130th Ohio General Assembly
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H. B. No. 352  As Introduced
As Introduced

129th General Assembly
Regular Session
2011-2012
H. B. No. 352


Representative Phillips 

Cosponsors: Representatives Antonio, Ashford, Garland, Letson, Murray, O'Brien, Ramos, Szollosi, Fedor, Goyal 



A BILL
To amend section 1531.99 and to enact section 1531.40 of the Revised Code to prohibit the future acquisition of a dangerous exotic animal, to require a person owning a dangerous exotic animal on the act's effective date to register it with the Division of Wildlife, and to declare an emergency.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF OHIO:
Section 1.  That section 1531.99 be amended and section 1531.40 of the Revised Code be enacted to read as follows:
Sec. 1531.40.  (A) On and after the effective date of this section, no person shall acquire by any means a dangerous exotic animal.
(B) A person who owns a dangerous exotic animal on the effective date of this section shall register the animal with the division of wildlife not later than sixty days after that date. A registration may be issued if both of the following apply:
(1) The person has not been convicted of an offense involving the abuse or neglect of any animal pursuant to any local, state, or federal law.
(2) The person has not had a license or permit regarding the care, possession, exhibition, breeding, or sale of animals revoked or suspended by any local, state, or federal agency.
The care and disposition of dangerous wild animals owned by a person who is not eligible for a registration under this division shall be conducted in accordance with rules adopted under this section.
(C) The chief of the division of wildlife shall adopt rules under section 1531.10 of the Revised Code that establish both of the following:
(1) A requirement that the owner of a dangerous exotic animal who registered the animal under division (B) of this section have the animal microchipped, and requirements and procedures governing that microchipping;
(2) Any other requirements and procedures that are necessary to administer this section, including requirements governing the disposition of dangerous exotic animals owned by persons who are not eligible for registration under division (B) of this section.
(D) This section does not apply to any of the following:
(1) The division of wildlife;
(2) A facility that is an accredited member of the American zoo and aquarium association or that is under mentorship of the association;
(3) An accredited member of the American zoo and aquarium association or an entity that is under mentorship of the association that is conducting educational or other activities with dangerous exotic animals outside of the facility that is operated by the member;
(4) A humane society;
(5) A veterinary hospital or clinic;
(6) A wildlife sanctuary;
(7) A research facility as defined in the "Animal Welfare Act of 1966," 80 Stat. 350, 7 U.S.C. 2131, as amended;
(8) A vocational school, college, university, or other educational institution;
(9) A traveling public show or circus that uses dangerous exotic animals as an integral part of the show or circus performance and that keeps the animals in this state only during the time period when the traveling public show or circus is performing in this state;
(10) An individual who does not reside in this state and is traveling through this state with a dangerous exotic animal, who has the animal confined in a cage at all times, and who is in this state not more than ninety-six hours;
(11) A law enforcement agency;
(12) Any other entity designated by the chief in rules adopted under this section.
(E) As used in this section:
(1) "Dangerous exotic animal" means any of the following:
(a) A large cat other than a cat commonly known as a house cat;
(b) A nonhuman primate, except a nonhuman primate that provides support or assistance for a mobility impaired person;
(c) An alligator;
(d) A crocodile;
(e) A constricting snake;
(f) A venomous snake;
(g) Any other animal designated by the chief in rules adopted under this section.
(2) "Humane society" means an organization that is organized under section 1717.05 of the Revised Code.
(3) "Wildlife sanctuary" means a nonprofit organization as described in section 170 of the "Internal Revenue Code of 1986," 100 Stat. 2085, 26 U.S.C. 170, as amended, that operates a place of refuge where abused, neglected, unwanted, impounded, abandoned, orphaned, or displaced dangerous exotic animals are provided care for their lifetime or released back to their natural habitat and, with respect to an animal possessed by the organization, that does not do any of the following:
(a) Use the animal for any type of entertainment;
(b) Sell, trade, or barter the animal or the animal's body parts;
(c) Breed the animal.
Sec. 1531.99.  (A) Whoever violates section 1531.02 of the Revised Code, or any division rule, other than a rule adopted under section 1531.25 of the Revised Code, is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.
(B) Whoever violates section 1531.02 of the Revised Code concerning the taking or possession of deer or violates division (K) of section 1531.06 or section 1531.07 or 1531.29 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree on a first offense; on each subsequent offense, that person is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree.
(C) Whoever violates section 1531.25 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree.
(D) Whoever violates section 1531.02 of the Revised Code concerning the buying, selling, or offering for sale of any wild animals or parts of wild animals, the minimum value of which animals or parts, in the aggregate, is one thousand dollars or more as established under section 1531.201 of the Revised Code, is guilty of a felony of the fifth degree.
(E) Whoever violates section 1531.40 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree on a first offense and a felony of the fifth degree on each subsequent offense.
(F) A court that imposes sentence for a violation of any section of this chapter governing the holding, taking, buying, selling, or possession of wild animals, including, without limitation, section 1531.11 of the Revised Code, may require the person who is convicted of or pleads guilty to the offense, in addition to any fine, term of imprisonment, seizure, and forfeiture imposed, to make restitution for the minimum value of the wild animal illegally held, taken, bought, sold, or possessed as established under section 1531.201 of the Revised Code. An officer who collects moneys paid as restitution under this section shall pay those moneys to the treasurer of state who shall deposit them in the state treasury to the credit of the wildlife fund established under section 1531.17 of the Revised Code.
Section 2.  That existing section 1531.99 of the Revised Code is hereby repealed.
Section 3.  Division (B) of section 1531.40 of the Revised Code, as enacted by this act, does not apply until the ninety-first day after the effective date of this act.
Section 4.  This act is hereby declared to be an emergency measure necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety. The reason for such necessity is the need to protect the citizens of the state from injury or harm caused by dangerous exotic animals. Therefore, this act shall go into immediate effect.
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