Humane Society may defend exotic animal law

Federal judge allows Humane Society to join state in lawsuit over new Ohio exotic animals law


COLUMBUS — A judge has ruled in favor of allowing the Humane Society of the United States to join the state in defending Ohio’s new law regulating exotic animals.

Four owners filed a lawsuit in Columbus federal court last month, contending the restrictions threaten their First Amendment and property rights.

The Humane Society argued it has a significant interest in defending the law that it strongly supported, as well as an interest in the lawsuit’s outcome because the organization is pushing similar laws nationwide.

Federal Judge George Smith in Columbus on Monday ruled in favor of the group joining the suit.

Animal owners had opposed the move, saying the Humane Society’s interests are political and that the group failed to demonstrate how the state wouldn’t protect its interests.