ELYRIA — State Representative Matt Lundy wants Gov. John Kasich to extend the ban on exotic animal ownership — not let it expire as he announced he intends to do.
“My understanding is that the governor was comfortable with extending it … and was going to be in support of extending that executive order. He appears to be weakening in this resolve,” Lundy, D-Elyria, said.
In a letter to Kasich, Lundy said the incident that prompted the ban — the bear mauling in which a 24-year-old Elyria man died — affected many in the community. Brent Kandra was mauled to death on Aug. 24 by a black bear at Sam Mazzola’s compound in Columbia Township.
“When it happens in your own district, it certainly hits close to home,” Lundy said of the tragedy.
Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland’s 90-day ban on the ownership and sale of exotic animals such as bears, lions and crocodiles is set to expire today.
The Kasich administration plans to reopen discussions about what regulations are needed, according to a spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, who said there was not enough public input before the initial ban was put in place.
The spokeswoman said the administration is concerned about the legality of the ban as well as the danger to state workers in enforcing it and the potential costs of caring for seized animals.
“I think it sends the wrong message about the severity of the situation,” Lundy said of letting the order expire.
Contact Kaitlin Bushinski at (440) 329-7144 or firstname.lastname@example.org.