Owner of seized exotic animals argues Ohio law exemption

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The owner of five tigers and other exotic animals seized from a northeast Ohio farm is asking a judge to find her exempt from the state law that tightened restrictions on keeping dangerous wild animals.

Owner Cyndi Huntsman argues that Stump Hill Farm near Massillon was exempt from those permit requirements under the law’s wording when it took effect in January 2014 because the site was a wildlife rehabilitation facility that already had a different permit for educational purposes. Thus, her attorney argues the state didn’t have jurisdiction to move the animals, which were taken last month.

State officials had considered Stump Hill to be the last large facility not complying with rules enacted after a suicidal man released lions, tigers and other creatures from a Zanesville-area farm in 2011.

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