State governments do not discriminate against responsible big cat owners

  • by: Jeremy Pabst
  • target: Various state and local governments

Since the tragedy involving exotic animals in Zanesville, Ohio, there has been a large debate about the private ownership of big cats and other exotic animals.  Although such animals belong in the wild, there are some people who own such animals that take great care of their animals and as a reult of the horrific event, there have been movements to create laws to ban owning these types of animals.  A question to ask is what is going to happen to the animals that the owners or the government agencies cannot find a new home for?
A better solution may not to be to ban the ownership completely, but to rather add regulations to the current laws that are in effect.  Instead of banning, they could offer some sort of classes or a way to learn about the proper way to care for the animals.  Set a limit of how many a person can posess (depending on city or township).  There could be some sort of written test with questions and scerios that could be used to detirmine whether or not a person is capable to take care of the animal(s) and if the person has the financial capability to do so.  Also, people should do research on such topics before choosing to take posession of such an animal.  Such a great animal takes great responsibilty to ensure the safety of the animal, the owners, and others.
These changes may provide the following benefits: to the state and communities: income from licences and the necessities of these animals (fencing, food, veteranary care, etc), people may also provide eduactional uses regarding the animals; to the owners: a companion that is different than any other type of animal, the experience of properly raising and caring for the animal; for the animal (if the person knows what they are getting in to): well cared for, a long and healthy life, and a possible way to save the species. 

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