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Should The U.S. Government Prohibit Ownership Of Dangerous Pets?

1883 words - 8 pages

Should the U.S. Government Prohibit Ownership of Dangerous Pets?

American Government and Politics

From tigers to crocodiles, it is simple as ABC: they are wild dangerous animals. Nowadays keeping of wild and exotic animals as home pets has become normal practice in the U.S. More and more people brag with the fact of owning tigers, wolves, bears and even crocodiles at home. Often bought as babies, when exotic pets become too much to handle, they cannot be kept in small cages anymore. Even captive-bred wild animals have wild instincts, and smaller animals can attack too. There is also the risk of getting such diseases as: Herpes B virus, Salmonella and even HIV and AIDS. It may come as a ...view middle of the document...

“Moreover, Mazzola had four tigers, one lion, eight bears, and a dozen wolves according to his May bankruptcy filing” (“A Mother’s Plea”).
However, such sad consequences might be prevented, if Ohio had statewide rules prohibiting private citizens from getting these animals. According to a database of publicized exotic-pet escapes and attacks since 1990 kept by the animal rights group Born Free USA, “Ohio ranks fifth in the number of episodes that hurt or killed a human — 14” (“States grapple with exotic, dangerous pets”). Besides, an article by Associated Press reports that, “The leader, Florida, has had 43, followed by Texas with 19, New York with 18 and California with 16. Alabama ties Ohio with 14” (“States grapple with exotic, dangerous pets”). However, death of Brent Kandra was not ignored by the officials and has pushed to actions Wayne Pacelle, the president and chief executive officer of the Humane Society of the United States. In his report, “Ohioans shouldn't own exotic animals”, Pacelle provides as with the examples that took place in the other states. “In May 2009, a 10-year-old girl in Columbiana County was mauled by a mountain lion kept as a pet by a friend's family. The mountain lion and African lions were kept in cages in the yard as a hobby” (Pacelle 2). He also continues, “Similar incidents occur in other states with lax or nonexistent laws. Most Ohioans won't forget the Connecticut woman who had surgery at the Cleveland Clinic in 2009 to restore her face after being savagely attacked by a chimpanzee kept as a pet and companion”. Although, most states regulate the keeping of dangerous wild animals, Ohio, no doubt, is out of step. In other words, the state has become something like a gathering place for people who fancy exotic animals.
Unquestionably, something needs to be done to avoid such consequences in future. From the landmark agreement between Gov. Ted Strickland, Ohio agricultural leaders and the Humane Society of the United States, we can see that measures are finally under the way. “Along with addressing farm-animal welfare, puppy mills and cockfighting, this agreement will prohibit the private possession of dangerous wild animals such as big cats, bears, wolves, large constricting and venomous snakes, alligators and crocodiles” (Pacelle 2). According to Pacelle, “Such measures will drastically reduce the chances of deadly wild-animal attacks and all of the suffering this entails. This agreement will move us toward much more humane, safe and sensible rules for wild-animal care” (2).
Some species of animals are unsafe to own. Rare, exotic or unusual pets often fit in this category, however some common animals belong to this category because of the diseases they present. Even common, non-aggressive household pets may pose safety risks. Nowadays more and more researchers and scientists are concerned about the germs and diseases that wild exotic pets may cause. According to Marian Henderson, the author of an article...

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