Testimony Begins In Lawsuit Over Exotic Animals Law

Dec 10, 2012

An animal owner has told a federal judge that Ohio's new regulations on exotic animals would wipe out most of her business.

Cyndi Huntsman also testified today that a requirement that animals receive a microchip for identification would put animals at risk because of sedation during surgery. Huntsman owns Stump Hill Farms near Massillon. She exhibits bears, lions and tigers to schoolchildren and the elderly through educational programs. She's one of four owners suing the state over the new law claiming it violates their property and First Amendment rights. The state defends the law as a common sense measure to address the growing public safety problem of private ownership of exotics animals. The Humane Society of the United States has joined Ohio officials in defending law that it strongly supported. The organization contends it has an interest in the case's outcome because it is pushing similar laws nationwide.