Recently Legislation was signed into Law by Governor John Kasich to restrict the types of Primates and other exotic animals that people could own. In other states, Class III primates are allowed – which includes Capuchins, Spiders, Gibbons, Macaques, Vervets, etc. In Ohio, the list OUTLAWS Spiders, Gibbons, Macaques, Vervets, etc. It ALLOWS Capuchins, Lemurs, etc.
A pet monkey has never killed anyone. The public and politicians need more education on what is a dangerous wild animal and how exotic animal owners are experienced in keeping their animals safe. The tragedy in Zanesville was not a suicide and HE did NOT release his animals.
In March, the butterfly effect of the public rushing to justice, and the requirements for chipping, killed our beloved 29 year old Spider monkey, Nicole, as the ODA wouldn’t give her an exemption, and we were devastated when it caused her death. She was the center of our lives and our emotional support system. Now we cannot even hope to replace her due to the stringency of the law.
People of Ohio should have the right to own these primates as in other states with similar laws. Our girl was well trained to do a lot of assistance tasks, but because she was not trained by a non-profit, organization, they did not consider her a service monkey. My husband has a neuro-muscular disease, and we would lovingly train another Spider Monkey. They are so very smart, calm and laid back, and there is no reason for a ban on this intelligent species, nor any of the other monkeys mentioned above.
The government, John Kasich in particular, and the Ohio Department of Agriculture, should not have the right to limit our freedom to own animals of our choice, nor to make such restrictions that it bankrupts owners of beloved animals due to excessive insurances, or unnecessary enclosure requirements. Nor should the government be able to pass legislation that jeopardizes the lives of those spectacular animals, just because deep pocket organizations like PETA and HSUS back the legislation, and pay to pull the right strings to affect the laws. The regulations are CAUSING animals to die, and forcing people like ourselves who were born & raised in Ohio, and who have contributed greatly to the state economy year after year, to leave Ohio to go elsewhere finding places where our rights are not taken from us due to lack of education.
Our story is a sad one, and we still cry every day. The officers in the Ohio Department of Agriculture have not apologized or even commented on the damaged they caused to us our beloved Nicole. Candice Miller and Diana Pulver ignored our pleas for exemption for her, as well as Governor Kasich, but he can loosen the guidlines to accept all species of monkeys. Monkeys are not APES! Dogs and cats can cause more damage than most monkeys and no one is banning them!
The way the legislation is presented, they want the public to think that all exotic owners are irresponsible, second-rate citizens, but nothing could be further from the truth. Most exotic owners are very conscientious and take very good care of their animals and protect THEM from the public at large.
The Ohio Legislation has gone way over the top. Tell Governor Kasich and the Director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture (as well as the powers that control it), that they must allow ALL of the more intelligent species of monkeys to be included on the “Allowed List” so our girl has not died in vain and so that other primate owners are not subjected to the unfair costs and the extreme dangers associated with procedures that have never been required before.
Making sure exotic animals are well taken care of, and that pose no threat to the public is necessary, but banning exotics is removing our rights as citizens to be able to have the animals of our choice. Last time I heard, we still had the right to the pursuit of happiness in this country, but that right is being whittled away one lagislation at a time. Wake up people! The next legislation will take away YOUR right to own whatever dog or cat or bird you prefer to share your life with!