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Sunday, July 18, 2010

OAAO-Ohio Association of Animal Owners


July 14, 2010

Ohio Association of Animal Owners, a 10,000-member grassroots organization representing animal owners in the State of Ohio, opposes the recent “agreement” reached 6/30/2010 by Ohio Farm Bureau, Governor Ted Strickland, and Humane Society of the United States.

The proposed rule to prohibit possession and sale of certain non-livestock animals (declared “dangerous” by HSUS and the Governor) would severely impact breeders and exhibitors in Ohio who are federally licensed and inspected to ensure the safety of the public and the animals. Drive-through animal parks, educators and exhibitors throughout the state stand to lose if this prohibition is passed. The US Constitution (14th Amendment to the Bill of Rights) states “No State shall…deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law…” “Due process” generally guarantees that 1) property may be taken by the government only for public purposes, and 2) Owners of taken property must be fairly compensated. The rule proposed by HSUS and Governor Strickland violates both of these provisions. As it stands now, the Governor has agreed to “grandfather” those who own these animals at the time the rules take effect, but those owners cannot breed, sell, replace, or acquire additional animals. In other words, those owners are forbidden the use of their own private property, and will not be compensated for it. It is no different than the government taking away the guns or farms of Ohio citizens and not paying for them. For the federally licensed and inspected breeders and exhibitors, the cost will be far greater, as their businesses and very livelihoods will be affected. Ohio will suffer tremendous financial loss if this rule is passed; jobs will be lost, as will millions of dollars in feed, fencing, veterinarian care and other associated costs. This rule has been misrepresented as an effort to prevent people from owning “dangerous” animals as “pets”, but those are not the people who stand to lose the most; it’s the federally licensed and inspected businesses who will bear the brunt of the loss, along with the public who visits the animal parks and petting zoos and who cheers Obie the Tiger, mascot for the Massillon Boosters.

Ohio Farm Bureau does not represent exotic animal owners or dog breeders and had no right to enter into any agreement concerning those non-livestock animals, nor did the commodity groups who may have participated in the discussions. Exotic animal industry representatives and dog breeding industry representatives were excluded from the discussions, yet they are the ones being sold out to HSUS under this agreement.

Senate Bill 95, which Governor Strickland and Ohio Farm Bureau have committed to push through the legislature this year, will require Ohio commercial dog breeders who are federally licensed and inspected to tear down their existing facilities and rebuild them at approximately 3 times the cost. A facility that cost the owner $15,000 to put up will have to be torn down at the owner’s expense and rebuilt for approximately $45,000 – and that is only the beginning.

Ohio has, up until now, been a stronghold of agriculture. We are one of the few states that allows and encourages private entrepreneurship of exotic animals, and federally licensed and inspected commercial dog breeding without arbitrary limits imposed by radical animal rights activists. That makes Ohio a prime target for HSUS.

Ohio Association of Animal Owners has worked diligently for the past 20 years to safeguard the rights of animal owners in Ohio to conduct their legal businesses without interference from radical animal rights activists or from legislation initiated/encouraged by radical groups such as HSUS. We thought Ohio Farm Bureau and our Governor were on the same page with us, but the agreement of June 30 with HSUS indicates otherwise.

Victoria Galle’


Ohio Association of Animal Owners

Ohio Farm Bureau Governor Strickland Humane Society of the United States

Nothing to be proud of:

Almost a month ago, behind closed doors with very few people knowing, Ohio’s governor -after denouncing HSUS's agenda, was making deals with the farm bureau and the largest animal rights organization in the country. Almost a month ago, but the shock and reality of what was done remains fresh and raw like a cut with a rusty jagged blade. Meeting a thug in a dark alley would likely cause less harm than the smiling faces with invisible arms able to stab you in the back and watch you die-all while smiling to your face and saying pretty words without much meaning.

Ohio Farm Bureau’s (comments at this link are interesting, long as they don't remove more) own policy, they claim to follow, didn’t allow for the agreement to support SB95, ban exotic (the word used is “dangerous” but poor use of semantics) animals and support a cockfighting bill. On the surface, these may appear to be good to support but not when you look closer at the wording and effects of the bills for dog breeding~SB95~ and the cockfighting bill~HB108. No one involved is supporting cockfighting or abuse, cruelty and neglect of any animal-including dogs in commercial breeding kennels. Have people become so brainwashed by the media hype and images repeatedly shown by HSUS (Humane Society of the United States) that they have become unable to think for themselves and look at a larger picture? Vilifying all by the few abuse and neglect cases is hardly an honest representation of animal ownership—of any kind.

By signing an agreement, any organization or elected official is party to an unethical taking of personal rights, property and a means of income for many people. It’s to be expected by an animal rights organization such as HSUS, but not an elected governor or agricultural organization. Knowing they are well-versed in the agenda of HSUS makes it even more disturbing—they can’t claim ignorance of the tactics and goals. Respect for farmers remains, just not for those claiming to represent them.Many have voiced their opinion concerning the "agreement" and most farmers are ethical-something forgotten by those in high places.

The banning of “dangerous” exotic animals should never have been part of an agreement amongst the three entities. None has experience with, statistics to support or anything other than an agenda by using something not theirs to bargain away. If someone is hitchhiking down the road and knocks on your door asking for a car, you go next door and take your neighbor’s car and give the hitchhiker the keys—it’s called theft. Political “deals” of theft should be treated the same—THEFT is wrong, something most people learn at a young age-until they get too big for their britches and think everything belongs to them. Someone is following in HSUS’s footsteps and it’s not a good path.

Honesty, transparency and ethics were not any part of the "agreement." Teaching it to farmers at an OFB meeting is more than hypocritical-it's ridiculous. Practice what you preach-farmers and animal owners aren't the ones with honesty, transparency and ethics issues-OFB, Governor Strickland and HSUS are.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

How to Know the Real Dangers of Exotic Animals

All the biased and sensationalistic information we are bombarded with concerning exotic pet ownership would have one believing we should all be dead because of the danger. This is far from the truth as animals have been kept through all of recorded history and we still survive. Perhaps the true “danger” in keeping exotic pets is in using biased opinion as fact, repeating it often enough until it is believed?

The first step is an easy one- look for information by searching for information. You can research a particular animal or in general. There are many sites that will overwhelm the first part of any search, mostly based on opinion such as “They belong in the wild.” This is opinion and as our world gets smaller we may be better off learning to live WITH them rather than WITHOUT them.

Next, use critical thinking to decide if what is being presented is opinion or fact. If it is presented as fact, research what the claims are based on. Statistics? Opinion again? It can be a hard area to discern since much is presented as fact when a larger part is actually based on one or two experiences, personal ideology or media sensationalism to attract viewers and readers.

Third, you will need to look harder to find factual statistics but they do exist. The resource section lists one site very useful for facts, not fiction or hype. As for primate diseases, herpes B is often claimed to be a reason for banning primates while the CDC admits in a letter to a person (posted on the site) there has not been even one case of herpes B transmitted to a human in the private sector.

Fourth, consider all the risky activities most everyone is accustomed to being a daily part of life. It puts things in perspective a little more when you see statistics for drowning in the bathtub, horseback riding injuries, race car driving, stairways and more. The CDC does the job it was intended to during the limited disease outbreak prairie dogs were part of. Prairie dogs have since been removed from the ban and are legal to sell and own again.

Fifth, if you consider the risks too great for you or your family the best thing you can do is- not have an exotic pet. No one expects everyone to sky dive or even use the stairs. It is, however, others’ right to take risk they deem acceptable. The statistics show there is not as much danger in owning an exotic pet as claimed by some with other agendas.


Saturday, March 27, 2010

How to Adopt a Monkey as a Pet

I really dislike the use of the word "adopt" in reference to an animal of any kind. People adopt children, buy animals or sponsor the care of one elsewhere. If you sponsor a child in another country needing care, do you say you adopted him or her? Many words seem hijacked by the animal rights agenda and "adopt" is only one of them. The diluting of the meaning has went even further- I saw an ad to adopt a trailer (mobile home) the other day and almost fell off my chair! In interest of what is most often searched the title uses the word "adopt".

Learning how to adopt a monkey as a pet is not something everyone would choose to do personally. For those committed to doing so, here is some information. For those deciding to adopt a monkey by financially supporting one in a zoo or other facility there are also ideas given.

How to Adopt a Monkey as a Pet

Responsible Exotic Animal Ownership

"It's better to live with than without" ~Me

Animals of all kinds have been kept through history as far back as can be researched. Even Egyptians kept exotic cats and many were mummified along with humans. According to Wikipedia:

Fashionable Egyptian society tamed wild animals of all kinds, including baboons, lions, and gazelles, in menageries at wealthy households. Click on the green highlighted link to go to Wikipedia to read more.

A guest editorial done by Zuzana Kukol, co- founder of REXANO, can be found at BellaOnline titled "Tiger Huggers" and is an insider look at big cat ownership while the REXANO website is packed with information concerning responsible ownership of many different species, different owners experiences and opinions, statistics and much more. It's a refreshing look at responsible exotic animal ownership without the hype of an animal rights (or liberation) agenda while also including common sense, rational thinking along with statistics to support responsible ownership of exotics.

So much information the general public is bombarded with daily is incorrect, hyped and not rational. Let's hope enough people take the time to research many things we are faced with rather than be blindly led down the media trail of oblivion instigated by animal rights organizations like HSUS and PETA plus many other smaller entities with financial gain such as scamtuaries (sanctuaries that keep said animals while claiming no one else can do so properly) while making money off the keeping of the animals.

Many private owners do not make money from keeping their pets, do not take in donations and support their own they chose to keep- even some needing a new home- without attempting to harm the rights of others. If exotic owners are crazy it's only in respect to the majority of those using animals to make money like some organizations and 'sanctuaries' do and instead, footing the bill themselves while fighting just for their right to keep them.  I'd rather be labeled crazy by 'those' than be hypocritical, dishonest  and attempting to control others for my own gain.