4 years ago

        You cannot have an open forum for a discussion and get pissed..I would be a problem if your animal became a problem. MOVE TO A PLACE WHERE YOU CAN HAVE WILD, DANGEROUS, VICIOUS ANIMALS.....

        you are a weirdo I hope somebody trap and cage your ass.... you are an animal too... and not even a good one you know an annoying animal maybe and insect best describe you... A gnat,mosquito or a bee something you can flatten with a newspaper. If you have a problem with the law go to school get a degree and try to get a job in that field but your complaining it's doing nothing.

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        4 years ago from New York

        Monica, do some research. Find out how many members of the public have been severely harmed or killed by 'exotic' pets. I don't care if you need to FEEL safe and secure from a non-threat like my pets. That doesn't give you the right to infringe on my life with your ignorance.

      • profile image

        Monica 

        4 years ago

        I totally agree with the ban. I think it's cruel, irresponsible and plain foolish to own a monkey, a large cat or a venomous snake or insect. No one really understand how these animals think and it's usually some unsuspected victim that is mauled. I believe that all Gods creation have a right to life but what do you do to an animal that attacks and kills. What do you say to a mother whose child had been mauled to death what comfort can you provide them. you're obligation as a human being is to humans first. People should have the right to feel safe and secure. Wild animals are just that wild. I know that incidents can occur with any animal but I am convinced that you can free yourself of a dog but if a cougar is attacking you what can you do. If people want to own these animals move somewhere these animals are at like Africa, Australia hell move to Colorado or California where mountain lions roam free and walk around find and catch one now it's probably is going to end with your demise and then what. people must find other things to do with their time. Invest in your community, organize youth programs, feed the homeless, house homeless vets. Midst people would rather invite a wild animal in their home before giving a dollar to person in need and that is ass backwards please pardon my language. I have 4 children and it terrifies me to think that can be on their way home and be attacked by some wild animal (not pet) that some person who thought that it would make a great pet.

      • profile image

        Starling 

        4 years ago

        Oh..... Thank you though

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        4 years ago from New York

        That part doesn't really matter.

      • profile image

        Starling 

        4 years ago

        Also I didn't think that wolves would be considered exotic I mean they come from the U.S.

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        4 years ago from New York

        I'm not sure Starling, I'll look into it.

      • profile image

        Starling 

        4 years ago

        I think I have this right but if someone has a half-breed wolf like a husky/wolf than you don't need a license to own them???

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        4 years ago from New York

        I think that's the case Bryan.

      • profile image

        Bryan K 

        4 years ago

        Correct me if I'm wrong, but the way that this is worded, is it saying the non-human primates in section 20 are NOT banned? That's the way it looks to me, makes sense too, if that list were the ones being banned, you would think they would have included great apes and baboons in there

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        4 years ago from New York

        You're probably right Karen, but I have not much knowledge about them and didn't want to get blasted by someone, heh.

      • profile image

        Karen 

        4 years ago

        I noticed that you didn't bold either the yellow or green anaconda. I've owned a yellow anaconda for 11 years. She's maybe 9' long and is not dangerous to anyone. Male green anacondas only get 8 or 9' long and don't pose any kind of a danger either.

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        4 years ago from New York

        Thank you, please if you can tell me on what criteria people can own these animals. Let me know if there is anything else wrong.

      • profile image

        SMShah 

        4 years ago

        I think you've completely misread the law in regards to the non-human primates. The way it is written makes those listed in division C(20) legal to own.

        "The following animals are banned as 'pets' with the exception of zoos and sanctuaries:"

        "(19) Nonhuman primates other than lemurs and the nonhuman

        primates specified in division (C)(20) of this section"

        The 'other than' specifies that those listed are indeed legal to own provided you follow any species specific certifications and registration.

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        4 years ago from New York

        Samanthajackson73-- No, I'm not saying they are not dangerous. I am saying that the argument for public safety fails if they clearly are not causing more death or injury than any other average, large-sized pet. Your comparison of driving rules proves my point. Cars are not illegal, they are regulated. Why not ban irresponsible pet owning behavior and NOT pets? That would be the equivalent of banning the car. Yes, removing cars from existence guarantees no car-related deaths, but it's stupid.

      • profile image

        Samanthajackson73 

        4 years ago

        I'm a little confused by how you can say some of the bolded animals on the list are not dangerous (which per a prior comment you made is apparently defined as never having killed a human in the U.S.). I am from Ohio, but have lived in South Florida for nearly 13 years and I can tell you that alligators and pythons have in fact killed people in the U.S. Several in fact. Some were pets, some were wild. And I get what you're saying about how "responsible" pet owners should not be forced to follow regulations due to the irresponsibility of other pet owners. Now that I think about it, I may even have to agree with your premise as I see its applicability to so many other areas where we are over-regulated. For example, I am a perfectly safe driver and have never gotten into an accident, but I really HATE having to follow all those rules of the road. So let's do away with all of them. Why punish drivers who are perfectly capable of driving 90 miles an hour in town, weaving in and out of traffic using no turn signals, without hurting anyone just because of the few people who aren't capable of driving safely at any speed?

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        5 years ago from New York

        Kailyn, thanks, I don't think a human can always guarantee an animal' behavior, but they should be able to control their pets. You've had exotics that are capable of killing?

      • profile image

        Kailyn 

        5 years ago

        You know, the problem isn't the animals themselves. It's the people. There are no bad dogs, just bad owners. And the same goes for exotics. I've had plenty of exotic pets and not one has killed a human, because I'm not stupid I how I handle and care for them. The ban shouldn't be on the animals, it should be on the people. They should be legal and people should have to prove in some way that they know what they're doing and won't do anything dumb.

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        5 years ago from New York

        That's nice that YOU think that JD, but I should be allowed to not be dictated by it.

      • profile image

        JD 

        5 years ago

        I definitely agree that wild exotic animals should NOT be owned. They deserve to try to live out their lives the way god intended. Unfortunately, because people are selfish we continuously move into their land. No wild animal should be locked up in a cage to remain confined their whole lives. I can definitely see the desire in wanting to own one of these beautiful, wild, exotic animals but in the long haul these animals deserve to run and be free.

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        5 years ago from New York

        Different strokes for different folks.

      • profile image

        Joshua 

        5 years ago

        I honestly have no desire to own any of the animals on this list. I do own exotic pets but who in their right mind would want to have a tiger, bear, or (seriously?) a rhino? There's no logic to it.

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        5 years ago from New York

        Hi NYC, what an extremely basic comment. Not everyone does things to serve a 'positive' purpose. I would say at least 99% of our human activities qualify as such. This is probably true about all pets, not just 'wild' ones. You sound somewhat ignorant for someone who has worked with zoos, it's disappointing. Zoos often receive the same criticism. No one is trying to "domesticate" wild animals, and your lack of specifying which 'wild animals' is concerning.

      • profile image

        NYC 

        5 years ago

        Left NYC for Ohio specifically to help with the prevention of owning wild animals. This mentality is irresponsible, self serving, and inappropriate. It serves no positive purpose. As someone who has extensive knowledge and experience working in zoos and sanctuaries I can confidently state that no one should ever think that attempting to domesticate a wild animal for the purpose of being a pet is a wise idea. It hurts the animal and it hurts society as a whole. It is a fully selfish act with dire consequences to all.

      • profile image

        MMA FIGHTER ALPHA MALE 

        5 years ago

        Oh, don't worry about Crystal, she's just mad because she can't get any of this.

      • profile image

        Crystal 

        5 years ago

        -_- like I said UNLESS you have a properly sized yard, and the knowledge to take care of them. I'm only trying to see, any average Joe shouldn't be able to buy them, because A lot of them shove them in small pens. If having to have a license can filter out the bad owners then it's good. Of course I don't know how hard it is to get a license. I just wish people who have no clue and no space were smart enough to know they aren't helping these beautiful creatures. If I was a little head strong about my opinions it's because watching Lambert suffer and die made me depressed for the last few days. I never said ALL pets were unhappy either, this was in reference to the dude and the people like the dude that owned Lambert. I've never once said ALL exotics are kept improperly, or ALL exotics are depressed and have bad lives. I said MOST, or A LOT. Heck, if I had the room, and knowledge/know how I would love one of these critters to. Sorry if you don't understand my Canadian dialect.

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        5 years ago from New York

        You don't like big cats in backyards? How about the front yard? The side yard? What you're saying makes zero sense. No one is suggesting to put big cats in improperly sized spaces. Many people actually do own spacious land. Do you yell at people for having fish just because you saw someone else with one in a small bowl? Direct your criticism to the actual problem. These bans are ruining EVERYONE not just the bad owners. There are no licenses...unless you run a circus, zoo, sanctuary, ect. that is a business. Heaven forbid anyone would keep an animal for non-financial gain. Pot-bellied pigs are not only farm animals. Stop being so narrow-minded.

      • profile image

        Crystal 

        5 years ago

        -_- It's just plain selfish to put a big cat in your back yard. Unless your back yard is on properly sized acreage, and unless you know what you are doing. Having to have a license to own these animals is a good thing... it filters out the shit hole homes that think they are capable of keeping them. It isn't legal ANYWHERE in Canada to own these animals in your back yard. Hell I can't even have a pot bellied pig within city limits, and that is a good thing. Farm animals belong on a farm. Big cats belong in big spaces.

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        5 years ago from New York

        I'm pretty sure you don't know how many people have what Crystal. That is all speculation. Also, so is your stern belief that all 'pet' exotics are unhappy. There will always be people who can't care for animals getting animals, that is just a fact of life. You can't, or shouldn't run around banning everything from everyone trying to erase bad things from existence.

      • profile image

        crystal 

        5 years ago

        Seriously? This is a good thing! So many people have big cats locked up in small pens. What kind of life is that for an animal that naturally would run and hunt in a wide territory? Lots of these animals weren't properly kept, and lots were set free by irresponsible owners. Sanctuaries and rescues are too full to take the poor animals that need a place to live and have none. This is just as bad a problem, as having to euthanize all the dogs and cats that don't have homes. If we can't even responsibly take care of regular domestic pets, then we sure as hell can't properly care for these exotic creatures. Maybe a few of you can, but it's not good enough, when many CANNOT. It's selfish to THINK "Oh, I just have such a strong loving connection to my lion that paces it's small pen, it's happy... cause it makes me happy, so it has to be happy and healthy" Get real!!!

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        5 years ago from New York

        Cuttlerfish, I think zoos can be poorly run and private owners can be very good, and vice versa. The nature of their accreditation status has nothing to do with it. Many places that are well-respected now started out as 'private'. Many groups want it eliminated because they want no captivity, period. It is a wonderful way to destroy potential opportunities for animal caretakers. The zoos are the next target.

      • cuttlerfish profile image

        Philip Speed 

        5 years ago from Skegness UK

        Much rather see these animals in the wild, they are always the ones that suffer in the long run. Correctly run Zoos have a place but I would not allow private owners myself. Thanks.

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        5 years ago from New York

        Hi independentminded, big snakes aren't really so dangerous as long as you know what you're doing. I do not advocate zero laws against owning large cats but I am against completely banning them.

      • profile image

        independentminded 

        5 years ago

        Owning a dog, an (ordinary) cat or an exotic bird is one thing, but owning huge snakes and wild animals, such as lions, tigers, can be extremely dangerous and is really tempting fate. I can't blame a state for putting up laws against owning such pets.

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        5 years ago from New York

        Hi Timothy, this hub addresses the animals that are now regulated or banned due to a recent law that came to be after the Zanesville incident. Fish aren't illegal for the purposes of public safety. I don't see why killifish are important to you unless you need them for experimental purposes.

      • profile image

        Timothy Allen 

        5 years ago

        I wish you had also covered some of the fish that are kept as aquarium pets/tropical and native fish also kept as aquarium pets. I understand things like the Snake head or Purana, but things like Killifish that are native to all parts of the U.S. I would really like for someone to explain that one to me.........

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        5 years ago from New York

        Venomous snakes are listed as restricted, the genuses listed are Atractaspididae, Elapidae, Viperidae, and Boomslang and twig snakes. Spiders and insects aren't listed.

      • profile image

        Carissa 

        5 years ago

        What about poisonous snakes, spiders, insects ect???

      • profile image

        Stacy 

        6 years ago

        Doesn't our government have better things to do besides taking people pets away. There is far more things that need to be done maybe like drug trafficking.

      • davenmidtown profile image

        David Stillwell 

        6 years ago from Sacramento, California

        Hello Melissa A Smith: no it is not your fault that these animals were previously unregulated....but it is my responsibility if I choose to own an animal...exotic or otherwise. I am not sure I want the Govt to make a law for every possible choice I may make. Some of this requires plain old common sense... We had an alligator for many years at a fish store I used to work at... The enclosure requirements mandated by the state would have cost over $100,000. to build and more money to operate... though at that time there were no regulations against owning such a creature. The same responsibility exist for people who own cats and dogs. Ferral cat populations destroy native bird populations. Ferral hogs destroy entire ecological systems. The pet shelters are full of pets that have been abandoned. All of this is our responsibility as humans who choose to own pets. Yes, there are great pet owners out there...but they seem to be out numbered by people who don't get their pets spayed or neutered, who do not take care of their pets, or who may just simply abandon them.

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        6 years ago from New York

        Hello davenmidtown, It's not our faults that these animals were previously completely unregulated. Of course there will be incidents, just as with any other pet animals. I don't think that these animals should be banned without exploring other options, but that is done because it is the easiest option, and they are rarely temporary. Thank you for commenting.

      • davenmidtown profile image

        David Stillwell 

        6 years ago from Sacramento, California

        Hello Melissa: It is always interesting to me to read these kinds of posts. I work with insects so am constantly having to deal with invasive species. When people bring animals into an area where they are not native it becomes an issue...regardless of the animal. The issue is not the animal it is always the keeper. Laws have to be written for everyone because of "Crappy" people who do not care for, build safe structures for, etc. for their pets. A good addition to this very informative article would be how to use the law to exotic pet owners advantage. How do you go about getting a permet for a zoo, or a preserve, etc. Because my work with insects is often out in the field, I can tell you that I have come across an allegator in a marsh here in N Carlifornia. Once, I was not permitted to enter an area because someones pet lion was loose. The lion (male) was stalking horse back riders through the grassy fields (N California)... when spotted, the rider called fish and game who came out to kill it. Fortunately for the lion... the owner showed up... he had a local zoo... very small... opened the tail gait and said Get in... and the lion got in, when in its cage and off they went for home. The fish and game did not have any training or tools to deal with the lion or the allegator... The allegator was destroyed... While I am not opposed to people owning pets, exotic or otherwise, I think the law is spot on. Yes, it is strict, but until humans take responsibility for their pets... the laws need to be strict. It is hard enough to have people put their dogs on a leash or make their children behave.

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        6 years ago from New York

        @Shaddie, it was signed into a law yesterday with smiling faces. Just more examples of the hatred and disrespect that pet owners face.

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        6 years ago from New York

        Thank you for your comment and info Kelly. You’re probably right that spider monkeys are similar to capuchins, I have no experience with either and it’s hard to get unbiased information about them, so I did the bolding on a whim. It was hard to determine and communicate to people what I mean by ‘level of danger’ as of course, many of these species can cause great harm in bad situations, just as with many domesticated pets. I wanted to state that some of these animals absolutely cannot kill, which is important, and others can only cause pathetic amounts of damage due to small size, outside of disease. I didn’t bold anacondas because I assumed they aren’t commonly kept like Burmese pythons, but I could be wrong. I would rather overestimate an animal’s potential danger than underestimate it, as I don’t seek to be dishonest in any way with people on this subject.

      • profile image

        kelly 

        6 years ago

        Ok, Melissa not sure if you got the information somewhere or if you base it on opinion, but some of the animals that you didn't mark as limited threat to humans I disagree with. I'm going to speak from my 17 years working with numerous exotic species. I just want to offer my thoughts up on the list

        1. Spider monks; no more threatening than a Capuchin

        2. Now let's talk snakes. The rock pythons and anacondas ok ya they get big, but as a threat to humans no not really. Those of us in the herp world that own the big snakes know we are dealing with a big responsibility. I know there are crappy owners out there but Ohio isn't florida these guys won't survive Ohio weather if they get loose. The big constrictors got a bad rap when they first made their way over here. I don't think people realize that when the snakes initially came over they weren't immature babies they were a couple years old and already were large and in charge, and wild big constrictors definitely can be grumpy. The wild ones will hiss, strike, and anything else they can do to get away from the unknown. People have assumed that the captive bred retics, burmese, rocks, condas are all going to be like their wild counterparts and that simply isn't true.

        I will not sit here and blow smoke up anyone's rear and say the bite risk isn't there with any animal foreign, domestic, wild ,exotic, hell humans even bite lol. I however understand and respect that risk, and for my home state to say I can't have my hobby nor my career is just insulting. I pride myself on accurately teaching about critters and Mother Earth.

      • Shaddie profile image

        Shaddie 

        6 years ago from Washington state

        Another shitty ass law made for shitty ass reasons. Excuse the language, but when I heard that this bill had passed and so many previously kept animals were suddenly thrown onto the restricted list nearly overnight, I wanted to cry. I don't even live anywhere near Ohio, but I can understand the destruction this will cause and I have witnessed the pain in people who have had to give up their animals due to factless, pointless, ruthless governmental control. This country is going to pot, and more often then not I consider moving elsewhere.

      • profile image

        GEMO 

        6 years ago

        Sounds like 'Big Brother' at work to me! Sure, perhaps rules and regulations governing exotic animal ownership of animals that absolutely do not belong in the private sector; animal species with a reputation for being dangerous or lethal. To group all exotic animals into one category is the lazy man’s out and too imposing on people, in general. Where is the line going to be drawn between our rights as citizens in the United States and the Government dictating our every whim with consequences? Not fair; and, I don’t like it at all; and, neither should you. If people do not unite and take a stand to protect themselves against Government enactments, we, the people of the United States will eventually become victims of a dictatorship, our Government. The Government cannot even control themselves; so, why allow them to get into our business? I feel the same way about State Governments. We are allowing the Governments to herd us around like sheep, and doing nothing to stop their interference in our rights as citizens in what is supposed to be a free Country. Agreed and accepted, regulations of animals that plainly do not belong in a private home should be scrutinized; but again, to lump all exotic species under one big umbrella is just plain stupid! All the Government is doing is making its’ citizens go underground to get away from its’ control, because if someone wants an illegal pet, they’re going to do whatever it takes to have what they want. There has to be a compromise between the entities of you and me. Use your brains people! Fight for your rights.

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        6 years ago from New York

        Thank you cruelkindness. I'd say for certain that this ban has been formed on false pretenses, and has permanently banned species that cannot qualify as being a 'danger to the public' in Ohio, having zero numbers of fatalities caused in the US.

      • cruelkindness profile image

        cruelkindness 

        6 years ago from an angle view.

        Knowledge for my semantic memory.

        Not sure if this law is good thing or bad.

        Cruelkindness (Subliminally Thoughtless)

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        6 years ago from New York

        Thank you SidKemp

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