OVMA testifies in support of wild and dangerous animal legislation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE COLUMBUS, OHIO _ MARCH 22, 2012 Ð The Ohio Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA) testified yesterday in support of Senate Bill 310, which would regulate the ownership of dangerous and wild animals in Ohio. The OVMA has long advocated that the private ownership of certain species should either be prohibited or significantly restricted, a policy in line with that of the American Veterinary Medical Association. ÒAnimal ownership is a substantial responsibility, not only to the animal but to humans as well,Ó said OVMA President Dr. Ryan Zimmerman. ÒWhen the animal in question is a tiger or a bear, the potential for injury or illness to the animal, its owner and the entire community grows exponentially. Senate Bill 310 seeks to address these joint responsibilities of public safety and animal well-being.Ó Testifying on behalf of the OVMA at WednesdayÕs hearing was Dr. Kevin Corcoran, whose veterinary experience includes several of the species addressed in the bill. In his testimony, Dr. Corcoran reminded committee members that the species listed as Òdangerous wild animalsÓ and Òrestricted snakesÓ in Senate Bill 310, through no fault of their own, can represent a serious danger in terms of physical safety and/or disease transmission to humans, pets and livestock. ÒSome may question the inclusion of certain animal species on this list, thinking that on appearance they pose no serious risk of causing physical harm,Ó said Dr. Corcoran, Òbut it is important to recognize that certain animal species are hosts to and can transmit zoonotic disease agents to humans, resulting in serious and sometimes deadly consequences.Ó The OVMA has actively followed the issues involved with dangerous and wild animal ownership for several months and will continue to offer scientific and animal behavior perspectives on the various components of this and other animal-related proposals.

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ABOUT THE OVMA The Ohio Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA) is a non-profit organization providing services to its members in the areas of continuing education, advocacy on public policy matters, and access to variety of professional resources. The OVMA represents more than 2,400 veterinarians practicing in various fields and specialties. The OVMA’s principal purpose and mission is to foster life-long learning, stewardship, compassion and community in veterinary medicine. Ê FOR MORE INFORMATION Ohio Veterinary Medical Association Jack Advent, Executive Director 3168 Riverside Dr. Columbus OH 43221 614.486.7253 / 800.662.OVMA kdp@ohiovma.org www.ohiovma.org

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