In response to the tragic bloodshed that occurred in Zanesville, Ohio, on Tuesday, the governor of Ohio has issued an executive order that directs state agencies to increase inspections of facilities that harbor exotic animals and sets up a hotline for the public to report unsafe exotic-animal situations. While PETA is glad that the governor is finally taking action on this issue, it is too little, too late, for the dozens of animals who were shot dead in Zanesville.
The executive order does nothing to address the fundamental problem—the fact that the state of Ohio allows private citizens to keep wild animals, which poses a danger to both animals and people. Just last year, a privately held bear mauled and killed a young man in Cleveland. That’s why PETA is calling on the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to exercise its authority to implement emergency regulations to prohibit the keeping of exotic and wild animals immediately.
The governor’s executive order indicates that a legal framework for regulating dangerous wild animals will be proposed by November 30, but there is no need for delay: A ban on the private ownership of wild animals should be put in place right away.
Exotic and wild animals kept as pets always pay the price, whether they are shot and killed, as happened in Zanesville, or confined to backyards, basements, or garages, forced to lead lonely, desolate lives that are devoid of anything that they would experience naturally in the wild.
PETA, along with other animal protection organizations, sanctuaries, zoological facilities, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), condemns the private ownership of exotic and wild animals as pets—both for the animals’ protection and the public’s safety.
Please click here to visit the Ohio Department of Natural Resources website and politely urge the agency to exercise its authority to implement emergency regulations to prohibit the keeping of exotic and wild animals. Let’s help ensure that a tragedy like the one in Zanesville has little chance of happening again.