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Ohio lawmaker introduces bill to ban new ownership of exotic animals, require background check
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) ' An Ohio lawmaker is proposing that owners of exotic animals be subjected to background checks and required to fence their property, months after authorities shot dozens of lions, tigers, bears and other wild creatures let loose by their suicidal owner.
A state senator who introduced the legislation Thursday says Terry Thompson would not have passed the proposed background check to acquire a permit for the animals.
Thompson had spent time in federal prison for possessing unregistered weapons. In October, he freed dozens of wild animals at his Zanesville property before killing himself.
State Sen. Troy Balderson's legislation would ban new ownership of exotic animals in Ohio, and current owners of large animals would be barred from keeping the creatures unless they met strict standards beginning in 2014.