OTTAWA – November 2, 2017: Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA) applauds the Government of New Brunswick for tabling legislation to regulate the keeping of exotic animals in the province.
“We commend the government for showing leadership through legislation to protect the safety of the public, and ensure that measures are in place to guarantee the highest degree of animal welfare,” said Dr. Susan Shafer, Executive Director at CAZA. “Our thoughts continue to be with the family of Connor and Noah – it is our hope that with better coordination between agencies, a stricter permitting process, robust inspections, and enhanced educational outreach that these tragedies can be circumvented.”
With the input of CAZA’s network of animal welfare and organizational safety experts, scientists, and veterinarians, CAZA actively participated in the task force consultations in 2014 which created the 29 recommendations approved by the government of New Brunswick in 2015.
These recommendations include a requirement for zoos and aquariums operating in the province to be CAZA accredited.
The reality of exotic animals being kept in private homes and unaccredited facilities is a troubling, yet growing, trend. Legislation and regulation which imposes stricter measures to ensure those who choose to care for them have the expertise to do so is long overdue across the majority of provinces in Canada. If more provincial governments took the steps witnessed in New Brunswick, more road side zoos would be shut down, and threats to public safety would be minimized.
Founded in 1975, CAZA is the leading animal welfare standards development organization in Canada. Our standards development process includes expert opinion from researchers, biologists, and academia to ensure that our standards reflect the latest in animal welfare research, organizational management, and safety protocols. Through a science-based approach, CAZA’s standards bridge the ethical concerns regarding zoos and aquariums, and are currently the only pan-Canada set of standards mandating zoological facilities in the country.
Out of hundreds of zoos in Canada, only 31 have received CAZA accreditation through independent inspection.
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Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums