Questions from Canadian University regarding Ohio Exotic Animal Ban
I received an inquiry from a student at the Memorial University of Newfoundland regarding my stance on the Animal Alcatraz in Ohio. For those of you who asked, below is my response:
What do you believe was the big issue with the topic, what is your general opinion?
The primary issue with Terry Thompson was not the animals or the safety of the caging. The issue was Mr. Thompson’s mental condition. Mr. Thompson was well known within the industry to be mentally unstable and should have never been permitted to keep the animals. Inspectors should be focusing on issues other than caging – the quality of the caging was not the primary issue – the caging was not the root cause of the animal escapes. The root cause was the lack of mental capacity of Mr. Thompson.
Do you believe that this is something that is necessary to be worried about, was this precarious?
According to the laws and precautions that have recently put into place there is a belief that it is necessary to put these exotic animals under maximum security, naming Ohio ‘the Alcatraz for animals’ what are your thoughts on this?
Lastly what does a conservationist and animal advocate like yourself believe would be a more suitable or valuable way to deal with what the state believes is a problem because of the Terry Thompson Massacre?
First, the safety of the public must always be the primary concern for each of us. That being said, it is important to note that no member of the general public in Ohio has ever been killed by an exotic animal that resides in a properly built, properly operated, properly inspected facility.
Instead of requiring owners to spend countless thousands of dollars on caging (that is arguably already adequate), a better use of resources could have been to train handlers and inspectors alike how to identify individuals within the industry who do not have the capacity to care for the animals properly while ensuring the safety of the general public.
Instead, every action such as the one taken by Ohio politicians pushes many species that much closer toward extinction. The truth of the matter is, the blood of endangered species is dripping from the hands of every Ohio politician who voted for this law, and the blood is pooling at the paws of all animals.
The Ohio politicians are ill-advised….
Their ignorance has moved our planet one step closer toward the loss of many endangered species….
And, their legacy will not be as stewards of wildlife but rather as co-conspirators in their own eventual massacre of God’s creatures.