Exotic animal laws in SC get a closer look

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - South Carolina is one of 12 states with no regulations on exotic creatures. After more than 50 wild animals were set loose in Ohio this week, a local senator has re-introduced a bill to make exotic animal laws in the Palmetto State much stricter.

In a statement to Live 5 News, Senator David Thomas says 'there's an ongoing importation of exotic animals into South Carolina which endangers the environment and human life.

'South Carolina is one of twelve states that does not limit or outlaw exotic creatures and I again call on the South Carolina legislature to deal with this issue before our state experiences a real problem.'

Thomas' plea is being heard around the state and local exotic animal doctor Jose Biascoechea says the incident in Ohio should be the spark that gets stronger exotic animal laws in SC.

"Around here they're unfortunately pretty lax," says Biascoechea.

The doctor has cared for exotic animals for the last 11 years at his Mt. Pleasant practice. And he says he's seen many different creatures come through his office doors.

"We just see such a mix of species that to us the unusual is kind of usual," he says.

Dr. Biascoechea says passing a bill like the one Thomas has introduced for the third time may not be the hard part.

"I think the harder part is enforcing the law," says the doctor.

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