Monday, 12 November 2012

Pet Lions, Tigers, and Bears: Should They Be Microchipped?

Many pet owners use microchips to ensure that if their animals are lost or stolen, they can be found. It’s a technology that has been used by humane societies, rescue groups, and clinics.
But what about exotic pets? Should tigers or lions be chipped?
The epicenter of this debate is Ohio, where four exotic animal owners have filed a lawsuit against the Ohio Department of Agriculture and its director David Daniels claiming that a new law which would mandate them to microchip exotic animals violated their First Amendment and personal property rights.
Represented by Attorney Robert OwensCaptive Born Reptiles’ owner Terry Wilkins, USDA-inspected Stump Hill Farm’s owner Cyndi Huntsman,  Paws and Claws Animal Sanctuary owner Mike Stapleton, and Sean Trimbach of the USDA-licensed Best Exotics LLC, were successful in delaying the enforcement of the new law until a hearing in mid-December
According to a Columbus clerk in the United States District Court of the Southern District of Ohio, a restraining order was also filed on November 6 and a conference is scheduled to meet November 28.  The clerk couldn’t comment on the details of the restraining order.
With all the exotic animal headlines since the tragic 2011 Zanesville, Ohio incident, it seems human rights would be less of an issue in this lawsuit; however, by “a violation of personal property rights,” the exotic animal owners mean that their animals will face health risks due to microchipping, which is lithium-based in Ohio because the state does not have readers to detect non-lithium chips. 

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