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Exotic animal bill headed for vote

A proposal to regulate ownership of lions, tigers and other exotic animals in Ohio has cleared a legislative panel

This photo provided by the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium shows one of three leopards that were captured by authorities a day after their owner, Terry Thompson, released dozens of wild animals and then killed himself near Zanesville, Ohio. Officials said Thursday Oct. 27, 2011, that six exotic animals will be quarantined instead of being returned to Thompson's wife.The office of Ohio Gov. John Kasich says the state Department of Agriculture has ordered the quarantine. (AP Photo/Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Grahm S. Jones)

A proposal to regulate ownership of lions, tigers and other exotic animals in Ohio has cleared a legislative panel and is headed for a full Senate vote.

The state Senate's agriculture panel on Wednesday unanimously approved the bill after making additional changes. They included lowering the permit fees for certain snakes and giving the agriculture director the discretion to allow permits to those owners who might be shy of acreage requirements.

The legislation would ban new ownership of exotic animals at the bill's effective date. It would allow current owners to keep their pets by obtaining a new state-issued permit by 2014 and meeting other strict conditions.

The measure follows the October release of dozens of exotic animals by their suicidal owner from Zanesville. Authorities had to kill 48 animals.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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