State fights order to return 10 exotic animals to Ohio farm

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The state is fighting an order to return five tigers and five other exotic animals seized from a northeast Ohio farm.

In a motion filed Wednesday, the state asks the Ohio Supreme Court to stop action in the Stark County case.

Stump Hill Farm in Massillon challenged the seizure, and a Stark County judge ordered the animals be returned by May 19.

The state argues that’s a “significant risk” to public safety and the animals’ health. It says the Department of Agriculture has oversight of dangerous wild animals, and the county court doesn’t have jurisdiction for such an order.

The state says the owner didn’t meet tightened restrictions on such animals.

The owner’s attorney calls the seizure premature because the animals weren’t endangering anyone and a related appeal is pending.

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