FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
COLUMBUS, OHIO − MARCH 22, 2012 – 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.
“Animal ownership is a substantial responsibility, not only to the animal but to humans as well,” said OVMA President Dr. Ryan Zimmerman. “When 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.”
Testifying on behalf of the OVMA at Wednesday’s 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 “dangerous wild animals” and “restricted snakes” 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.
“Some may question the inclusion of certain animal species on this list, thinking that on appearance they pose no serious risk of causing physical harm,” said Dr. Corcoran, “but 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.”
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.
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.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Ohio Veterinary Medical Association
Jack Advent, Executive Director
3168 Riverside Dr. Columbus OH 43221
614.486.7253 / 800.662.OVMA