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31May

Federation of Canadian Municipalities urges federal role in push for more stringent exotic animal rules

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) today sent a reminder to the federal government that it has a role to play in cleaning up the national mess around exotic animal and zoo licensing.

Meeting at their Annual Conference in Niagara Falls today, FCM members voted in favour of an emergency resolution from the Atlantic Mayors’ Congress that calls on the federal government to play a leadership role in forging a pan-Canadian approach to exotic animal regulation.

In Canada, provincial governments are responsible for regulating the keeping of exotic animals, but many have tended to leave much of the enforcement to municipalities. The federal government has residual responsibility for the movement of exotic animals between provinces and across the border as well as in relation to environmental and public health concerns.

The resolution, moved by Campbellton, NB, mayor Bruce Macintosh, also recognizes and supports the efforts of Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA) for more stringent rules on exotic animals and the licensing of zoos and aquariums.

The Atlantic mayors pushed for this resolution in response to the tragedy that claimed the lives of two Campbellton boys last August. The brothers were asphyxiated in their sleep by an African rock python.

CAZA Executive Director Massimo Bergamini applauded the members of the municipal federation for their support.

“On behalf of Canada’s accredited zoo and aquarium community, I want to thank the Federation of Canadian Municipalities for its critical support on this issue.”

“Mayors and councilors know first hand the public safety, animal welfare and environmental issues that can arise when exotic animals are not properly cared for; just as they know that municipal governments do not have the legislative authority or the inspection and enforcement resources adequate to the task”.

“We’re confident that this strong national support will help bring the federal government to the table and help break down the policy and political silos that have created the current patchwork of hard-to-understand-and- enforce rules and regulations across the country”.

SOURCE Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA)

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