Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Tragic Cost Of Deregulation

You have no doubt heard about the tragedy in Zanesville Ohio where 48 exotic animals including 18 Bengal tigers were shot and killed all due to a Republican governor’s obsession with deregulation.
In case you missed it…Terry Thompson legally kept 56 exotic animals on his property in the Zanesville area of Ohio.  Included were numerous lions, bears, wolves, monkeys and 18 of the world’s 1400 remaining Bengal tigers.  Over the years Mr. Thompson’s neighbors had complained to authorities about wild animals running loose having escaped Mr. Thompson’s property.  Authorities visited Thompson 30 times over the years in response to these complaints; but there was little they could do.  You see Ohio is one of 10 states that have no regulations regarding the ownership of exotic or dangerous animals.
Apparently Mr. Thompson became so upset with his neighbor’s complaints that he opened the gates and released all of the animals before committing suicide.  Responding to reports of wild animals running loose, authorities were forced to shoot and kill 48 of the animals, including all of the rare tigers.  When asked why the animals were not tranquilized, authorities said that they were concerned that they might not be able to locate animals that had fled after being hit with a tranquilizer dart.  They feared that if not found quickly the animal might awaken after the drug had worn off and begin to terrorize the surrounding area.  Noted animal conservationist, Jack Hanna, supported the decision to put the animals down.
Democratic Governor Strickland had issued an executive order in his final days in office banning ownership of exotic animals as a danger to society.  A visibly squirming Republican Governor Kasich, who had purposely allowed the executive order to expire, said he did so because enforcing the ban “would hurt small businesses.”
This is just another example where the Republican obsession with deregulation benefits the few at the expense of the many.  Sadly, this tragedy could have been prevented but free enterprise got in the way.  And while this may just be one incident, it is just more evidence that this sick, crazy belief that nothing but nothing should stand in the way of making a buck is the reason we are in the economic mess we’re in. 
You know that we have run off the rails when public safety takes a back seat to turning a profit.  

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