New Ohio law banning people from buying exotic animals to take effect Wednesday

COLUMBUS, Ohio - This week a new Ohio law takes effect that bans people from buying dangerous exotic animals.

Under this new law, Ohio officials can also seize animals from current owners if those owners do not meet the state's requirements or are found housing an animal without a permit.

This law is an effort to strengthen Ohio's restrictions on exotic pets. Last October, Terry Thompson of Zanesville released 50 animals including black bears, mountain lions, and bengal tigers from his farm in eastern Ohio Authorities killed 48 of those animals and two were believed to be eaten by other animals. Thompson committed suicide.

The Department of Agriculture wants to spend $3.5 million to build and operate a facility to house exotic animals confiscated under this new law. It would be built in Reynoldsburg just east of Columbus but first the funding needs to be approved. A meeting is scheduled for Sept. 10.

The law takes effect on Sept. 5.

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