OTTAWA (February 2, 2021) –
Canada’s accredited zoos and aquariums offer a controlled environment for both domestic and non-domestic animals. As members of CAZA each of the 29 facilities operate and care for their animals using industry standards placing animal welfare, conservation, education, and public engagement at the highest priority.
The pandemic has forced everyone to re-double efforts in all areas of operations, including animal welfare. Our Accreditation Commission reinforced the need to enhance personal protective equipment, our industry banned together through a reopening committee developing Canada-wide safety measures. The result was a 2020 season that saw all of member institutions reopen across Canada without incident.
2021 has brought its own challenges, the increase in COVID-19 cases across Canada, the rate and timing of vaccinations, and the current mood around travel at this time has created uncertainty. Our 29 accredited members cannot control this; what we can do is be vigilant in our efforts to be ready to open when permitted, using the safest protocols available as we balance health with economic activity.
Canada’s accredited zoos and aquariums have begun to prepare for the 2021 season, our reopening committee has met and will continue to do so. Our industry objective is to build on 2020. As we prepare for the 2021 season, we would like to engage with you to identify and establish how accredited zoos and aquariums can make use of point-of-care tests and any other technological developments.
The recent report by Canada’s Industry Strategy Council calls for increased testing in Canada through collaboration between the Canadian industry and the public health system. This is our effort to work with the health system to bring rapid testing to our sector.
We are requesting an opportunity to meet with you to discuss how we can open safely and make use of health technologies.
We wish you, and those around you, the best of health.
Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums
cc: Provincial Minister of Health
CAZA Institution (Province)