Judge says 10 seized animals should be returned to Ohio farm

CANTON, Ohio (AP) — A judge says five tigers and five other animals seized from a northeast Ohio farm should be returned.

The state took the animals Wednesday from Stump Hill Farm in Massillon, saying it hasn’t met Ohio’s tightened restrictions on exotic animal ownership.

Owner Cyndi Huntsman argues that her farm is a licensed educational facility and thus exempt from permit requirements. Her attorney, John Juergensen, says that a related administrative appeal is still pending and that the seizure was premature.

He says a judge granted them a preliminary injunction Thursday but agreed with a state veterinarian’s recommendation that the animals shouldn’t be sedated and moved again for two weeks. Another hearing on the injunction is scheduled May 19.

A spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Agriculture says it stands by its actions.

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