Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums take Quebec government to task over
exotic animal exhibit that puts tigers on public displays in frighteningly small pens
Ottawa (August 13, 2018) — Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA) today denounced the decision by the organizers of Festivent, a summer festival in Lévis, Québec, to allow the public display of tigers in pens just a few square meters in size.
“These displays not only put the public in danger if not managed properly, but also cause severe distress to the animals,” according to CAZA’s Executive Director, Dr. Susan Shafer.
Currently, permits to show these unusual and sensitive animals are provided to individuals and organizations that lack the necessary expertise in animal welfare. Enforcement measures that are applied inconsistently across the province simply serve to make a bad situation worse.
This event continues to highlight the need for stronger regulatory and enforcement measures in Quebec and other provinces to manage exotic animals. Without stricter legislative measures, road-side zoos and events such as the one at Levis, will continue to thrive at the expense of the animals’ safety and well-being, and the safety of people who are not aware of the dangers of interacting with exotic species.
Out of the many zoos operating in Canada, in the province of Quebec, only seven are accredited by CAZA. These institutions have taken it upon themselves to fill regulatory gaps in the provincial system by voluntarily commiting to internationally recognized animal welfare standards rooted in science and ethics.
CAZA’s animal welfare standards are being recognized and enforced across other provinces in the country. Last year, the Government of New Brunswick demonstrated leadership on this issue by tabling legislation which imposes stricter measures to ensure that those who choose to care for exotic animals are adhering to CAZA’s internationally recognized best practices in animal welfare and public safety.
As we continue to do, we encourage the Government of Quebec to do the same.
Founded in 1975, CAZA is the leading animal welfare standards-development organization in Canada. Its standards-development process includes expert opinions from researchers, biologists and academics to ensure the 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. These standards are currently the only pan-Canadian set of standards mandating zoological facilities in the country.
For More Information:
Dr. Susan Shafer, Executive Director
Canada’s Accredited Zoos & Aquariums (CAZA)
613-627-3779 ext. 221