Ohio gov calls proposal on exotics an improvement

ANN SANNER Associated Press Published:

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- A spokesman for Ohio Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik) says the Republican is comfortable with a state lawmaker's proposal to ban new ownership of exotic animals in the state.

State Sen. Troy Balderson plans to introduce legislation Thursday that beginning in 2014 would ban owners of lions, tigers and other large animals from keeping the creatures unless they met strict care standards.

Kasich spokesman Rob Nichols said Thursday the plan isn't everything the administration had sought but is such a huge improvement from current Ohio law that the governor is comfortable moving forward.

Efforts to strengthen state rules took on new urgency in October when authorities were forced to kill 48 wild animals after their suicidal owner freed them from his Zanesville farm.