Editorial Exchange: Ontario Should Ban Dangerous Exotic Pets

Article excerpt

Editorial Exchange: Ontario should ban dangerous exotic pets

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An editorial from the Toronto Star, published Aug. 8:

It's the most horrific case in recent memory but the killing of two New Brunswick boys by a python isn't the first example of an exotic pet causing harm.

In Ontario alone, privately owned tigers have mauled and killed. A deadly Egyptian cobra escaped from its enclosure in a Toronto man's home a few years ago, forcing the evacuation of a nearby rooming house. And a 28-year-old Brampton man died after being asphyxiated by his pet python in 1992. Yet this province doesn't regulate exotic animals. That's left up to municipalities. The result is a patchwork system of different regulations varying from one Ontario town to another.

Some jurisdictions, like Toronto, have strict rules banning a wide array of exotic pets and creatures that are potentially deadly. But smaller municipalities, especially those with privately owned roadside zoos, are far more lax. And that puts people at risk. Residents of this province deserve equal protection through uniform laws banning dangerous exotic animals. Ontario-wide rules need to be strictly applied.

The shocking fate of Connor Barthe, 6, and his brother, Noah, 4, underlines the worst that can happen when restrictions on exotic animals are non-existent or go unenforced. The boys were evidently strangled by a four-metre African rock python overnight Sunday. …