The sixteenth version of SB 310 has passed out of the Ohio Senate on April 26, 2012 and thereafter moved to the Ohio House of Representatives. Even in its revised form SB 310 is over reaching and will have a huge and negative impact on Ohio’s reptile breeders and owners. SB 310 still allows any additional species to be added without legislative process by the Director of Agriculture through administrative rule. Standards of care remain undefined.
On May 2, 2012, the Ohio House of Representatives Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee held the Sponsorship Hearing on SB 310 wherein Senator Balderson presented SB 310 to the House Committee and provided limited proponent testimony. SB 310 received further committee hearings on May 8th and May 9th, 2012. Proponents and Opponents were both allowed to testify on those dates.
USARK opposes SB 310:
- Boa constrictor is still at risk because any additional species can be added after two years by administrative rule;
- The insurance/surety bond requirements as written in the current version are either not obtainable or may be so onerous that the cost will preclude nearly all breeders from meeting the requirements;
- The standards of care are not defined and administrative rules could impose standards of care that are so impossible as to represent a ban on all permits;
- Constrictor snakes continue to be included in the current version.
USARK has submitted a comprehensive amendment to protect the reptile industry. It will address concerns by lawmakers without being prohibitive to the reptile industry.
Key features of the USARK proposed amendment to Ohio SB 310 include:
Defined standards of care and best management practices for all venomous snakes that include requirements for locked enclosures, provisions for the attainment and financial responsibility for anti venom, labeling requirements for all venomous snakes, including signage, identification, and escape protocols.
A strict liability provision to make owners liable for any harms caused by restricted snakes.
Changed language to insurance provisions to allow homeowners insurance or property and casualty insurance (businesses) policies for liability coverage.
Defined protocols to protect first responders entering facilities or homes where restricted snakes are housed.
A viable alternative to a permit system.
Defined access for educational purposes to protect the public safety.
All constrictor snakes are removed.
New species can be added by legislative process only and not administrative rule.
Call for Action!
Please take action today! SB310 could be voted on as early as Wedsnday May 16.