OTTAWA (June 9, 2020) –
With the Ontario government announcement yesterday of moving forward with Stage 2 of the COVID-19 Re-Opening Strategy for most Ontario health regions, by next week 16 accredited zoos and aquariums across Canada will have opened, two additional (Toronto Zoo and Safari Niagara) open for drive-thru experiences only at this time.
“This is good news as the summer weather is upon us, it is also a recognition of the hard work accredited members have put in to making it happen”, said Jim Facette, Executive Director. Since late April Canada’s 30 accredited zoos and aquariums have come together sharing best practices with the knowledge things will be different going forward.
There remain some finer details to be clarified in Ontario to ensure facilities adhere to the necessary guidance, the experiences from other parts of Canada are sure to help. Mr. Facette added, “Ontario tourists will enjoy a healthy and safe experience as accredited zoos and aquariums implement their COVID-19 safety plans. In other parts of Canada visitors are impressed with accredited facility protocols.”
“Despite this positive trend, opening all of our accredited facilities in Quebec remains a work in progress.” Mr. Facette said. In a letter last week to the Quebec Minister of Tourism CAZA restated Quebec members led an effort resulting in the province wide plan that contained much of what they heard from their colleagues in the rest of Canada.
Mr. Facette added, “We need all of Quebec’s accredited facilities opened, summer tourist season is coming, they will need a few days to properly implement their safety plans.”
CAZA is the voice of zoos and aquariums in Canada. We are the leading organization in Canadian animal welfare standards development, our accreditation process includes expert standards set by leading researchers, biologists, and academia who ensure we reflect the latest in animal welfare research, organizational management, and public safety protocols. Through a science-based approach, CAZA’s accreditation bridges the ethical concerns with conservation and the public interest.
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