Need to know Information Before going to a Zoo!
- A major question needed to be asked when looking at animal abuse in zoos is: "Are any minor benefits that a zoo may have worth all the death and pain that animals go under while being trapped in a zoo?” If this is not convincing enough, take a look at the statement given by Dr. Hutchins, PhD, director and William Conway Chair of the Department of Conservation and Science for the American Zoo and Aquarium Association, in an interview with journal of American Veterinary Medical Association, “Of the 2,400 animal exhibitors licensed by the Department of Agriculture, fewer than 10 percent meet AZA standards for accreditation,”(Kuehn). This means that out of the 2,400 zoos that are recognized by the Department of Agriculture, less than 240 are actually accredited by the American Zoos and Aquariums Association. According to 42 CFR 9.2, American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) Accreditation Standards are ‘those standards developed by the AZA that are used to review, evaluate, and accredit zoos or zoological gardens. These standards cover a variety of areas including facilities, policies and procedures, training, staff qualifications, medical and animal care, husbandry and well-being procedures, and conservation, along with other specific areas.’” (US Legal). All those facts mean two things: one,there are even more zoos in the United States that are not even licensed by the Department of Agriculture or the AZA;two, there are improvements needed to be made by over two thousand zoos in American alone!
- Then when looking at this problem all over the world, Mercy for Animals, an organization that fights for the rights of all animals, reports that “A 1994 report by the World Society for the Protection of Animals showed that only 1,200 zoos out of 10,000 worldwide are registered for captive breeding and wildlife conservation. Only two percent of the world's threatened or endangered species are registered in breeding programs” (mercyforanimals.org). This fact should tell you that there are that many improvements needed to be made and that the defense used by zoos saying that they are helping breed endangered species is not totally true. Even if improvements are being made, they are happening at too slow of a rate which could lead you to think that all these zoos could be sadly abusing their animals in some way.