Bills to ease restrictions on owning and breeding large carnivores in Michigan are likely to come up again in 2013.
Governor Rick Snyder recently vetoed the legislation because of language he said would compromise public safety.
Republican state Senator Joe Hune said the measure has attracted unfair criticism. He said many opponents cite an incident in Ohio a year ago, when a man deliberately freed a number of dangerous exotic animals he owned.
“That dirtbag in Ohio that let all those animals loose would absolutely, in no way shape or form, be legal in Michigan, even under the bills we adopted,” Hune said.
Governor Snyder said he does support a part of the legislation that would let people interact with bear cubs up to 36-weeks-old at petting zoos.
Bill sponsors say they’ll reintroduce both measures as separate bills.
State lawmakers begin their new session Wednesday.