Federal judge upholds Ohio's new exotic-animal law

Seven people who sued Ohio over its new law cracking down on exotic animals say they're disappointed a federal judge has upheld it.

Their attorney, Robert Owens, says they plan to appeal.

State lawmakers passed the tougher restrictions after a suicidal man released dozens of his animals including bears, lions and tigers from his farm in Zanesville last year.

The people who sued say the new law forces them to join private associations with which they disagree and possibly give up their animals without compensation. They challenged a requirement animals be implanted with microchips for identification in case they get lost or escape.

The Columbus judge ruled Thursday the animal owners failed to prove their constitutional rights were violated.

Ohio officials have defended the law as a common-sense measure to address a public safety problem.