What States Allow Ownership of Exotic Animals?

The Humane Society of the United States provided Governing with a summary of the exotic animal laws in all 50 states after this week's events in Ohio.
by | October 20, 2011

Lions, tigers and bears were among the animals on the loose in Zanesville, Ohio, Tuesday when their owner released them from their cages before killing himself.

In the end, 49 of the animals, including rare Bengal tigers and lions, were killed by authorities as a public safety precaution, the Columbus Dispatch reports. A grizzly bear, two monkeys and three leopards are currently being cared for by the Columbus Zoo. After the ordeal, animal rights activists called into question the inadequate Ohio laws that allowed such an incident to take place. One state representative has pledged to introduce a bill that would ban the sale of exotic animals in Ohio, the Dispatch reports in a separate article.

The Humane Society of the United States, has provided Governing with a summary of the exotic animal laws from the 50 states. According to the document, seven states -- Alabama, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, West Virginia and Wisconsin -- have no laws regarding exotic animal ownership. Others may require a permit, if the state doesn't ban ownership outright.


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