May 10, 2019 (Ottawa) – Statement from Dr. Susan Shafer, Executive Director of Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums on the results of the Ethics and Compliance Committee’s investigation into the Cherry Brook Zoo guinea pig euthanasia.

Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums has completed their investigation into the December 2018 guinea pig incident at Cherry Brook Zoo. The Ethics and Compliance Committee, composed of zoological and animal welfare experts, has met and reviewed the evidence regarding the guinea pig euthanasia. (Ethics and Compliance Complaint Resolution Process)

Based on the information available to us at this time, the committee’s findings are as follows:

  • There is no evidence that the method used was inhumane.
  • There is no evidence to support accusations regarding the supposed motivation for the euthanasia and the reported method of euthanasia in social media.

Animal welfare and public safety are the primary foci of CAZA. In the interest of the animals and the people who care for them, the Ethics and Compliance Committee has provided recommendations to Cherry Brook Zoo to help improve their euthanasia and nutrition programs as well as the communication and documentation of policies, procedures, and practices.

We understand the concern and the distress that the events have caused the Saint John community and the volunteers and staff at the zoo and hope that the review of both corroborated and un-corroborated evidence by experts in zoology and animal welfare can help put your minds and hearts at ease. We thank the many former staff, current staff, and consultants who took the time to speak to us, provide documentation, and answer our many questions.

About CAZA

Founded in 1975, CAZA is the leading animal welfare standards development and assessment organization in Canada. Its standards development process includes expert opinion from researchers, biologist, and academia to ensure that our standards reflect the latest in animal welfare research, organizational management, and public safety protocols. Through a science-based approach, CAZA’s standards bridge the ethical concerns regarding zoos and aquariums, and are currently the only Canadian set of standards mandating zoological facilities in the country. Out of hundreds of zoos in Canada, only 29 have received CAZA accreditation through independent inspection.

For more information: Dr. Susan Shafer, CAZA Executive Director,

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