Senate Bill 310 (SB 310), also known as the wild and dangerous animals bill, has moved to the Ohio House after being approved by a vote of 30-1 in the Ohio Senate April 25.
Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) testified as a proponent of the bill and has been involved in discussions of wild and dangerous animal regulations for several years. OFBF served on a wild and dangerous animal taskforce, put together by Gov. John Kasich, which made recommendations that are part of the foundation of SB 310.
“Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s grassroots, member driven policy states that we support more specific regulation governing the housing, care and movement of exotic animals by private individuals. We support a ban on private ownership of certain species of wild and dangerous animals as long as a workable grandfather system is in place for existing owners,” said Spencer Waugh, OFBF director of legislative relations, during his testimony to the Senate Agriculture, Environment, and Natural Resources committee.
SB 310 will establish requirements governing the possession of dangerous wild animals and restricted snakes. The bill states that no unauthorized person shall possess a dangerous wild animal or restricted snake on or after Jan. 1, 2014.
“We appreciate the committee’s support in accepting several suggestions from our organization in the Substitute Bill, especially removing care standards from statute and allowing them to be set via the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) rulemaking process,” Waugh said. “This will bring consistency to ODA’s rulemaking procedures and ensure flexibility for the department as new science and best practices are developed. While we will continue to assist with improvements and clarifications to this piece of legislation, we support its passage and look forward to continuing the process with the sponsor and the House committee.”
On Wednesday, the House Agriculture and Natural Resources committee will be hearing sponsor testimony on the bill to begin the process of moving the bill through the House of Representatives.
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