Long 1 Pier-Luc Long Professor Jeanette Novakovich English 213 / 2 Lec BB 30 November 2010 Animal Welfare Regulations

in Zoos Introduction According to the Oxford Canadian Dictionary, a zoological garden (abbreviated to zoo) is ³a place where wild animals are kept for exhibitions to the public, breeding, study, etc.´ (1813) Zoos are popular among people of all ages but mainly with kids and families who go there to learn more about specific animals that they have never heard of or seen before. Many zoos not only include the animal facilities, they also include many other areas like waterslides, roller coasters, and many other activities. There are also many types of zoos, ranging from Safari parks to aquariums and roadside zoos to animal theme parks. Zoos, through the centuries, have provided ideal ways of examining animals and their behavior. It is known that many outbreaks in animal health and even human health have been made through zoos and their conservation practices. While zoos show many benefits, they also encompass many dark sides that are more or less known by the general public. Animal welfare activists have been fighting zoos and their ways of dealing with the animals for decades now to lower the rate of controversial activities. However, governments and people in charge have done very few things to improve the captive lives of animals. Decades-old regulations rule the fate of

Long 2 captive animals throughout the world and when the regulations are fair and working, they rarely are followed or inspected by authorities, which leads to the same faulty lifestyle in zoos: the treatment of captive animals is mediocre, their health is not dealt with, reproduction is almost impossible, endangered species are still threatened, and reintroduction is impracticable. All these facts come to show that regulations are poor or non-existent. What if the animal welfare is sub-standard and threatening to the animals? It is obvious that strict regulations and practices have to be enforced and followed in the zoos. I ± Treatment of Zoo Animals The treatment that animals receive in certain zoos is mediocre and is threatening to their lives, even for endangered species that should be protected by the government. It seems that the main goal of many zoos is to make money and not to showcase their animals in healthy and proper ways. The Kiev Zoo, for example, is one of many zoos that neglect animals either through their installations, the way the staff treats the animal, or many other aspects. Some of the main neglects that lead to the bad health, mental or physical, of the animals are the inadequate climate, habitat, and fauna. Although there is an effort made to have adequate installations for the animals, it is obvious that the habitats are not proper and that a zoo cage will never provide the same benefits as a natural environment would. Many animals show self-destructive behaviors because of their insufficient living space or the fact that they are unable to behave naturally in their enclosed room (inability to fly, swim, climb, run, hunt, etc.). Many animals have been found to behave in neurotic ways,

Long 3 up to the extreme of ³incessant pacing, swaying, head-bobbing, bar-biting, and selfmutilation.´ (³People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)´) While one would think that the natural behaviors change through the generations to be in accordance with their habitat, it is not the case. Newborns in the zoos still suffer from the restriction of their natural behavior; there is rarely any adjustment made to the cognitive behaviors of animals, wild or not. Other psychological anomalies that have been noticed are heightened aggressivity and fearful behaviors. It has also been noted that many animals have suffered physical change because of their adaptation-process (which is never completely over) to the sequestered life. Physical changes ranging from weight loss to distorted walks. (Anitel) The size of their habitat is the main cause of these physical anomalies as they are not able to move and behave in their natural ways (flying, running, hopping, etc.). Another proof of bad treatment in zoos is the way the management of zoos encourages the birth of animals. Captive breeding is mainly done because of the popularity of baby animals for visitors and the financial benefits that they provide. However, these new animals give zoos surpluses and, in many cases, the surplus animals are killed to make space for the new animals. The selective slaughter of surplus animals is a problem in many zoos and many zoo administrators have admitted to the culling of excess animals. There has even been ³recycling´ of surplus animals, meaning that they were fed to other animals, apparently a very economical way to feed zoo animals, while other animals are used as scientific experiments to help in the discovery of diseases, viruses and physical anomalies. While one would think that these procedures happen in

Long 4 underfunded zoos, in third-world countries, it also happens in zoos like the London Zoo and many other zoos in the UK. (³The Captive Animals¶ Protection Society (CAPS)´) An exemplary zoo for the bad treatment of animals would be the Kiev Zoo, a Ukrainian zoo. This controversial zoo has received bad ratings from animal welfare activists in the past few years, with a death toll of 51 animals in 2008. The zoo has been criticized for offering sub-standard facilities for their animals and hiring inappropriate employees that don¶t have any training or experience in the field. With the death tolls arising, the administration of Kiev Zoo blamed a visitor of poisoning the animals. It was also stated that the zoo has some of the worst facilities for animals in the world. Many other zoos have been noted of such faulty treatments. (³The world¶s worst zoos: Some places you don¶t want to bring the kids´) II ± Health of Zoo Animals Health is also badly dealt with in many zoos, mainly because of the inexperienced employees and the funds required for the medicine or to have experts deal with the animals. As previously stated, many physical problems are related to the improper cages and caring. Many viruses are transmitted from animal to animal or from human to animal. Plenty of animals are not immunized to human infections, as they would never come in contact with humans in their wild locations. There is also often an exchange of infections, bacteria and viruses between animals of different regions and species. Different animals live with different bacteria but once it is shared, it can be deadly and that often happens in the case of animals of the same genus but different species. (Wickins-Drazilová 27-36)

Long 5 The diseases that have been affecting most of the animals are bacterial or vectortransmitted, which means that they are transmitted by insects. Those diseases are mainly brought upon by factors like temperature, moisture and wind. Animals coming from different climates are exposed to diseases that their systems do not have the power to defeat and the diseases can lead to health hazards and even death in extreme cases. The aspects that the geographical locations of the wild animals bring are never well represented in foreign zoos. (Barbosa 131-135) Mental illnesses have been appearing in zoos where the facilities do not provide the necessities for the animals. Many animals have started behaving in self-threatening ways after being enclosed in their small cages and not having enough space to do what they would naturally do. Some of the main troubles that have been observed are ³incessant pacing, swaying, head-bobbing, bar-biting, and self-mutilation.´ (³People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)´) Other animals have shown signs o stress and depression from either being in large groups, for solitary animals, or alone and in small groups for animals that live in groups. The human interaction also is threatening to the animals¶ mental health, as they are not used to interact with humans. These illnesses seem minor but they can be dangerous for the animals; if their mental health is at stake, it usually reverberates on other aspects (physical, social, behavioral, etc.). While it is factual that zoo animals live a longer life, it doesn¶t mean that their sedentary zoo life is better than their dangerous wild life. While a long life is a good thing, it doesn¶t mean that it is ideal for the animal if they are missing necessary aspects of wild life like hunting, running, and other natural activities that animals in the wild engage to. The opposite is also probable because of all the added stress of captive life.

Long 6 For animals like elephants, captivity shortens their lives, according to studies. The main aspects that shorten the lives of zoo-born elephants are their inability to survive in conditions that are harsher than zoos, once they have been there. When reintroduction to the wild is done, many animals die because of that inability. (Lin) Reproduction in Captivity It is globally known that zoos strive on newborns as a major income and attract more visitors but as Dita Wickins-Drazilová states: It is generally thought that a zoo where animals successfully breed is a good one, and that it is necessary to worry about the welfare of animals living in zoos with a low reproduction rate. But is high reproduction actually an indicator of good animal welfare? Many successful zoo births are results of human intervention. In vitro fertilization, assistance during birth, or taking over the care of young ones are common practices in zoos. Such µµartificial¶¶ breeding can hardly be proof of animal welfare. (27-36) When the animals are captive, many things go against the natural reproduction schemes that they would usually engage into. Reproduction is systematic and planned; the animals have no choice in the partner and are enclosed in facilities that should make them comfortable and ready for reproduction. Ideal reproduction happens in conditions similar to the conditions of wild life for animals, may that be the climate, the habitat, or the fauna. The fact that these environmental factors are not provided leads to infant death or even to infertility. And even when reproduction is possible, the surplus animals, as previously stated, are culled and often murdered.

Long 7 Endangered Animals in Zoos While endangered animals might be provided with a protection from poaching and smuggling, zoos do not always offer the proper care for them. Many of the reasons previously stated deteriorate the lifestyle of our endangered species, as seen with Kiev Zoo, where many elephants and lions died. The high demand in specimens of endangered species to attract visitors creates an extra stress for the animals as they are sent from zoo to zoo, which can lead to mental or physical anomalies in certain cases. The main con to leaving endangered species in the wild is that their life conditions in the wild would be dangerous and could possibly bring the extinction of species. But in this case, better facilities have to be considered to make sure that the few specimens of endangered animals left in the wild and in captivity are ensured not to extinct. The bad treatment by zookeepers, the live feeding of animals by visitors, and many other aspects bring forth the danger of captive life for endangered species. Asia is known to have the biggest count of endangered species and, for that reason, their zoos also host most of the local threatened animals, but many of them are not treated fairly. With poor or no regulations, China has seen many deaths of tigers lately because of the insufficient funding to feed the animals. The zoos were then accused of selling the body parts of the dead animals in order to get money, even though selling specific animal parts is illegal in the country. (Global Animal) The captive breeding of endangered species is also a thorough process. In many cases, when the population is too small, inbreeding happens and can lead to physical and mental anomalies in the animal. (Mace 167-174) Other problems that the captive

Long 8 breeding programs bring are the loss of behavioral habits such as hunting or foraging when animals have lived in their cage all their life long and have never experienced wild life. This causes a lack of survival skills in animals when they are released in the wild. The captive breeding programs succeed at doing what they do, breeding, but that does not necessarily mean that the newborns have better living conditions and it often means that other animals will be forgotten for the new captive breeds to have space to live. Reintroduction of Captive Animals The reintroduction of animals in the wild is a trivial part of zoo life. It happens seldom and is often managed by government wildlife agencies. Reintroduction can be dangerous for zoo animals because they are used to a sedentary life. Many captive breeds and other non-captive breeds are missing natural skills necessary in the wild such as the ability to hunt, to run, to fly, etc. These abilities are all of the utmost importance for the animals¶ survival. Other skills that animals are missing when reintroduced are the skills taught by the parents, like finding food and avoiding predators, as newborns are often separated from the parents and sent to different facilities or cages. Another downside to re-introduction is the fact that the animals being set back in the wild have a chance of bringing foreign viruses with them, which could kill large amounts of other animals. In zoos, viruses are transmitted from animal to animal, but they have zookeepers and veterinaries to ensure that their health is good. However, once set in the wild, they lose the safety net provided by the experts and are then left on their own to deal with the diseases they bring from the zoo or new diseases that they catch in

Long 9 their new locations. Endangered species also suffer from the threat of being poached again. (³The Captive Animals¶ Protection Society (CAPS)´) Regulation Acts There are many regulation acts, throughout the whole world, for zoos and animal welfare. In the USA, zoos are regulated through animal welfare legislations that take into account certain zoo welfare details. In Canada, animal welfare in zoos is a voluntary choice made by provinces. There is no legislation providing security for the animals and no provision in the law that details any zoological treatment of animals. The European Union¶s regulations are different from country to country, some very satisfying, others not. France has provisions for the care of animal, the exchange, and the infrastructures but it is unclear if these laws are followed, as there is no record about France¶s zoo inspection system. Germany, Greece and Slovakia have no provisions for zoo animal¶s welfare in their laws. Belgium, Portugal, Spain and UK are the only countries that have provisions for all aspects of zoo animal¶s welfare. In Canada, it is the provinces¶ authorities¶ choice to add decrees for the zoo welfare. While Canada has the Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA), this organization only rules the ³25 leading zoological parks and aquariums in Canada.´ (³Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA)´) and it is obvious that the country has far more than 25 zoos. Local Montreal zoos like the Biodôme de Montréal, Parc Safari, and Granby Zoo are all under the legislation of CAZA. Other Quebec areas are legislated by the Loi sur la conservation et la mise en valeur de la faune which is a

Long 10 government law for the conservation of the fauna in general. Other provinces have different acts legislating them. What is important is that there is no regulation in many countries and the countries that do have regulations often have poor provisions that are barely observed. Strict legislation should be implemented globally and strongly observed and monitored to ensure that animal welfare is good. Having strict regulations on the type of habitat that the animals should have, the kind of caring they should receive and the staff that deals with the animals would be a good first step towards better animal welfare in zoos. Right now, many countries provide what is thought of as ³good animal welfare´ when it is in fact minimal and dangerous to the lives of the animals. Solutions Possible long-term solutions would include having a global organization that would manage animal welfare in zoos and similar facilities. Right now there are many organizations fighting the crimes that zoos commit but they are limited in their actions and, in the end, the animals still end up suffering. This organization could also have inspectors in different countries and have them inspect zoos regularly and make sure that everything is going according to their regulations. This solution would also stipulate rules regarding the treatment in zoos (having adequate climate, habitat and fauna) and would ensure that culling is not practiced. Real experts would regulate the health in zoos and not just any employee, ensuring healthy lifestyles and decreasing the amount of viruses being spread and dealt with (which would also have a repercussion on the health of reintroduced captive animals). Reproduction

Long 11 would occur in more natural habitats, helping the animals reproduce in good physical and mental state. Reproduction would also be taken more seriously, reducing the number of culling happening in zoos. Endangered species would be shown special attention, maybe even have specific rules to ensure high quality service by employees. Captive breeding, a process already ongoing, would be regulated so that inbreeding does not happen, causing anomalies in generations to come. Finally, the reintroduction of animals would follow specific steps ranging from teaching the animals how to survive in the wild to giving them a more active lifestyle. Basically, all that is needed to ensure animal welfare in zoos is people that have the animals in mind and not the profits coming from the zoos. With many activists already fighting for animal welfare, the perfect solution is not too far away.

Long 12 Works Cited Anitel, Stefan. ³How Happy is a Zoo Animal.´ Softpedia. N.p., 9 Jan. 2008. Web. 26 Nov. 2010. Barbosa, A. ³The role of zoos and aquariums in research into the effects of climate change on animal health.´ International Zoo Yearbook 43.1 (2009): 131-135. Academic Search Complete. Web. 28 Nov. 2010. Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA). ³About CAZA.´ Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA). N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Nov. 2010. Cooper, M.E. ³Zoo legislation.´ International Zoo Yearbook 38.1. (2007): 81-89. Web. 29 Nov. 2010. Global Animal. ³China Urges Zoos to Stop Abuse, Negligence.´ Global Animal. The Associated Press, 7 Nov. 2010. Web. 29 Nov. 2010. GlobalPost. ³The world¶s worst zoos: Some places you don¶t want to bring the kids.´ GlobalPost. GlobalPost Editors, 23 Jul. 2010. Web. 28 Nov. 2010. Lin, Doris. ³Study Shows Elephants in Zoos Live Shorter Lives.´ About.com: Animal Rights. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Nov. 2010. Mace, Georginam M. ³Genetic management of small populations.´ International Zoo Yearbook 24-25.1 (1986): 167-174. Web. 29 Nov. 2010. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). ³Animal Rights Uncompromised: Zoos.´ People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Nov. 2010. The Captive Animals¶ Protection Society. ³The reality of zoos.´ The Captive Animals¶ Protection Society (CAPS). N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Nov. 2010. Wickins-Drazilová, Dita. ³Zoo Animal Welfare.´ Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 19. (2006): 27-36. Web. 28 Nov. 2010. ³Zoo.´ Canadian Oxford Dictionary. 2nd ed. Canada: Oxford University Press, 2004. Print.