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Ohio Panel Considers $500,000 Request For Exotic Animal Care

Columbus Zoo

A state budget panel will consider appropriating $500,000 more for dealing with creatures seized or surrendered under Ohio's crackdown on exotic-animal ownership.

The Department of Agriculture says it needs the money to provide adequate care. It's seeking $300,000 to pay for transporting animals from Ohio's temporary holding site to other qualified facilities. The other $200,000 would compensate facilities for housing and feeding seized animals while legal proceedings are pending.

Spokeswoman Erica Hawkins says those additions to the current $800,000 budget would be expected to meet the department's needs until the fiscal year ends next June.

She says the cost of enforcing the relatively new law wasn't initially clear, and the department always figured it might need to request more funding eventually.

The state Controlling Board will consider the request Monday.

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